S7 Summer Bonus episode

The Bishop and the Nightie: censure in television

The most memorable scandals in Irish life feature a fulminating bishop and this is no exception. This brief controversy is infamous but why do we find it so compelling? Dr Morgan Wait joins me to talk about television and titillation in 1960s Ireland.

Mastodon
Sternly worded telegram from a bishop – quelle horreur!

S7 E11 Playing politics: censure in theatres

Theatre riots might capture the imagination but audiences, critics and authority figures shape theatre in other less dramatic ways. Guest Dr Barry Houlihan talks about his new book Theatre and archival memory: Irish drama and marginalised histories 1951-77 (2022)

S7 E10 Morally healthy: censure in libraries

A tour of the maze of committees that controlled who read what in Irish public libraries. Public libraries were one of the most important sources of reading material for ordinary people.

Cork city library, opened in 1930. Picture Darragh Kane

S7 E1 & 2 Riotous: The Playboy of the Western World (1907)

The Playboy Riots were a notoriously rowdy series of audience protests in the Abbey Theatre. The patrons were so offended by The Playboy of the Western World their loud singing and heckling drowned out the actors. This much-studied moment in Irish cultural history deserves a deep-dive into the play itself and the over-reaction to its performance.

With guest, Dr Lloyd (Maedhbh) Houston, I discussed the play and the uproar it caused, paying particular attention to drunken singing and the comedy act of one protestor, Mr Overcoat.

Newspaper coverage of the play and the riots played an important role in generating outrage. (Irish Times excerpt)