‘All think what other people think’: George O'Brien's Tenure, 1925–1926

Lauren Arrington

in W.B. Yeats, the Abbey Theatre, Censorship, and the Irish State

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590575
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595523 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

‘All think what other people think’: George O'Brien's Tenure, 1925–1926

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As a result of the subsidy, the government placed a representative on the Abbey's board of directors. This chapter analyses the brief tenure of the first government‐appointed director, George O'Brien. O'Brien's role was intended as that of financial adviser, but he interpreted his position as government censor. O'Brien objected to Lennox Robinson's The White Blackbird (due to its suggestion of incest) and to sexual references and explicit language in Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars. The Abbey was in a relatively secure financial position due to allies in government (particularly Ernest Blythe and Thomas Johnston), so the directors were confident in ignoring O'Brien's interventions and in defying attempts at public censorship during the riots over the Plough and the Stars.

Keywords: George O'Brien; O'Casey; Lennox Robinson; Blythe; Thomas Johnston; riots; Plough and the Stars

Chapter.  15117 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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