The Abbey Theatre: The First 100 Years
- 1h 41m
The story of Ireland's National Theatre, the Abbey Theatre, from its humble beginnings in 1904 to its centenary year in 2004.The story of Ireland's National Theatre, the Abbey Theatre, from its humble beginnings in 1904 to its centenary year in 2004.The story of Ireland's National Theatre, the Abbey Theatre, from its humble beginnings in 1904 to its centenary year in 2004.
A feature length Documentary by John Lynch on Ireland's world famous Abbey Theatre which celebrates its centenary in 2004. The Abbey Theatre - The First 100 Years features stories and contributions from renowned writers, actors and Directors and others associated with the Abbey through interviews, archive footage and live performance and shows how the theatre has reflected a changing Ireland over the past 100 years. The story of the coming together of William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory, two writers in the Anglo Irish tradition with little money, to found the Abbey in 1904 is fascinating in terms of its vision and its achievement. One hundred years later the reputation of the Abbey is internationally known but the details of the struggle for the survival of the founders "High Ambition" is not so well known. The struggle continues today although the founders have long departed this life, yet they still seem to be members of the Board. The continuity of purpose, vision and achievement is remarkably evident today; it has not always been so, for the story is one of change upon change but somehow managing to remain the same. It is the story of genius demanding genius, personal feuds, friendships, betrayals, political interference as always happens when people with large egos try to work together, it is full of intrigue. On another level it is the story of the work, the ideas, the writing, the acting, the riots in Ireland and America, the fire which destroyed the theatre in 1951, the new theatre in 1966 and the emergence of a new school of writers which will lead the Abbey through the next 100 years. —J.L.
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