[?- ]; b. Mallow, Co. Cork; engaged in socialist drama in Dublin, 1940s;
worked at Abbey; m. Dr. P. Pearse OMalley and moved to Belfast;
formed Lyric Players, 1951, a poets theatre on verse-speaking
principles of W. B. Yeats; produced At the Hawks Well and The Dreaming of the Bones by Yeats; Robert Farren, Lost Light;
Valentine Iremonger, Wrap Up My Green Jacket (on Emmet); moved
to Derryvolgie Ave., and built a fifty-seater theatre and gallery on to
the family home, 1952; produced 31 international plays; fnd. Threshold,
1957, but failed to launch dramatic verse movement by it; established
drama school, Childrens Theatre; played at Dublin Theatre Festival
and Yeats Summer School, Sligo, 1962; also produced Synges Deirdre,
and Riders to the Sea; Donagh MacDonaghs Lady Spider;
Jack Yeatss La La Noo; Friels the enemy Within; Criotoir
OFlynn [Ó Floinn], Romance of an Idiot; Beckcetts Endgame; Eugene McCabes King of the Castle; Sam Thompsons Over the Bridge; Wesley Burrows The Becauseway, as
well as plays by OCasey, who subscribed money on several occasions
and permitted a production of The Silver Tassie while his plays
were under personal embargo in Dublin; Austin Clarke raises the portal
stone of Lyric Theatre, Ridgeway St., Belfast, 12 July 1965; produced
all of Yeatss plays and others including Jack Whytes The
Last Eleven; living in Dublin.
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Shake Hands with the Devil (Dublin: Elo Press 1990), [autobiog.].
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Sam Hanna Bell, Theatre, in Michael Longley, ed., Causeway:
The Arts in Ulster (1971), pp.72-94, espec. pp.84-85; [unsigned, presum.
by James Simmons], Mary OMalley of the Lyric Players Theatre, Honest Ulsterman, 1 (May 1968), pp.32-35; [q.a.], Onlie
begetter of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, Books Ireland (Feb.
1991), [citing History of the Lyric by her son, viz., A
Poets Theatre (Dublin: Elo Press 1988)].
“Gate Theatre production withdrawn”, Belfast Newsletter (25 May 1955) [cutting in Sybil Le Brocquy Papers; held by family]: CHANGES in the programmes of the Gate Theatre company at the Grand Opera, House, Belfast, were announced last night. / Elmer Rices “Not for Children” will be taken off after to-nights performance. It will be replaced during the remaining three nights of this week by Maura Lavertys “ Liffey Lane,” with which the company opened its present visit to Belfast. / “The Masquerade,” by Pirandello, which was to have been presented next week has also been withdrawn. It will be replaced by Maura Lavertys “Tolka Row,” which the company presented when in Belfast last year. / Arrangements are being made for the “props” for “Tolka Row” to be brought from Dublin by road. / Referring to the changes in programmes, Mr. George Lodge, managing director of the Grand Opera House, told the “NewsLetter” last night that “Not for Children” had been “very badly received in Belfast. [more]
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Kilkenny Cats: Mary OMalley made an early contribution to
the Partition debate in Kilkenny, organised by Hubert Butler,
to that effect that the oppression of Catholics in Northern Ireland was
not to be compared with fascism.
Laying the Foundations: Poem to
Mary OMalley by John Hewitt included in Programme for Laying of
Foundation of Lyric Theatre Belfast, by Austin Clarke, 12 June 1965.
Namesake: A play, Once a Catholic
by her English-born namesake and set in Willesden in 1954, giving a comic
view of teenage under the auspices of the nuns, appeared successfully
at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, March, 1997; there is a TV adaptation
by the author herself.