The Dance of Death

Carlo Gebler

About the book…

Transposing Strindberg's epic cycle from Sweden to an isolated British Army garrison off the west coast of Ireland between 1913 and the Easter Rising of 1916, Carlo Gebler's adaptation sheds new light on the imaginative underpinnings of contemporary Ireland and reinvigorates StrindbergÍs original and then-revolutionary autopsy of marital fidelity and despair. 

Critically acclaimed on its premiere at London's Tricycle Theatre in 1998, this new version is a painfully honest yet salutatory investigation of public hypocrisy and private despair. It vividly portrays a marriage, a caste and a society on the verge of atrophy and despair. 

Behind the dark laughter, the Dance of Death sings with a contemporary relevance-uncomfortable, challenging yet profoundly memorable.

Photo of the author, Carlo Gebler

About the author…

Carlo Gébler was born Dublin in 1954, the eldest son of writer parents, Ernest Gébler and Edna O'Brien. He was educated at Bedales School, the University of York, where he studied English, and the National Film & Television School. He has a PhD from Queen's University, Belfast.

Carlo Gébler started his career in television and made a number of documentary films for Channel 4 and others including Over Here, Plain Tales from Northern Ireland, Put to the Test, Student Life, and The Suspecting Glance.

His most recent work for television was The Siege (2013), about the 1689 siege of Derry, aired on BBC Northern Ireland, which he wrote and presented. 

Carlo Gébler is also the author of several novels including; August in July (1987), Malachy and his Family (1991), Life of a Drum (1992), The Cure (1995), How To Murder a Man (1999), A Good Day for a Dog (2008), and The Eleventh Summer (2002) and, most recently, The Dead Eight (2011), which was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. His other works include the short story collection W9 & Other Lives (2011), as well as several works of non-fiction including his memoir, Father & I (2001), and the narrative history, The Siege of Derry (2008).

He has also written several novels for children including Caught on a Train, (2001) which was awarded the Bisto prize, and August ’44, (2003), as well as several plays for both radio and the stage, including; Dance of Death,  December Bride, 10 Rounds, Henry & Harriet,  and, most recently, Charles & Mary. a play for BBC Radio 3, about the lives of the brother and sister who wrote the classic children’s introduction to Shakespeare.

Carlo Gébler’s other literary work includes the librettos for Adolf Gébler, Clarinettist and The Room for the Tower.

He has also written extensively in publications such as the Critical Quarterly, The Dublin Review, Fiction Magazine, The Financial Times, The Guardian, and The Irish Independent, amongst others.

As well as his film-making and literary work, Carlo Gébler has also worked as a teacher and academic. In the early nineties he was the creative writing tutor at the Maze prison and since 1997 he has been the writer-in-residence in HMP Maghaberry. In addition he has taught creative writing at Trinity College, Dublin, where he has been a visiting fellow four times, and at Queen’s University, Belfast. 

Carlo Gebler was elected  a member of the Aosdána in 1990.  He is a past chairman of the Irish Writers’ Centre. He is married with five children and currently resides outside Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.