A look at the life of the Irish dramatist and short story writer George Fitzmaurice, with accounts from those who knew him personally. (Broadcast 1972)
The life of George Fitzmaurice was one of paradox. He was a playwright who didn't like to go to see a play, particularly if it was his own work. He instead, preferred the music hall.
His greatest commercial success was his 1907 play 'The Country Dressmaker' which was staged at the Abbey Theatre. Earlier that same year, John Millington Synge's The Playboy of the Western World had caused a riot at the theatre, and there were fears that Fitzmaurices comedy may have the same negative effect. However, audience reaction was very positive and some say it rescued the Abbey in a time of crisis.
Due to health reasons he had to leave the civil service in 1908 and this gave him the opportunity to devote more time to his writing.
His next play 'The Pie Dish' wasn't as successful though and this led to a series of rejections for his subsequent work. A classic case of a unique writer whose best output was ignored during his lifetime.
This documentary includes extracts from his plays The Pie Dish, The Moonlighter, The Dandy Dolls and The Magic Glasses.
Produced and Presented by Kieran Sheedy.
First broadcast 25th June 1972.
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