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Playing For TimeStories of Lost Children, Ghosts and the Endangered Present in Contemporary Theatre$
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Geraldine Cousin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719061974

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719061974.001.0001

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Enter the revenant

Enter the revenant

(p.28) 3 Enter the revenant
Playing For Time

Geraldine Cousin

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses ghost characters in six Irish plays: Conor McPherson's award-winning The Weir, Shining City, Stewart Parker's Pentecost and three plays by Marina Carr: The Mai, Portia Coughlan and By the Bog of Cats. The return of a figure from the past is a frequent occurrence in Irish plays. These plays were chosen out of the explosion of Irish dramatic talent on the London stage in the 1990s and the opening years of the twenty-first century, because of the nature of their representation of time. McPherson's, and, even more obviously, Carr's, investment in the past lives of their characters creates static, liminal, worlds where ghosts multiply. The chapter ends with Carnesky's Ghost Train, which emulated a ride on a fairground ghost train, encapsulated the idea of stasis.

Keywords:   ghost characters, Irish plays, Conor McPherson, The Weir, Pentecost, Carnesky's Ghost Train, Marina Carr

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