The Stage and the City: Narrative, Identity and Place in Dermot Bolger's The Ballymun Trilogy (2004-2008)

Malone, Niamh and O'Sullivan, Carmel (2013) The Stage and the City: Narrative, Identity and Place in Dermot Bolger's The Ballymun Trilogy (2004-2008). In: Drama and Theatre in Urban Contexts. Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

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Located two miles from Dublin Airport, Ballymun was built (1966–9) to accommodate people displaced from the inner-city slums dramatised in Sean O'Casey's Dublin Trilogy. ‘The Stage and the City’ draws on the author's research project at Trinity College Dublin, on Theatre and Urban Regeneration. Specifically, it situates Dermot Bolger's The Ballymun Trilogy – From These Green Heights (2004), The Townlands of Brazil (2006) and The Consequences of Lightning (2008) – in relation to theories of globalisation and the global city, and the use of culture in urban regeneration programmes. The article exposes the problems that The Ballymun Trilogy poses for sociological and aesthetic categorisations. The genesis of the fictional world in actual, local experiences raises questions of ownership of narrative content, and of empowerment in acts of performance. The Ballymun Trilogy was produced in the axis Arts and Community Resource Centre, a local community initiative that has become the flagship building of the regeneration project. The article describes and analyses the axis Theatre as a platform on which a heavily stigmatised urban community is enabled to articulate itself. In short, the plays of The Ballymun Trilogy validate the often traumatic struggles of the community of Ballymun, and also raise questions for how we understand contemporary community theatre, and the potential of cultural work in contexts emerging in global cities.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: community theatre, global cities, urban regeneration, narrative, identity, Ballymun, Ireland
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Drama,Dance and Performance Studies (up to 30th April 2018)
Depositing User: Niamh Malone
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 14:32
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2016 07:48

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