Performing power: Violence as Fantasy and Spectacle in Mark O'Rowe's Made in China and Terminus

  • Haughton M
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Mark O'Rowe's work marks a shift in Irish theatrical form and practice,
positing his stories in urban landscapes that defy modernist dramatic
frames and established linguistic styles. Here, angels and demons roam
the earth with lost human souls and, though mythical creatures and
influences are frequently made manifest, the connection to the other
world does not remove the presence of popular culture - karate movies
and salty snacks in particular. But perhaps the most viscerally striking
aspect of O'Rowe's dramaturgy stems from the sense of pain, isolation,
and trauma his characters embody and enact. His dramatized communities
are either in crisis or no longer visible, thereby situating the scope
for human connection or reconnection as the prize sought from their
struggle - while comedy is not lost, and the `skullduggerous' tone so
applauded in Howie the Rookie accompanies these later works alongside an
evolved dramatic voice and sense of theatrical form. Miriam Haughton is
currently in the second year of her doctoral work on postmodern Irish
drama in the School of English, Drama, and Film at University College
Dublin. Her research interests include drama studies, Irish studies,
anthropology, and sociology.

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  • Miriam Haughton

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