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Celtic Connections

Irish-Scottish Relations and the Politics of Culture

Series:

Willy Maley and Alison O'Malley-Younger

While a number of published works approach the shared concerns of Ireland and Scotland, no major volume has offered a sustained and up-to-date analysis of the cultural connections between the two, despite the fact that these border crossings continue to be politically suggestive. The current collection addresses this area of comparative critical neglect, focusing on writers, from Charles Robert Maturin to Liam McIlvanney, whose work offers insights into debates about identity and politics in these two neighbour nations, too often overwhelmed by connections with their larger neighbour, England.
The essays in this collection are distinct yet connected, and are designed to come together like the intricate cross-bars and precise patterning of the plaid to capture the complexity of the Celtic connections they address. They move from pre-history to postmodernism, from Gothic to Gaelic and from Macbeth to Marxism, incorporating gender and genre, and providing a detailed survey of responses to the Irish-Scottish paradigm.

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EMILY A. RAVENSCROFT AND JAMES MOLLISON Macbeth in Maghaberry: Corrupting Power Relations with the S

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cottish Play in a Northern Irish Prison Macbeth, or ‘The Scottish Play’ for the more superstitious, is Shakespeare’s most gruesome work. The text was recently given new purchase when a group of twenty-five inmates serving life terms in one of Northern Ireland’s maximum-security facilities, HMP Maghaberry, for crimes ranging from intimate partner violence to the murder of a stranger in public, created an adaptation of this classic for film titled Mickey B. With the guidance of the Educational Shakespeare Company (ESC) the prisoners wrote the script, built the sets, performed the roles and eventually were the recipients of prestigious awards for their work, including the Roger Graef award for Outstanding Achievement in Film at the Arthur Koestler awards (ESC, 2011). Prisoners reset Macbeth in a ‘fictional private prison called Burnam, where gangs run the wings with violence and drugs as their common cur- rency. Duncan is the number one drug dealer who is about to be released. Mickey B is his muscle collecting on his behalf ’ (Magill and Marquis- Muradaz, 2009: 109). After being held for three years post-production,1 the film is now available for public viewing. The director, Tom Magill, and the producer, Jennifer Marquis-Muradaz, ref lected on their experiences filming in the Dramatherapy and social theatre: necessary dialogues chap- ter, ‘The making of Mickey B, a modern adaptation of Macbeth filmed in a maximum security prison in Northern Ireland’ (2009). They claim that the prison personnel were resistant to the production every step of the 1...

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