The Abbey Theatre Fire

At first glance the damage resulting from the Abbey Theatre fire doesn’t look as dramatic as expected. However, the safety curtain served its purpose and for the most part protected the auditorium from serious damage. The stock of costumes, props, and scripts were stored backstage and were particularly vulnerable. The play in production was The Plough and the Stars by Sean O’Casey. Ironically the play ends with the two English ‘Tommies’ singing “Keep the Home Fires Burning”. Staff and actors who took part in the immediate clean up operations recalled rescuing costumes and borrowing props from other theatres allowing them to transfer the play to the Peacock stage the next night.

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