The Fays of the Abbey Theatre: An Autobiographical Record

By W. G. Fay; Catherine Carswell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V

THAT was a great evening. Our cosy little house was crowded. All that was best in Dublin life, of whatever colour in religion or politics, was represented -- political Nationalism by John Dillon and Stephen Gwynn, literature by W. B. Yeats, "Æ" and Edward Martyn and art by J. B. Yeats and Hugh Lane. The Manchester Guardian took the occasion so seriously that it sent its most promising young man, a Mr. John Masefield (who has done well since then if one can believe the newspapers) to report on our doings. The only flaw in the proceedings was that neither of the two ladies who were doing so much for us was able to be present -- Miss Horniman because she had had to return to England, and Lady Gregory because she was on a bed of sickness.

According to our custom at that time we gave a quadruple bill, consisting of two revivals and two new plays. The revivals were Kathleen ni Houlihan and In the Shadow of the Glen. The novelties were Mr. Yeats's one-act blank verse tragedy, On Baile's Strand, and Spreading the News, the first and most uproarious of the many delicious half-hours of fooling with which Lady Gregory was to enrich the repertory of the Abbey Theatre. Speaking for myself I maintain that Hyacinth Halvey is her masterpiece in that kind, but Spreading the News has always been the most popular. It has the simple universal appeal -- the "Russian Scandal" motive -- that makes it what the Americans call "sure fire," and it goes with a bang from the first

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The Fays of the Abbey Theatre: An Autobiographical Record
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Foreword *
  • Postscript *
  • Contents *
  • List of Illustrations *
  • Part I - Before 1
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 10
  • Chapter III 25
  • Chapter IV 38
  • Chapter V 60
  • Chapter VI 81
  • Part II - The Abbey 103
  • Chapter I 105
  • Chapter II 122
  • Chapter III 136
  • Chapter IV 151
  • Chapter V 164
  • Chapter VI 173
  • Chapter VII 185
  • Chapter VIII 200
  • Chapter IX 211
  • Part III - After 233
  • Chapter I 235
  • Chapter II 248
  • Chapter III 270
  • Chapter IV 286
  • List of First Productions, with Casts 298
  • Index 311
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