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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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‘What if the Church and State are the mob that howls at the door?’: Fighting the Irish at Home and Abroad, 1927–1934

‘What if the Church and State are the mob that howls at the door?’: Fighting the Irish at Home and Abroad, 1927–1934

Chapter:
(p.107) 5 ‘What if the Church and State are the mob that howls at the door?’: Fighting the Irish at Home and Abroad, 1927–1934
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/9780199590575.003.0005

In 1927 Eamon de Valera entered constitutional politics with Fianna Fáil. This chapter addresses the rise of conservatism as Fianna Fáil and Cumann na nGaedheal (the ruling party) competed for the votes of Catholic constituents. It argues that Lennox Robinson's play Give a Dog was withheld from production due to concerns that its production would endanger the subsidy. This censorship was instigated by Lady Gregory, not the new government‐appointed representative Walter Starkie. Fianna Fáil won the 1932 election, and the Abbey felt the effects of the new conservatism immediately. The American political party, Fianna Fáil, Inc., objected to the Abbey's touring programme—particularly to the plays of O'Casey—and urged the Irish government to institute control over the Abbey's productions. During this period the Abbey directors maintained a delicate balance between their public defiance of censorship and private negotiations with de Valera. This chapter also argues that Denis Johnston's play Shadowdance (later The Old Lady Says No!) was not censored but rejected on aesthetic grounds.

Keywords:   de Valera, Lennox Robinson, Walter Starkie, O'Casey, Denis Johnston

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