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 E5 Contraband: The Bell Magazine (1940-51)

This vibrant intellectual magazine was never censored, even though it’s editor was an anti-censorship campaigner. But getting a copy wasn’t that easy. With guest Dr Phyllis Boumans

Anonymous contributors were an important part of The Bell

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)