THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY IS IRELAND'S LEADING BODY OF EXPERTS IN THE SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks: The Plough and the Stars

24 January 2015

The Plough and the Stars by Seán O’Casey, 1926

 

When the play first hit the stage ‘audiences expected a play about liberation; what they got was a scabrous, unromanticised depiction of the Rising’s failings’.

Catch up on all of the Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks features.

According to the article’s author Fintan O’Toole ‘audiences expected a play about liberation; what they got was a scabrous, unromanticised depiction of the Rising’s failings’.

1926 marked the 10th anniversary of the Easter Rising. Unsurprisingly many expected that the Abbey would mark the anniversary ‘respectfully’ but instead they put on O’Casey The Plough and the Stars, ‘which represented the Rising through the experiences of those who suffered most in Easter Week: the Dublin slum dwellers unwillingly thrust on to the frontline And it suggested that, for them, the great event had brought nothing but deeper misery. It is unsurprising that some of the audience, led by widows of men who had died in the Rising, expressed their outrage in riots’.

Have you been following the series in full? What’s been your favourite artwork from the last 100 years? Tweet us your picks @RIAdawson

 

 

 

Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

Sign up now