Bog TV: From The Vault: The Behans

1: A recording of Joan Littlewood’s production of Brendan Behan’s play THE HOSTAGE at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Joan’s anti-established theatrical pomp and phoniness bringing to the world real, and radical theatre, and via Maggie Bury E15 Acting School.

Ewan MacColl was also a founder member of Theatre Workshop, whilst married to Joan Littlewood, he then married Jean Newlove the mother of Kirsty MacColl who was one of the kids of Theatre Workshop born the year of this recording.

2: archive footage from Canadian Television of Brendan Behan debating national revolutions and independence with a variety of supporters and opponents of human freedom. A good introduction to Behan’s politics, his eloquence,a nd his skilful debate.

3: In late 1961, a film version of ‘The Quare Fellow’ was made in Ireland. Director Arthur Dreifuss, on location at Kilmainham Gaol, talks about his own opposition to capital punishment and the power of Behan’s play in showing an audience how society at that time was exacting its justice.

4: Brendan Behan talks about the reality of hanging.

5: Brendan Behan continues to inspire resistance and the alliance of art and social movements. Here are Glen Hansard and Damien Demspey giving a rousing version of The Ould Triangle in front of a crowd of tens of thousands at a recent anti-water charges demo in Dublin.

6: Domic Behan’s recording of rebel songs and spoken word excerpts from Irish revolutionary documents.

“I bought this album sometime in the 60s. Dom Behan’s rendering of Pearse’s panegyric at the graveside of O’Donovan Rossa is the best I’ve heard. The court martial speeches on side 2 are moving and inspiring. Second track on side 2 is my favourite James Connolly song.” says John McGill