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Book Launch: Two Plays by Jack Harte

6 December , 2:30 pm 3:30 pm GMT


Join Dublin Book Festival and author and playwright, Jack Harte, to celebrate the launch of Jack’s new book, Two Plays (Scotus Press). This new volume includes two satirical comedies that enjoyed successful runs in Dublin theatres recently. Harte has a consuming interest in the way the behaviour of people is conditioned by stories, interpretations of history, mythology. In The Mysterious History of Things, he holds up St Patrick for scrutiny, and concludes that the only way he could have converted the Irish to Christianity was through sport: St Patrick must have been a hurler! In Killing Grandad, he takes the concept of heroism to task. Not only has it not been revised for ten thousand years, even Star Wars cannot replace the hand-to-hand sword fight. Just as Achilles fought Hector at the climax of the Battle of Troy, our great Irish heroes, Lugh of the Long Arm and Balor of the Evil Eye slogged it out at the Battle of Moytura. Harte takes the anomaly that Lugh was fighting his grandfather in order to challenge the traditional concept of heroism which is not fit for purpose in the modern world!

Jack Harte

Jack Harte was born in Co Sligo, grew up in Co Longford, before moving to Dublin, where he still lives. He was a teacher and wrote 24 top-selling school textbooks; he was also a School Principal. His short story collections include Murphy in the Underworld (1986), Birds and Other Tails (1996), From Under Gogol’s Nose (2004), and Rehabilitating the Serpent (2017). A novella Homage appeared in 1992. His first novel Reflections in a Tar-Barrel (2006) was the first literary work to be commissioned under the Irish Government’s Per Cent for Art Scheme, and was nominated in Des Kenny’s book as one of the 101 Irish Books You Must Read. The Irish Independent declared it to be ‘one of the great books about Ireland’. His second novel Reflections in a Tar-Barrel (2007) was first published in Bulgaria where it was a major success. Overall, his fiction has appeared in 13 languages.

Harte made his debut as a playwright in 2015 with Language of the Mute (New Theatre) which toured nationally in 2016. This was followed by The Mysterious History of Things (Viking Theatre, July/August 2016) and Lugh and Balor which was performed in Greek translation at the Ancient Theatre of Maroneia and the Theatre of Komotini in Greece (Aug/Sept 2016). His most recent play, Killing Grandad, was enjoying a very successful run at the New Theatre, Dublin, in March, 2020, until it was closed by the Covid Lockdown.

Jack Harte founded the Irish Writers Union and the Irish Writers Centre.

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