Winter 1965 • Vol. XXVII No. 1 Department KR: A Section of Briefer Comment |

This Dying Lark

The behan story, in a way, begins with the Playboy riots of 1907. Irish nationalism, the Establishment-to-be, had fuelled (and, of course, was fuelled by) the new drama but Synge had dared to call a spade a shovel, and so rose the hullabaloo-clamorous reminder that, if there was to be theatre in Ireland, it must be theatre according to the rules. The O'Casey riots emphasized the point, and O'Casey's departure—granted his quarrel was more with The Abbey than the mob—was, in its consequences, an Establishment victory. Denis Johnston, through the '30s, was too hot for The Abbey to handle—The Gate Theatre gave him refuge. By the '40s, respectability had won: the writers had been driven from theatre to the comparative safety of the short-story and the lyric poem. Do you dare to write a play? Behan dared but, by now, the venue had to be London. Truth might flourish in Stratford, E15, but in Dublin the blinds were down. This then—the manner in which the stifling of a theatre is

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Involved Humanity

By Thomas MacIntyre

The behan story, in a way, begins with the Playboy riots of 1907. Irish nationalism, the Establishment-to-be, had fuelled (and, of course, was fuelled by) the new drama but Synge […]

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