Performing the City: The Gods are Angry Miss Kerr and Waterford Identity

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Local allegiances make problematic narratives that place "Irishness" at the core of how Irish people imagine themselves. Likewise, regional and region-based theatre practice disrupts narratives centred on "the Irish theatre". At the same time, defining the "local" and the "regional" is distinctly problematic, particularly when that region is also co-identified with an urban centre. This paper considered theatre practice in Waterford city, a regional centre, but marginal to how regions currently have been defined: the city straddles two counties and two provinces. The paper focused on the work of Jim Nolan and specifically the first production of the Red Kettle Theatre Company of Nolan's "The Gods are Angry Miss Kerr". In part the paper sought to challenge current histories of the Irish theatre, histories that are adjudged complete without taking full cognisance of regional theatre practice, even though Waterford's position within defined regions is unclear. In part the paper also explored the efforts of a local theatre organization, performing a play by a local playwright, with local actors and crew, performed to local people to (re)claim the city they depict. The provenance of Red Kettle in community-based theatre was examined (and contrasted with other, Irish, urban-based theatre groups). Red Kettle's evolution to a professional theatre company, with an international reputation, and the extent to which that burgeoning reputation compromised and made problematic the community- and socially-inspired project of the company, was also explored.
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
Publication statusUnpublished - 01 Nov 2013
EventThe Irish and the City: Irish Society for Theatre Research - Birbeck London, London , United Kingdom
Duration: 01 Nov 201301 Nov 2013


ConferenceThe Irish and the City
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Red Kettle Theatre Company
  • Waterford
  • Irish History
  • 1980s Ireland


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