"Willing to Do Public Work": Introduction to a Special Issue on Radical Theatre and Ireland (Part 2)
This essay addresses the particular historical circumstances arising from the political reality that the island of Ireland has been, since the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1922, home to two jurisdictions. It introduces the essays which make up Part II of Forum Kritika: Special Issue on Radical Theatre and Ireland. It considers variations both in experiences of the radical theatrical and in the institutional framing of the radical in Ireland. It draws also on Filipino scholarship and experience, in arguing for the robustness and appropriateness of postcolonial critique to Irish circumstances. A survey of the recent appearance of Documentary Theatre on the stages of the Abbey and Peacock theatres in Dublin suggests that the Irish national theatre has resumed its historical task of enabling critical public conversation. Local radicalism has always had trans-national dimensions, as the dialogue implicit in Kritika Kultura 14 and Kritika Kultura 15 suggests, and the essay offers a series of examples of co-ordinated trans-national action by neo-liberal state and corporate opportunism, as Global Financial Crisis mutates into Global Financial Opportunity. Finally, the vocation for radical theatre and the basis for a new, trans-national dialogue among cultural workers is found in a praxis of performance and interpretation whose purpose is to disrupt official narratives which explain and exculpate state and corporate opportunism.