Founder of Abbey Theatre Recalls How National Project Came to Life

Currently performing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Gaiety Theatre, Frank Fay today gave an interview to the Irish Times where he told the story of how the Abbey Theatre came into being. He recalled how the founders had  been inspired by a similar project in Norway. Along with his brother, the actor William Fay, they created a company to perform Irish plays. Fay tells how they wanted to move away from the Irish stereotype where ‘there were plenty of people ridiculing the Irish accent as a funny thing’ and, instead, have Irish creativity treated with reverence. They opened on 4 April 1902 with performances of Russell’s Deirdre and Yeats’ Kathleen Ni Houlihan at the Abstinence Hall on Clarendon Street.

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Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.