Abbey Theatre in the Irish Literary Renaissance Criticism: Plays And Controversies - Essay

Lady Augusta Gregory (essay date 1913)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Gregory, Lady Augusta. “The Fight Over The Playboy.” In Our Irish Theatre: A Chapter of Autobiography, pp. 109-18. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1913.

[In the following chapter from her autobiography, Lady Gregory reflects on the controversy that resulted from the Abbey Theatre's staging of John Millington Synge's peasant play The Playboy of the Western World.]

When Synge's Shadow of the Glen was first played in the Molesworth Hall in 1903, some attacks were made on it by the Sinn Fein weekly newspaper. In the play the old husband pretends to be dead, the young wife listens to the offers of a young farmer, who asks her to marry him in...

(The entire section is 2143 words.)

Lady Augusta Gregory (essay date 1913)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Gregory, Lady Augusta. “The Fight With the Castle.” In Our Irish Theatre: A Chapter of Autobiography, pp. 140-68. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1913.

[In the following essay, Lady Gregory describes the contributions that playwright George Bernard Shaw made to the Abbey Theatre, along with the resulting battle over censorship.]

In the summer of 1909 I went one day from London to Ayot St. Lawrence, a Hertfordshire village, to consult Mr. Bernard Shaw on some matters connected with our Theatre. When I was leaving, he gave me a little book, The Shewing up of Blanco Posnet, which had just been printed, although not published. It had, however, been...

(The entire section is 6097 words.)

Robert G. Lowery (essay date 1984)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Lowery, Robert G. Introduction to A Whirlwind in Dublin: ‘The Plough and the Stars’ Riots, edited by Robert G. Lowery, pp. 3-7. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1984.

[In the following essay, an introduction to a book-length collection of reviews of Sean O'Casey's play The Plough and the Stars, performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1926, Lowery compares the Abbey audience of 1907, when the audiences rioted in response to Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, with the 1926 audience that vehemently protested the Abbey's production of O'Casey's play.]

O'Casey is considered by many the only Irish playwright who can thus far...

(The entire section is 1489 words.)

David Cairns and Shaun Richards (essay date autumn 1987)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Cairns, David, and Shaun Richards. “Reading a Riot: The ‘Reading Formation’ of Synge's Abbey Audience.” Literature and History 13, no. 2 (autumn 1987): 219-37.

[In the following essay, Cairns and Richards argue that the nationalist ideology and mythologized nostalgia that produced the Irish Literary Revival to some extent “scripted” the ways in which the early twentieth-century Dublin audience responded to Synge's play The Playboy of the Western World.]

The Playboy ‘riots’—along with those of Hugo's Hernani, Jarry's Ubu Roi, O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars—are among the few undisputed ‘facts’ of literary...

(The entire section is 9305 words.)

Lucy McDiarmid (essay date 2000)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: McDiarmid, Lucy. “The Abbey and the Theatrics of Controversy, 1909-1915.” In A Century of Irish Drama: Widening the State, edited by Stephen Watt, Eileen Morgan, and Shakir Mustafa, pp. 57-71. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000.

[In the following essay, McDiarmid argues that three early controversies—the censorship of Shaw's The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet, the American response to Synge's Playboy, and the debate over whether to produce Shaw's play, O'Flaherty VC—helped the Abbey define itself artistically and strategically as a national theater.]

The history of the early Abbey Theatre offers a good means of understanding...

(The entire section is 7490 words.)