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W.B. Yeats, the Abbey Theatre, Censorship, and the Irish StateAdding the Half-pence to the Pence$
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Lauren Arrington

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590575.001.0001

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‘All think what other people think’: George O'Brien's Tenure, 1925–1926

‘All think what other people think’: George O'Brien's Tenure, 1925–1926

Chapter:
(p.72) 4 ‘All think what other people think’: George O'Brien's Tenure, 1925–1926
Source:
W.B. Yeats, the Abbey Theatre, Censorship, and the Irish State
Author(s):

Lauren Arrington

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590575.003.0004

As a result of the subsidy, the government placed a representative on the Abbey's board of directors. This chapter analyses the brief tenure of the first government‐appointed director, George O'Brien. O'Brien's role was intended as that of financial adviser, but he interpreted his position as government censor. O'Brien objected to Lennox Robinson's The White Blackbird (due to its suggestion of incest) and to sexual references and explicit language in Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars. The Abbey was in a relatively secure financial position due to allies in government (particularly Ernest Blythe and Thomas Johnston), so the directors were confident in ignoring O'Brien's interventions and in defying attempts at public censorship during the riots over the Plough and the Stars.

Keywords:   George O'Brien, O'Casey, Lennox Robinson, Blythe, Thomas Johnston, riots, Plough and the Stars

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