All About Irish Language Plays And Dramas


Irish Language Plays And Dramas 🎭: Do you know the rich history of plays and dramas done in Irish? What are their significance in learning the Irish language? In this blog, we will discuss all of that and more. 


We often associate the word “drama” with intense feelings such as excitement, thrill, elation, fear or desperation. In other words, it makes you feel intense emotions depending on what type of play or drama watched. And of course, plays and dramas come or originate in all kinds of languages, which includes Irish.


Irish plays or dramas, which we can also dub as Irish theatre, has a rich history and came a long for quite a few centuries already. Below, we will discuss its history along with a few examples. We will also share how this can help you learn the Irish language – just as effective as learning the language through games and gifts. Read on to learn more.



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History of Irish language plays and dramas


Irish theatre’s history, as we have dubbed it above, began through the English’s ruling in Dublin at the start of the 17th century. In its own way, Ireland contributed to English drama over the course of approximately 400 years.


When we think about plays or dramas today, we often associate it with entertainment. However, that is not the case then. Simply put, producing theatrical plays was meant for political purposes, orchestrated by the administration during that time.


But, as the years went by, more theatres opened in Ireland and more audience appeared mainly due to curiosity and awe. British actors coming all the way from London found their way and performed in Ireland – in the Irish stage.


Only at the beginning of the 20th century did Irish playwrights stage Irish language plays and dramas. This phenomenon allowed indigenous playwrights, directors and actors to emerge and shine on the Irish stage.


Is it still prominent today?


Now that we have talked about the history of Irish language plays and dramas, is it still prominent today?


The answer to that is not quite, but it is still alive, nonetheless. As mentioned above, only in the 20th century did native plays and dramas. However, the movement to orchestrate Irish language plays and dramas were quite “inept” as no theatre tradition in Irish exists during that time. Oftentimes, they were forced to release low-quality works on stage.


With that said, everything, of course, improved when companies such as Na hAisteoirí and Na Cluicheoirí. The former created the concept of An Comhar Drámaíochta, a group that spearheaded and brought full seasons of plays or dramas in the the Irish language to audiences based on Dublin for nearly two decades, which began in 1923.


Everything else followed, and before you know it, then came the golden age of plays and dramas in Irish. The period between the 1950s to the 1980s saw the long-awaited rise of the Irish theatre. This rise was brought about by Dublin’s Damer Theatre and Cork’s Compántas Chorcaí by doing the following: shouldering expenses and providing audiences with new, never-before-seen plays or dramas acted out by uberly talented and decorated playwrights during that time.


Irish language plays and dramas: the decline


Just like everything else in life, the Irish theatre came into prominence and fell into decline. Its decline started around the 1970s to 1980s, starting from when the Damer closed in the late 70s. Additionally, factors such as the absorption of Compántas Chorcaí by the Everyman Theatre and the fluctuating fortunes of An Taibhdhearc caused a steady decline and challenge for Irish theatre.


Going to the “now”


What about the modern era? Have there been Irish language plays and dramas orchestrated?


The answer to that is yes. Companies working on them have come and gone over the past few years and kept the Irish theatre alive, albeit at a much lesser occurrence.


Even in this challenging atmosphere, playwrights have soldiered on, producing some of the very finest work ever seen on the Gaelic stage. One thinks here of Antoine Ó Flatharta, who has written incisively of life in the Gaeltacht in a demotic Irish that has raised more than a few hackles; Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, who draws on her training in folklore to enrich her plays; Alan Titley whose riotously original imagination is better known from his novels; the prolific Aodh Ó Domhnaill’s work with Aisteoirí Bulfin; the native speakers Micheál Ó Conghaile’s and Joe Steve Ó Neachtain’s bravely honest depictions of life in the Gaeltacht as it is actually lived today; Darach Scolaí’s pointed and hilarious comedies; Celia de Fréine’s challenging plays about Irish and world politics; or Biddy Jenkinson’s sharp and idiosyncratic take on the absurdities and injustices of contemporary life. And the list could go on.


Learning Irish through this


Obviously, this is an easy answer. The answer, of course, is yes! You can easily learn the Irish language by watching plays and dramas uttered in the mentioned language. If you have read our blogs on Irish language movies and TV shows presented in the Irish language, you will know by now that watching and hearing Irish at the same time can help you memorise and learn faster – much faster than simply reading. Combine all of those and you can learn Irish at a workable pace.


Learn Irish through Fluentirish


Now that we have shared with you Irish language plays and dramas, we want to discuss how we can help you in everything Irish-related.


Anois go bhfuil a fhios againn an difríocht idir Gaeilge Chlasaiceach agus Nua-Ghaeilge, ba mhaith linn plé a dhéanamh ar conas is féidir linn cabhrú leat i ngach rud a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge.


If you can understand simple Irish, you will want to improve. Fluentirish is here for you. Listen every day to get on with Irish.

Má tá tĂş ábalta Gaeilge shimplĂ­ a thuiscint – beidh tĂş ag iarraidh biseach a dhĂ©anamh. Tá Fluentirish anseo faoi do choinne. BĂ­ ag Ă©isteacht gach aon lá chun a bheith ag gabháil ar aghaidh i nGaeilge.

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