By Robert Hogan
Read Online or Download After the Irish Renaissance: A Critical History of the Irish Drama since The Plough and The Stars PDF
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Additional resources for After the Irish Renaissance: A Critical History of the Irish Drama since The Plough and The Stars
The problem, however, is that tragedy requires a richness of texture which The Karavoes lacks. If the author's caution had not led him to put his explosive fable in faraway Hungary, if he had set it in the peasant Ireland that he knew, and if he had written it in the rich peasant idiom that he could fluently command, then he might have written a tragedy instead of only a very actable melodrama. A Flutter of Wings caused a flutter of surprise among Murray's friends, for it was his first Abbey rejection after twenty years of writing for the theatre.
I myself am not an apologist for Blythe; I think his directorship is largely responsible for the theatre's deterioration. But some criticisms of his policy have been motivated by those typically Dublinish qualities of spleen and envy, and the pamphlet makes clear that there are points in his favor. He did engineer the government subsidy, and he has helped to increase that subsidy until it is now ten times what it once was. He also kept the Abbey going in its long, commercially difficult exile in Pearse Street; when he talks of the commercial necessities of the theatre he knows more what he is talking about than do most of his critics.
The witty savagery of this continuing onslaught may have risen partly from the Irish climate which seems conducive to spleen, partly from the theatre's occasional improbable standards of excellence, and partly from a bored irritation with plays which, despite their frequent merit, often resembled each other. Actually, that resemblance was sometimes more apparent than real. It seemed real because of the actors' unvaryingly broad manner of playing. A sophisticated comedy by Lennox Robinson and a dour drama by George Shiels were both likely to come across the footlights as broad farce.