By John O'Riordan
An in depth advisor and research of playwright Sean O'Casey's works - performs and Playlets- via John O'Riordan. Touches on 23 of his O'Casey's works.
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The sniping and in-fighting which had characterised the AngloIrish guerrilla war of 1919-1921 were brought to only a brief halt, when both sides agreed to a tenuous truce in midsummer 1921. And, following the precarious treaty signed between Britain and Ireland in London later that year, Ireland, in 1922, drifted into a dastardly civil uprising emanating from the factitious wording of the treaty, which did not concede an all-Ireland republic- as many had hoped - but established, instead, an Irish Free State with near-sovereign powers for all Ireland, with the exception of six Ulster counties and -most contentiously of all, in the eyes of dewy-eyed revolutionaries and gunmen- required an Oath of Allegiance to the British Crown from members of the Irish Parliament, or Dail, in virtue of an alleged common citizenship between the two countries and the new Free State's membership of the Commonwealth.
Subsequent revivals have included Gloria Monty's at Long Island in 1950, the Cheryl Crawford-Joel Schenker run in 1958, and the 1972 Sheridan Square Playhouse New York presentation, with Philip Minor as director (all in sharp contrast to the cold reception 32 A Guide to O'Casey's Plays of the play's early history in Chicago). In 1981, the Abbey featured the play, directed by Joe Dowling, at the Baltimore International Theatre Festival, with subsequent tours m Washington, Philadelphia and Boston.
The 1972 Comedie de Saint-Etienne showing won further acclaim. In Germany, its premiere at East Berlin's Kammerspiele des Deutschen Theaters, in 1954, directed by Rudolf Wessely, struck instant response, even though its revival in West Berlin in 1962 was less successful. In Italy, Florentine audiences responded warmly in 1968, when the visiting Abbey Company, on its first Italian tour, staged a hit, with Vincent Dowling's production, at the city's Teatro della Pergola. In the centennial year, 1980, Siobhan McKenna directed at Vienna's English Theatre.
A Guide to O’Casey’s Plays: From the Plough to the Stars by John O'Riordan