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Wallace McDowell

Research Title: Renegotiating Loyalist identities through performative practices


Supervisor: Dr Nadine Holdsworth


Started: 2004 (Full time)


Funding: AHRC


Research Summary:


The substantive part of the research for my thesis is divided into three primary areas:


The work of playwright Gary Mitchell, the first playwright to emerge from a paramilitary-dominated community, he has sought to authentically stage the voice and concerns of that community.


The staging of a revival of George Farquhar’s The Beaux Stratagem in Derry in 2004. The intention of the producer, a self-styled Loyalist theatre producer, was to try to reclaim Farquhar as a Loyalist/Protestant icon. Farquhar was born in Derry and resident there during the iconic siege of the city in 1689. Derry is a deeply divided city, and the old walled part, so symbolically important to Loyalists, is now entirely under Nationalist control


The strides made by both community activists and members of Loyal orders to alter performance practices through the encouragement of a wider set of activities than the previous limited number of symbolic practices that have been in extistence since the Northern Ireland state came into being.



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Wallace McDowell