Irish theatre has never been so successful, yet at the same time never more in need of rigorous evaluation. Many of the plays by Brian Friel, Thomas Murphy, Thomas Kilroy, Frank McGuinness, Anne Devlin, Sebastian Barry, Conor McPherson, Martin McDonagh (London-Irish), Marina Carr, Billy Roche and Marie Jones have been critically acclaimed and won substantial awards. In addition, Irish directors, designers, actors and administrators have worked at some of the best theatres in the world and with some of the most talented professionals available. In this comprehensive collection of essays, playwrights, directors, journalists, theatre practitioners, critics and academics, from many different countries and backgrounds, give their perceptive points of view. Each contributor takes an approach which is passionate, idiosyncratic, astute, provocative and refreshing. All of the writing, in one way or another, hints at the demands, magic, urgency and ephemeral qualities of good theatre. This extremely valuable collection of accessible essays will promote discussion and is a timely and welcome addition to the critical debate on Irish drama.