The Comic Everywoman in Irish Popular Theatre

Political Melodrama, 1890-1925

  • Susanne Colleary

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comedy book series (PSCOM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Susanne Colleary
    Pages 1-3
  3. Susanne Colleary
    Pages 5-27
  4. Susanne Colleary
    Pages 29-50
  5. Susanne Colleary
    Pages 51-82
  6. Susanne Colleary
    Pages 83-106
  7. Susanne Colleary
    Pages 107-110
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 111-130

About this book


This book is a comprehensive study of comic women in performance as Irish Political Melodrama from 1890 to 1925. It maps out the performance contexts of the period, such as Irish “poor” theatre both reflecting and complicating narratives of Irish Identity under British Rule. The study investigates the melodramatic aesthetic within these contexts and goes on to analyse a selection of the melodramas by the playwrights J.W. Whitbread and P.J. Bourke. In doing so, the analyses makes plain the comic structures and intent that work across both character and action, foregrounding comic women at the centre of the discussion. Finally, the book applies a “practice as research” dimension to the study. Working through a series of workshops, rehearsals and a final performance, Colleary investigates comic identity and female performance through a feminist revisionist lens. She ultimately argues that the formulation of the Comic Everywoman as staged “Comic” identity can connect beyond the theatre to her “Everyday” self. This book is intended for those interested in theatre histories, comic women and in popular performance. 


the comic everywoman performance identity female everyday melodramatic Ireland patriotic plays practice as research P.J. Bourke J.W. Whitbread

Authors and affiliations

  • Susanne Colleary
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Technology SligoSligoIreland

Bibliographic information