"Spangler, King, and their distinguished contributors, offer a fascinating palimpsest in this volume....The 2007 adaptation of Synge’s canonical work is vigorously mined and the ramifications of one of the great missed opportunities of Irish theatre history thoroughly explored. A formidable challenge has been met with elan."—Myles Dungan, host of The History Show, RTÈ Radio 1
"A timely reminder of the value and complexity of reimagining the Irish Canon and the importance of questioning whose stories we choose to tell and who is chosen to tell them."—Kellie Hughes, Theatre Artist and Artistic Director UCD Ad Astra Academy
"A timely reminder of the value and complexity of reimagining the Irish Canon and the importance of questioning whose stories we choose to tell and who is chosen to tell them."—Kellie Hughes, Theatre Artist & Artistic Director UCD Ad Astra Academy
Bisi Adigun and Roddy Doyle’s centenary adaption of J. M. Synge’s classic The Playboy of the Western World had a sold-out run when it was produced at Dublin’s Abbey Theater in 2007 and was brought back by popular demand in 2009. The new version is set in a contemporary Dublin pub and features the character of a Nigerian asylum-seeker in the lead role. Under the coauthorship of Bisi Adigun, artistic director of Arambe Productions—Ireland’s first African theater company—and best-selling, Booker Prize–winning novelist Roddy Doyle, the play engages with issues of race and immigration in modern Ireland and aims to be a model for intercultural collaboration.
This critical edition features the full text of the play, published for the first time, along with a collection of essays exploring the play’s themes, cultural significance, critical reception, and the legal case that cut short its successful production run. Though the play was first produced over a decade ago, the topic of migration has only increased in its global importance over that time, and this adaptation of Playboy remains a popular touchstone among scholars of Irish theater and immigration.
Jason King is academic coordinator of the Irish Heritage Trust in Dublin. He has coedited several books on Irish culture and history, including Interculturalism and Performance Now: New Directions? and a special issue of Irish Studies Review.
Matthew Spangler is professor of performance studies at San José State University and writer in residence for the Hinterland Festival of Literature and Arts in Kells, Ireland. He is the author or coauthor of many plays, including The Beekeeper of Aleppo, Albatross, and The Kite Runner, which was recently produced on Broadway. He is also coeditor of the volume Staging Intercultural Ireland: New Plays and Practitioner Perspectives.
Series: Irish Studies
6 x 9, 242 pages, 4 black and white illustrations