A Cry from Heaven – Play Review

I have learned more about the itinerary for the Dublin Theatre Festival trip curated by the Irish Repertory Theatre. I attended a Zoom meeting which gave me more details. I have also arranged for my international flight which was extremely expensive.

In preparation for my trip I am buying more books on Irish theater and reading more plays. I have come across some really great plays. One such discovery was A Cry from Heaven by Vincent Woods. This play is based on the Irish myth of Deirdre which I am not familiar with. It was written in blank verse and has five acts. In other words, this play attempts to emulate Shakespeare. This is usually discouraged and mocked but the playwright is a true poet and made a credible effort. This play elevates an Irish myth to the heights of a Shakespearean drama. I am not familiar with Irish mythology so I bought a translation of the Tain Bo Cualinge, the eighth-century Ulster cycle of heroic tales. In order the study the literature of a country, you often need to be familiar with its classic myths. These stories from pre-history are comparable to tales of King Arthur.

I am also reading the book Interactions: Dublin Theatre Festival 1957-2007 which is a history of the festival. It includes a production history so it serves as an excellent resource for exploring contemporary Irish theater. I am reading a translation of Euripides Hecuba before I read Marina Carr’s play based on this story. I was surprised to learn that I have never read this play even though Hecuba is referred to in Hamlet. I have lots of books on Euripides so I found one with this play. Most of my Euripides books are various translations of The Bacchae.

I have lots of books on order as my research expands. I will be reading some of the plays by the playwrights whose work I will see at the festival. This is exclusively female playwrights.

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