By Bernadette Sweeney (auth.)
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Additional resources for Performing the Body in Irish Theatre
Stephens’ Day (26th December). Calendar festivals are another source of folk tradition and ritual, and have been documented in detail by Kevin Danaher, E. Estyn Evans, Seán Ó Súilleabháin and Alan Gailey. The Irish calendar festivals, like others, revolved around seasonal events such as harvest time; and there is evidence that these were pre-Christian festivals that became key dates in the Church calendar. February first (Imbolc) became St. Brigid’s Day; Gailey gives an account of a St. Brigid’s Day festival in Irish Folk Drama: In Ireland the traditional onset of spring was 1st February, St.
The Pike Theatre on Herbert Lane was founded by Alan Simpson and Carolyn Swift. Although it did not last for more than a decade it had a profound effect on the staging and thereby the creation of the canon, and highlighted the issue of theatre censorship. Simpson outlines the intentions of the Pike Theatre founders in Beckett and Behan and a Theatre in Dublin (1962): Our first task was to find [the theatre] a name. It must be short, we decided realistically, because that would keep down newspaper and advertising costs.
MS 1399: 81 [my emphasis]) Wrenboys dressed in a similar way to the Strawboys ‘in the old fantastic attire of pyjamas, window curtains, straw hats and antiquated feminine apparel’,27 but they performed as they moved from house to house on St. Stephens’ Day (26th December). Calendar festivals are another source of folk tradition and ritual, and have been documented in detail by Kevin Danaher, E. Estyn Evans, Seán Ó Súilleabháin and Alan Gailey. The Irish calendar festivals, like others, revolved around seasonal events such as harvest time; and there is evidence that these were pre-Christian festivals that became key dates in the Church calendar.