Luke Lamont

Supervisor: Dr Emilie Pine

School: English, Drama & Film

Act of Witnessing: Analysing the rise of Documentary Theatre within Irish Drama

In light of the proliferation of examples of Documentary Theatre in recent decades, both in Ireland and abroad, my research will survey and assess this rise in popularity of the genre within Irish Drama. Looking at international examples – especially in the UK and United States – as points of reference, this study will examine the scope of such pieces as contributions to the theatrical canon but also – and perhaps more pertinently – as vehicles for social justice.

Given the artistic, social and political impact of pieces such as The Colour of Justice (Norton-Taylor, 1999) and The Laramie Project (Kaufman, 2001), this study will examine the comparative impact Irish Documentary Theatre has had on issues of institutional abuse (No Escape, Raftery, 2010), sectarian violence (Theatre of Witness Project, Sepinuck, 2012-2014) and political/financial scandal (Guaranteed!/Bailed Out!, Murphy, 2013/2015). My research will look to determine the extent to which Documentary Theatre can create a public forum for the re-examination of History, the telling of subaltern or ‘Other ’ stories, and the search for answers which the popular media and political powers are unable to provide.

Funding Information: Funded under an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship