Contemporary Irish Documentary Theatre is the first anthology of Irish documentary drama. It features five challenging plays by Irish writers, and one by an international author, interrogating and commenting on crucial events of Irish history and of the diaspora, with introductory essays by established academics. Together these plays represent the most innovative development in contemporary Irish theatre and illuminate the social and political realities of contemporary Ireland.
The first two plays, of 2010 and 2013, deal with scandals of clerical and institutional abuse, and use as source material the Ryan Report of 2009, and the documents from the 2008 Irish Bank Guarantee. The next two, of 2014 and 2013, concern interpretations of the most iconic moment of Irish history: the Easter Rising. The first of these is based on published statements of participants in the event and the second on the lived experiences of those in the contemporary Republic whose founding ideals have not been realized . The last two plays, of 2015 and 2016, widen the view to the history of the Irish in the diaspora: one retelling the history of emigration to England based on published research material; and the other tracing Roger Casement's experiences in the Amazon and his subsequent participation in the Easter Rising using extracts from his diaries and other writings.
The plays included and discussed are:
No Escape by Mary Raftery
Guaranteed by Colin Murphy
Of This Brave Time by Jimmy Murphy
History by Grace Dyas
My English Tongue, My Irish Heart by Martin Lynch
The Two Deaths of Roger Casement by Domingos Nunez