The Sacred Dance of the Irish Circus: Rural Ireland and Traveling Shows and Showpeople, 1922-1972 (Hardback)Michael O'hAodha (author)
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A visual history of the travelling circuses and shows that travelled the roads of Ireland between the 1920s and the arrival of television in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Professor OhAodha estimates there were more than 140 of these shows including circus shows, magic shows, revues, "fit-ups" travelling theatres who travelled Ireland during the period - and the 1940s was their zenith - partly because many performers from other countries (especially via Britain) moved to Ireland to avoid persecution (this includes continental showmen as well as Jews and Roma trying to scratch a living as roaming entertainers and performers). Because of the Emergency in Eire (1939-1945) these groups remained independent of the commercialisation of the music halls, theatres and cinemas in Britain and the "end-of-pier" traditions since many newer forms of entertainment and communication were hindered by wartime isolation, poverty and lack of new product - especially Hollywood and British films in neutral Southern Ireland - since films, as opposed to live entertainment and plays, were subject to rigorous censorship and along with long delays before release.
This is a completely new area in contemporary Irish Studies. Professor OhAodha points out that little has been written about the history of circus in Ireland and there no visual culture books relating to this subject - and so the photos and the cultural history of the traveling circuses and roadside acts in rural Ireland open a new discussion of rural Ireland in the Free State, DeValera, wartime and immediate postwar years.
Publisher: Academica Press
Number of pages: 264
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
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