Vincent Dowling

Life
Artistic director of the Abbey; his book-reviews include an account of Robert Welch, The Abbey Theatre (OUP [1999]).

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Works
Astride the Moon: A Theatrical Life (Dublin: Wolfhound Press [2001]), 365pp.

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Commentary
C. L. Dallat
, review of Astride the Moon: A Theatrical Life in Times Literary Supplement, (11 May 2001), book notices: reviewer remarks on author’s freedom from the usual theme of flight from fides, lingua and patria, the absence of childhood squalor à la McCourt, and the untroubled religious faith, despite a sex life … like that of modern Ireland as a whole; ‘The opportunity of lecturing well-heeled Yankee sons of the daughter of Houlihan (incl. Edward Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill) on the iniquities of life in the “British-held” North of Ireland, a territory of which, this account shows he knew little, was an unexpected late bonus.’; ‘earned a living in the middle years of the last century in the first state-subsidised theatre in the world, under a management that regarded the theatre as “a form of national defence”; calls the author a slightly leftish Dubliner and the contents of the book an account of stand-offs between him and the then director Ernest Blythe, a Northern Protestant, ex-IRA man and former finance minister [who] attempted to promote cultural orthodoxy by both auditioning actors, and printing their names, in Irish; ‘Dowling, never troubled by a second language, learned just enough to scrape through …’.

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