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Including the Irish: taken-for-granted characters in English films
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 13:09 authored by Bronwen Walter
The Irish have become embedded in the ‘diaspora space’ of England so that their presence is taken for granted. This article explores the ways in which films made by English directors include Irish characters in apparently unplanned and incidental ways which reflect their own assumptions and those of their audiences about the ‘natural’ place of the Irish in English social landscapes. It interrogates the understandings and intentions of the director (Richard Eyre), screenwriter (Patrick Marber) and actors (Judi Dench, Andrew Simpson) in the film Notes on a Scandal which adds an Irish character to Zoë Heller's novel. Many other narrative films contain small clues, usually denoted by voices, but also ‘looks’, culture and roles. These sources enrich the evidence available to social scientists analysing the deep entanglement of the Irish with both the long-settled and more recently arrived populations living in England.
Publication titleIrish Studies Review
PublisherTaylor & Francis