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Cheryl Herr, For The Land They Loved (1991), writes: Addressing the Irish Literary Theatre 26 Mar 1900 Holloway, ever the champion of the Queens Royal Theatre (commonly abbrev. as the Queens) professed to give a pittites perspective on modern drama that countered the censures of his more educated contemporaries, literature must take a back seat to the dramatic effectiveness of the work performed; The non-playgoing high-and-mighty literary critics ... pretend to know all about what state work ought to be, and despise all real playgoers like myself, for not agreeing with their estimate. [22-23.] See also remarks on Whitbreads Wolfe Tone, quoted fully in here [from] Excerpts from Irish Drama and Modern Dublin, in Irish Playgoer, 12 and 19 Apr. 1900. Holloway became an enthusiastic supporter of the Abbey Theatre. [ftn. 39, p.244]
Stephen Watts, Joyce, OCasey, and the Irish Popular Theater (1991), Frank Fay, during his brief tenure as drama critic for the United Irishman between 1899 and 1902 cast Queens melodrama in the role of nonliterary ...  See Ftn., Frank Fays Towards A National Theatre, ed. Robt. Hogan (Dolmen 1970), which collects his best reviews from United Irishman. In Aug 1899 Fay reviewed Wolfe Tone in a mildly positive way, although he disagreed with the subtitle A Romantic Irish Drama. For Fay, Whitebreads play was really neither more nor less than a well-constructed melodrama with some of the leading incidents of Wolfe Tones career ulilised to produce those dramatic situations to which its success is due. See Towards a National Theatre, pp. 24-26.
James W. Flannery, The Fays and the Early Abbey Theatre, in Yeats and the Idea of a Theatre (1976), cites Yeatss comments connection with the Fays, notably a letter to Lady Gregory in which he declared that if it were necessary to prove his sincerity to the nationalists by making himself unpopular to wealth he would have to accept the baptism of the gutter (Letters, ed. Hone, p.339; Flannery, p.175, ftn.81.) Also comments on Frank Fays enthusiastic yet judicious review of the final series of plays presented by the Irish Literary Theatre (viz, Casadh na Sugain and Diarmuid and Grania): To my mind the reatest triumph of the authors lies in having written a play in which English actors are intolerable. All the way through the play the English voice grates on ones ears, and the stolid English temperament was equally at variance with what one wanted. They actors did not act the play as if they beleived in it; the fact is they could not, for it is not in their nature. I do not, therefore, intend to say anything about the interpretation, because the play was not interpreted at all. (The Irish Literary Theatre, in The United Irishman, 26 Oct. 1901; rep. in Towards a National Theatre, ed. Robert Hogan, 1970, p.71; Flannery, p.166-67) [further extract under Maud Gonne, RX].
James W. Flannery (The Fays and the Early Abbey Theatre): The Fays and the Early Abbey Theatre, 1976): Yeats first saw the Fays company, National Dramatic Society acting in Alice Milligans Red Hugh (Aug. 1901), and came away with his head on fire, I wanted to hear my own unfinished On Bailes Strand, to hear Greek tragedy spoken, spoken with a Dublin accent. After consulting with Lady Gregory, I gave William Fay my Cathleen ni Houlihan, the first play where dialect was not used with an exclusively comic intention, to be produced in April 1902, in a hall attached to a church in a back street (p.449; [Flannery p.174].) Fay writes critically of Yeats, Mr Yeats can, undoubtedly, be an immense power for good in our Theatres ... but if he insists on sitting among the stars or living in the land of feary [sic] of which he and I and all our countrymen are only to fond, he can be of no use to us at present. ... In Ireland we are at present only to anxious to shun reality. Our drama ought to teach us to face it. Let Mr Yeats give us plays in verse or prose that will rouse this sleeping land. There is a heard of Saxon and other swine fattening on us. They must be swept into the sea along with the pestilent breed of West Britons with which we are troubled, or they will sweep us there. (in The United Irishman, May 1901.)
James W. Flannery (The Fays and the Early Abbey Theatre): In interview, Fay said, Theres no use trying to force a new kind of drama down its [the publics] throat. Its all right to tell people they ought to know better, but its a costly business trying to prove it to them (interview with Burns Mantle, Chicago 1908; Fay Papers, NLI, Ms.5981; Flannery, 189). Flannerys Bibliog. includes T. G. Keller, The Irish Theatre Movement: Some Early Memories, in Sunday Indpendent (6 Jan. 1929); Joseph Holloway, Impressions of a Dublin Playgoer (21 Sept. 1906; NLI MMS 1804; also (29 June 1915; NLI Ms 4456, pp.1471-73 [contains list of articles on theatre from 1882 compiled by Fay]; Andre J. Stewart, The Acting of the Abbey Theatre, in Theatre Arts, XVII (Mar 1933), p.245; Dudley Digges, A theatre was Made, in The Irish Digest (Oct. 1939), p.14; Padraic Colum, Early Days of the Irish Theatre, in The Dublin Magazine (Oct.-Dec. 1949), p.15; Maire Ní Shuilbhlaigh, The Splendid Years (1955); also Lectures and scrapbooks of Frank Fay, NLI, MSS 10951-53 [incl. untitled essay on traditions of English acting].
Richard Allen Cave, ed., W., B. Yeats: Selected Plays (Penguin 1997), Introduction: Fortuitously, one like minded-man came to Yeatss aid: Frank Fay. For some months in the columns of the United Irishman Fay had been writing criticism of the routine nature of most Dublin theatrical fare [...] Actually Fay already had [such] a group in training under his direction, Inghínidhe na hEireann (The Daughters of Erin); they were in time to form the nucleus of the Abbey company. / Fay as a dierector set great store by the primacy of the spoken text and musical delivery by technically accomplished voices that did not self-consciously spurn their Irish accents or rhythms. To focus attention on the vocal riches of a performance, he had evolved a mode of acting that eschewed exaggerated, overtly theatrical gesture. Movement was to be sparing, simple and rarely timed to coincide with speech unless on the part of the actual speaker. Delivery under these circumstances had to be worth the listening, hence Fays concern with musicality and rhythm. It was a self-consistent theory of performance and it perfeclty matched [W. B.] Yeatss ambitions. (p.xxi.) Later speaks of political controversies that led to the secession of some prominent members of the original Abbey company (including, in time, Frank Fay) (ibid. p.xxii).
See also Lennox Robinson, Irelands Abbey Theatre (1951), p.27 for account of the Fays part in the Irish National Theatre.
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