A 1907 poster proudly promotes Irish Plays

They say in the early days all you needed was the name of the play to sell the show. But as you can see here there was actually a mine of information on the early Abbey Theatre posters and they can provide a window into the workings of the theatre at the time.

IRISH PLAYS is brandished proudly, displaying the founders’ emphasis on new work and setting the Abbey Theatre apart from other theatrical ventures of the day.

Three one act plays were being presented for three nights only – this showcases a busy and prolific producing and rental theatre. Lady Gregory, W.B. Yeats and Padraic Colm were on the billing.

Annie Horniman is acknowledged as the Leasee, the person holding the lease on the building at the time and William Fay is acknowledged as General Manager and Stage Director. The Casts of all three plays are displayed prominently as well as the roles they would play in each piece. Curiously set and costume designers were not acknowledged until some years later. Ticket prices also feature, the stalls being the most expensive seats priced at 3 shillings while the back pit seats were six pence.

All the early Abbey Theatre posters and programmes were printed by Dublin firm Corrigan and Wilson.

The typography used on today’s Abbey Theatre posters is inspired by this original typography and style.

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