The Silver Tassie’s 1935 Abbey premiere

Famously rejected by Yeats in 1928, this play caused a split between the Abbey Theatre and Sean O’Casey. It went on to premiere in the Apollo Theatre in London and it was seven years later before it appeared at the Abbey Theatre. Barry Fitzgerald played Sylvester Heegan alongside a cast of leading Abbey actors in this production, directed by his brother, Arthur Shields. During the 1930s there was a focus on producing new plays outside of the canon. As well as a warning to ladies to remove their hats, the programme features an advertisement for an Abbey Theatre Play Competition. There was also an intention to re-imagine those plays in a new setting and to that end the leading artists of the day were invited to design the sets. Maurice Mc Gonigal, grandfather of Fiach Mac Conghail worked on this production.

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