The Tyranny of Memory: Remembering the Great War in Frank McGuinness's Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme

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Title: The Tyranny of Memory: Remembering the Great War in Frank McGuinness's Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme
Authors: Pine, Emilie
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/6254
Date: May-2010
Abstract: First produced at the Peacock Theatre in 1985, Frank McGuinness’s Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, has gone on to become an iconic First World War play, and has had several landmark productions, not least of which was when it was performed at the Abbey in 1994 to an audience of Ulster Unionists, as an acknowledgment of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland. McGuinness states that in writing Observe the Sons of Ulster 'it was an eye-opener for a Catholic Republican, as I am, to have to examine the complexity, diversity, disturbance and integrity of the other side, the Protestant people.' In this play there is thus a conscious engagement with a competing mythology, and the challenges of crossing the barrier between self and other. And this spirit of necessary but difficult exploration of self and other is the foundational ground for the play; the process that McGuinness went through in writing the play, is thus the same process that the characters go through within the play.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Keywords: Literary studies;First World War;McGuinness, Frank
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:English, Drama & Film Research Collection

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