The Dublin Theatre Festival has been an annual fixture in theatre-goers calendars since 1957.

During the 1970s, part of the festival included a new work by an Irish playwright at the Abbey Theatre. In 1975, the chosen play was Tom Murphy's 'The Sanctuary Lamp'. The tale of three down-and-outs who seek shelter in a church proved controversial. 

Des Hickey asks the playwright if he had meant to outrage audiences in this radio interview.

I expected that there would be a very strong reaction to it, because in the way it was written, I was reacting very strongly myself to accepted beliefs. But what is gratifying to me is that there is reaction to it, positive reaction, because I suppose indifference is the worst thing to fear.

Hickey thinks that Murphy is the only festival playwright who had a symposium held about his play after the play.

This edition of ‘The Arts: Appraisal’ was broadcast on 21 October 1975.