Playbill of the Irish Theatre in Harwicke Street (May 1915) for Iosogan / The Master by P.H. Pearse
Playbill of the Irish Theatre in Harwicke Street (May 1915) for Iosogan / The Master. A Miracle Play by P.H. Pearse
“During the interval Mr. Pearse will deliver a short address on the Irish Style of Dramatic Speaking. The address will be illustrated by the performance of the only surviving fragment of an Irish drama prior to the language revival. The fragment was taken down in County Kerry in 1898, and is part of a play that was enacted among the people up to sixty or seventy years ago. The subject is the hero Dunlaing and his Fairy Lover, and the action takes place just before the Battle of Clontarf.”
The play was originally performed by the students in St. Enda’s School in 1910 and then staged by the Irish Theatre in 1915. It is set in Ireland at the time of Christian evangelization. Actions unfolds when in “a cloister in a wood” a missionary named Ciaran (the master) teaches a group of boys the precepts of the new faith but is put to the test by an evil king who ends up killing one of the master’s favourite pupils. James Moran notes that the production of the play was concomitant to Pearse’s organisation of a large military parade of Dublin Irish Volunteers in Limerick―a parade which included “musical accompaniment, carefully coordinated movements, and an address from Pearse.” The St. Enda’s performers included Mary and Eamon Bulfin, children of the Irish Argentinean nationalist William Bulfin who despite living in Buenos Aires sent his children to boarding school in Ireland. Almost the entire cast of the original production was involved in the Easter Rising (Moran).
Moran, James. “Introduction.” Four Irish Rebel Plays. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2007. 1-41. Print.
Text Item Type Metadata
- Date Added
- May 23, 2015
- Item Type
- Drama, Irish Theatre, P.H. Pearse
- The Irish Theatre, “Playbill of the Irish Theatre in Harwicke Street (May 1915) for Iosogan / The Master by P.H. Pearse,” Revival to Revolution: The Literary Career of Thomas MacDonagh, accessed April 25, 2018, http://revival2revolution.omeka.net/items/show/8.