Intercultural Arrivals and Encounters with Trauma in Contemporary Irish Drama

  • Eva Urban


This chapter investigates some of the ways in which traumatic intercultural arrivals and encounters are dramatized and staged in contemporary Irish theatre. Plays examined include Donal O’Kelly’s Asylum! Asylum! (1994); Gavin Kostick’s This Is What We Sang (2009); Elizabeth Kuti’s The Sugar Wife (2005); Gianina Cãrbunario’s Kebab (2007); Mirjana Rendulic’s Broken Promise Land (2013); Paul Meade’s Mushroom (2007); Owen McCafferty’s Quietly (2009); and Stacey Gregg’s Shibboleth (2015). The chapter offers an analysis of the shared critical engagement of these plays with notions of community and immigration and with the links of these notions to social and ethnic divisions. It puts forward the argument that the selected plays question relationships between agency, victimhood and trauma and the artistic representation of pain and suffering. The chapter concludes that in these Irish plays with international protagonists a common focus on shared humanity is applied through the use of familiar Irish dramaturgical techniques that highlight the absurdity of arbitrary political and cultural frontiers between people.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Urban
    • 1
  1. 1.The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and JusticeQueen’s UniversityBelfastUK

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