New Books: Information & Extracts

Viewpoints

Clair Bracken, Emma Radley (eds)
Publisher
Cork University Press
Price
€39
ISBN
9781859184967

In Fergus's Wedding, Lorraine and 'Perfect Day Productions' operate in similar terms, as post-feminist employees of the symbolic order of twenty-first-century Ireland. However, even though Paths to Freedom and Fergus's Wedding both cri­tique a capitalist symbolic order in which the division between producer and product, lively agent and passive support, can be easily confused in a system whereby the body of support appears active in its supporting role, they can also be read as continuing the fundamental gendering of this operation. Helen and Lorraine, post-feminist prod­ucts and symbols of capitalism, are 'extras' that are removed at the end of both series; as instances of Irigaray's incorporated femininity, they are ejected in the shows' bid to reconfigure the cultural and social meanings of Celtic Tiger Ireland. For example, in Fergus's Wedding, Fergus specifically refers to Lorraine as an excessive extra early on in the series, when he states his resistance to hiring her:

fergus: Wedding organiser - what type of a makey-uppy job is that?

penny: She has already come up with a wonderful cupid motif

 

Fergus: What is a motif? What is a motif and how much is it going to cost me?

As the show progresses, Lorraine herself becomes a 'motif for all the excesses and extras of the Celtic Tiger period - the post-feminist working girl as a caricature of wasteful times. As a wedding planner, she is continuously associated with objects constructed as non-nec­essary (flowers, dresses, menus), an association that works to frame her body in similarly excessive terms.

Fergus's Wedding concludes the day after the wedding. It also ends with the bankruptcy of 'Perfect Day Productions'. The final scene is a montage, composed of shots that begin and end with Penny and Fergus in the airport bar before going on honeymoon. In the first shot, they sing the lyrics of the Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes love song 'Up Where We Belong' (1982), which then becomes the back­ground score of the sequence, which pictures guests of the wedding still lingering at the hotel in various (mainly hungover) conditions. In one of these shots, Lorraine answers her phone and says: 'Perfect Day Productions went bankrupt. Yes, just this minute actually. No, no, you can't speak to Lorraine, she died. Yes very sad, tragic. Yeah. I've a load of calls to make, thanking you.'