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Studying up before The Ferryman

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Kitsune
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Studying up before The Ferryman#1
Posted: 4/1/19 at 5:19pm

I have tickets for The Ferryman in May. I'm the first to admit my background on The Troubles is shaky at best.

I know there's a timeline on The Ferryman's official site, but what other resources are good for getting up to speed on the history? I'm thinking a documentary, a podcast, a book, etc.

Jarethan
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Studying up before The Ferryman#2
Posted: 4/1/19 at 6:13pm

I loved The Ferryman, thought it was extraordinary theatre.  Going into it, I knew nothing about the troubles, beyond what I saw in fictional movies over the years.  It didn't make a difference.  In fact IMO (and I may be in the minority here), the play was first and foremost about a large extended farming family just trying to get by in a period in which there was enormous unrest et al.  When the Troubles were more front and center, you still didn't need to know anything about them, beyond what you heard from the actors, and the emotional impact they had on lives, the passion of those who had a more violent solution.

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haterobics
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Studying up before The Ferryman#3
Posted: 4/1/19 at 6:18pm

I read up a bit in advance and didn't think it really mattered all that much.

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n2nbaby
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Studying up before The Ferryman#4
Posted: 4/1/19 at 6:48pm
I also knew just about nothing about The Troubles and had no issue following the play.

It’s amazing - enjoy!
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Wick3
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Studying up before The Ferryman#5
Posted: 4/1/19 at 6:56pm

all i did was read the wikipedia page on it and I was fine. I agree with others you don't need to know much about the Troubles beforehand.

LLW2
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Studying up before The Ferryman#6
Posted: 4/1/19 at 6:59pm

I agree with the others that there's no need to study up, but if you're determined to, you might want to take look at the recent book Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. I'm reading it now as the play got me interested in learning more about that time.

https://www.amazon.com/Say-Nothing-Murder-Northern-Ireland/dp/0385521316

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Studying up before The Ferryman#7
Posted: 4/1/19 at 7:21pm

Fun Fact: I read this this thread title, and my tired brain thought it said "staying up before the Ferryman" and I was all prepared to launch into a list of tricks to stay awake during a long show despite having "stayed up" late the night before. 

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Studying up before The Ferryman#8
Posted: 4/1/19 at 7:36pm

JBroadway said: "Fun Fact: I read this this thread title, and my tired brain thought it said"staying up before the Ferryman" and I was all preparedto launch into a list of tricks to stay awake during a long show despite having "stayed up" late the night before."

Haha. For the Ferryman I think the trick to staying awake is making sure you're in the right theater. The show will take care of the rest.

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henrikegerman
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Studying up before The Ferryman#9
Posted: 4/1/19 at 8:50pm

Jarethan said: "I loved The Ferryman, thought it was extraordinary theatre. Going into it, I knew nothing about the troubles, beyond what I saw in fictional movies over the years. It didn't make a difference. In fact IMO (and I may be in the minority here), the play was first and foremost about a large extended farming family just trying to get by in a period in which there was enormous unrest et al. When the Troubles were more front and center, you still didn't need to know anything about them, beyond what you heard from the actors, and the emotional impact they had on lives, the passion of those who had a more violent solution."ical 

Agree.  Though no doubt some people would prefer more of a historically informed context, I, who was in the same boat as Jarethan, found the play to be exquisite. 

OP, I think you'll likely be fine without doing extended research.  Just know  that there's been a very long revolutionary movement for pan-Irish independence that's noble in spirit but at times oppressively corrupt in execution.

 

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uncageg
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Studying up before The Ferryman#10
Posted: 4/1/19 at 9:09pm
Not knowing actually stopped me from seeing it with the original cast, forgetting I could just research it! I have a friend who lived over there and he filled me in more. I am finally seeing it this week. May do another brush up on it but also, everyone I know who saw it said you didn't need to know all about it.
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Kitsune
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Studying up before The Ferryman#11
Posted: 4/1/19 at 11:50pm

JBroadway said: "Fun Fact: I read this this thread title, and my tired brain thought it said"staying up before the Ferryman" and I was all preparedto launch into a list of tricks to stay awake during a long show despite having "stayed up" late the night before."

Okay, this gave me a good chuckle Studying up before The Ferryman This is why I typically buy tickets in advance rather than rushing - it's tiring enough being in New York without adding an early morning onto it!!!

Thanks to everyone who weighed in. I still may read up, but it sounds like it's not necessary. 

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uncageg
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Studying up before The Ferryman#12
Posted: 4/5/19 at 11:59pm
Saw it tonight. Decided to read the Wikipedia page on the way to the theater. It did help to have the basic knowledge going in. You don't have to know the whole history but know what The Troubles was and who was involved and you will be fine. It lasted for a long time so i read the beginnings of it and bits and pieces through the years.

The show is really good.
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dphibbs94
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Studying up before The Ferryman#13
Posted: 4/6/19 at 8:50am

I went into The Ferryman completely cold and it was a thrilling experience. I'd advise everyone to do the same. 

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Studying up before The Ferryman#14
Posted: 4/6/19 at 10:08am

dphibbs94 said: "I went into The Ferryman completely cold and it was a thrilling experience. I'd advise everyone to do the same."

I did too and I completely agree.

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Studying up before The Ferryman#15
Posted: 4/6/19 at 11:42am
Same here. Did no cramming and found the play to be completely self-explanatory and one of the great theatrical experiences of my life.
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Maggie05
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Studying up before The Ferryman#16
Posted: 4/6/19 at 12:23pm

I knew quite a bit about the Troubles, having traveled to Dublin and learning about the "Easter Uprising" and then traveling to Northern Ireland and Derry. I felt that prior knowledge did enrich my understanding of the play, but I'm sure it wasn't necessary.

And either way, that play was fantastic. I saw it weeks ago, and I am still talking about it with my husband.

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Studying up before The Ferryman#17
Posted: 4/7/19 at 10:03pm
I saw this 2 weeks ago and also went in cold. I thought the play was pretty easy to follow.