- Purchase/rental options available:
The article examines the metatheatricality of Gerald MacNamara's The Mist That Does Be on the Bog (1909) and Marie Jones's Stones in His Pockets (1990) in terms of their respective critiques of the cultural politics of nationalism and globalization during the periods of the Irish Revival and the Celtic Tiger. MacNamara's satirical restaging of the theatrical conventions of the early Abbey Theatre and his rejection of the national theatre's "authentic" (re)production of the wild west of Ireland precociously anticipates the postmodern cultural politics of contemporary Celtic Tiger Ireland as described by Colin Graham, whereby essence or authenticity are constantly interrogated and consistently ironized. This essay argues that the deconstructive power of Mist's metatheatrical critique of the Revival and the Abbey Theatre continues to resonate, even in (post) Celtic Tiger Ireland, as the politics and performance of authenticity remain imbricated within the aesthetics and ideology of theatre, tourism, cinema, and culture, as well as in the history and heritage industries, and their collective (re)presentations of Ireland, as satirized in Jones's commercially successfully though critically neglected play, Stones in His Pockets. Drawing on various critiques of the notion of "authenticity" posited by Graham, David Lloyd, Frantz Fanon, and Declan Kiberd, this essay examines how the very concept of "authenticity" is consistently ironized and undermined in both plays, as each dismantles dominant constructions of national identity that have emerged diachronically during both the colonial and postcolonial periods.