Influence of Bertolt Brecht on Máiréad Ní Ghráda

Máiréad Ní Ghráda was a writer very much influenced by Bertolt Brecht.  She wrote ‘An Triail’ in the style of Brecht.

Mairead Ní Ghráda

Bertolt Brecht





Why did she do this and who was Bertolt Brecht?

  • Bertolt Brecht was one of the most important theorists and writers in the history of world drama.
  • He was born in Germany and lived from 1898 to 1956.
  • He was a socialist and believed that where drama was concerned it should be revolutionary and generate debate.
  • He developed the theory of ‘Epic Theatre’, which placed emphasis on the lessons to be learnt from drama.
  • Brecht inspired the audience to deeply contemplate the subject matter during the drama.
  • He developed the alienation technique known as ‘Verfremsdungeffekt’.  Actors usually work on creating a connection with the audience.  One of the main aspect’s of this technique is that the character is of no importance.  All emphasis is placed on the subject of debate created by the drama.
  • Brecht used stereotypes to tell a moral story because of this.
  • Live shows such as ‘Cabaret’ which were popular in Berlin in the 20’s had a big influence on him.
  • He decided to use song and dance in his dramas’.
  • Brecht’s plays contained many short scenes and loads of characters.
  • He discussed a lot of current socialist questions in his plays.
  • Máiréad Ní Ghráda stayed loyal to Brecht’s ideology when she wrote ‘An Triail’.  Fíbín develops this further using masks, Comedia dell’Arte, puppets and multimedia in their production.