(Ian Maleney’s article appeared in the Irish Times, 8/22.)
Over the course of a dozen plays since the absurdist gender-bending experiment of Low in the Dark, from 1989, Marina Carr has developed a voice that combines the eerie humour of Samuel Beckett with a fondness for the emotional depth of Greek tragedy.
The trio of plays she produced in the mid 1990s – The Mai, Portia Coughlan and By the Bog of Cats – explore the profound personal drives and attachments that motivate all great tragedy, finding an ancient intensity amid the bogs, rivers and plains of her native Co Offaly.
Those early plays were inspired by the works of Sophocles and Euripides, and in conversation Carr’s love for those ancient storytellers is obvious. Although she speaks very softly, worrying at one point that the recorder might not pick up her voice, she lights up when talking about the classical masters.
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