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The Sacred Dance of the Irish Circus: Rural Ireland and Traveling Shows and Showpeople, 1922-1972

Author: 
O'hAodha, Michael
Credentials: 
Ph.D, D/History, University of Limerick

A visual history of the Traveling circuses and shows that traveled the roads of Ireland between the 1920s and the arrival of television in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Professor OhAodha (pron: Oh-Hodya) estimates there were more than 140 of these shows including circus shows, magic shows, revues, “fit-ups” traveling theatres who traveled Ireland during the period – and the 1940s was their zenith – partly because many performers from other countries (especially 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 (1939-1945) these groups remained independent of the commercialization of the music halls, theatres and cinemas and the “end-of pier” traditions since many newer forms of entertainment and communication were hindered by wartime isolation 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.

Michael OhAodha, a champion of the Irish Language and the West of Ireland, is the author of more than forty books and is a senior faculty member of at the University of Limerick.

Irish Research Series, No.61

Market: 
Irish Studies, Cultural and Performance Studies ,20th century Ireland, Irish History, Connaught,20th century.,Gaeltacht
Release Date: 
04/15/2012
ISBN: 
Cloth: 978-1-936320-34-9
Price: 
$72.95
Trim Size: 
6x9
Pages: 
264
Index: 
Yes
Bibliography: 
Yes
Illustrations: 
Yes
CIP: 
Yes
Publisher: 

ACADEMICA PRESS
1727 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 507
Washington, DC 20036

Irish Research Series: 
Yes