This collection brings together some of the best and most frequently performed plays by John Arden and Margaretta D'Arcy whose collaboration stems from the political years of the Sixties
The Business of Good Government is a nativity play which develops a sense of a disappearing community; Ars Longa Vita Brevis is composed out of children's games and The Royal Pardon tells the story of the adventures of a group of strolling players who fall in with a deserter from the war in Flanders. Other plays in this collection such as Little Gray Home in the West and The Vandaleur's Folly arise from the highly charged political arena of the 1970s in Ireland.
Arden and D'Arcy have been consistently interested in using drama to extend the very boundaries of national identity and human freedom.
Margaretta D'Arcy is an Irish theatre practitioner who has worked with improvisational and theatre techniques since the 1950s. Married to the late John Arden, she often collaborated with him, producing works such as The Happy Haven (1960), The Hero Rises Up (1968), The Island of the Mighty (1972), The Non-Stop Connolly Show (1975), as well as radio plays, Muggins is a Martyr (1968), The Manchester Enthusiasts (1984), Whose is the Kingdom (1988) and A Suburban Suicide (1994). Her Galway's Pirate Women, a global trawl tells the story of the pirate radio station she ran from her house in Galway. Other books include Tell Them Everything, a memoir of her imprisonment in the H-Block in Northern Ireland; Awkward Corners, essays, poems etc. She is a member of Aosdána, the arts organisation in Ireland.