Irish Drama on the Galician Stage
Performing Irishness analyses the presence and impact of Irish drama in Galicia, a minorised cultural context where Ireland has historically been viewed as a recognisable, often inspirational, «other». Through her exploration of the ways in which translation choices interweave with theatre practice, the author reveals context and on-the-spot decisions as crucial elements in the adaptation and staging of the plays. This study traces the multiplicity of factors that determined the plays’ path from one culture to the other by means of interviews with theatre practitioners and a wealth of unpublished documents around the translation and production processes, resulting from extensive archival research. The voices behind the scenes provide us with a viewpoint that goes beyond the texts to generate a pluridimensional map of how Irish drama has travelled not only to Galicia but also to – and through – other Iberian stages.
CHAPTER 3 Ditea: The theatrical ‘transition’ of Irish Drama in Galicia
During the 1970s, the Spanish state underwent the most significant political change in its recent history: the end of Francisco Franco’s near forty-year dictatorial rule and the transition to democracy. In this period, Galician theatre was marked both by institutional opposition to differential cultural manifestations and by the challenges of normalising the theatre system as the decade progressed. In this changing environment, Ditea, a teatro de cámara group based in Santiago de Compostela not only took to the stage the first Irish plays to be performed in Galicia but did so in the Galician language: Cabalgada cara ó mar, an adaptation of J. M. Synge’s Riders to the Sea in 1972, Rosas vermellas pra mín, the company’s Galician version of Red Roses for me by Sean O’Casey in 1976; O país da saudade, the first known performance of the 1935 translation of Yeats’s The Land of Heart’s Desire in 1977; and A fontenla dos milagres, an adaptation of Synge’s The Well of the Saints in 1979. The Irish plays in the Ditea repertoire saw the light at a moment of special historical significance and are also representative of the company’s history, their long-standing embeddedness in their community and in the theatrical landscape, and their (re)positioning in the evolving socio-political, cultural and theatrical context. Their choice of texts is especially revealing with regards to their standpoint on translation and the Galician language, two key elements in the minorised Galician cultural context. Thanks to the company’s exceptionally rich archive,...
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