Austria, Britain, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Poland and the United States
The Abbey Theatre in the Context of the Great War and Its Centenary: The Past and the Present
The present study is an attempt to contribute to the debate on World War I centenary in Ireland by analyzing the role of the Abbey Theatre, the Irish National Theatre, in the war of 1914–1918, its aftermath and current (2014–2015) commemoration. Having seen the premiere of George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House, a prewar play in its plot, at the Abbey Theatre (September 2014), I was inspired with the idea of addressing the role of the Abbey Theatre in commemorating the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War. I also decided to juxtapose the centenary remembrance with the theatre’s apparent detachment from the war and its problems in the period from 1914 to 1918 and immediately afterwards. As far as I know, there exists no comprehensive study that would compare the involvement of the Abbey Theatre in both the Great War events of 1914–1918 and the inter-war as well as centennial commemorations of 2014–2015.
One crucial contribution to the subject of commemoration and the Abbey Theatre is Culture War: Conflict, Commemoration and the Contemporary Abbey Theatre, by Holly Maples (2011). In her study, Maples analyses the involvement of the Irish nation in “the historic commemorations of the ninetieth anniversary of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme, and the Centennial and Bi-Centennial of the 1798 Rebellion” (Maples 2011: 18). The very 50th and 90th anniversaries of the Easter Rising (1966 and 2006) and the 90th anniversary...
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