2016 marks the centenary of the Easter Rising, the week-long Irish insurrection against British occupation that was ultimately unsuccessful. Although it failed, the Rising is now generally viewed as lost but crucial battle on the road to Irish independence in 1922. The Easter Rising commemorations in this important anniversary year are ubiquitous and loud in Ireland, and there’s always a smiling politician at hand, often a vising diplomat, much money being poured into events – whilst the country faces serious contemporary challenges. There are some who might say that the ‘business’ of commemoration now sits in opposition to the ideals upon which the state was founded when independence was proclaimed from the GPO back in 1916.
Considering this contradiction in his new play ‘Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye’, is one of Ireland’s leading playwrights and theatre directors, Jim Nolan. If you happen to be around the Waterford area in March, go see this urgent comment on the business of the Rising.