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The Censorship of O'Flaherty V.C.

The Censorship of O'Flaherty V.C. When opposition arose to the Abbey Theatre's scheduled production of Bernard Shaw's new play, O'Flaherty V.C., the theater had very little impetus to fight the objections. Ireland was in the midst of a heated debate over the country's involvement in the Great War, and even though Shaw's satire of Irish politics was ``evenhanded,'' as described below, it was nevertheless unwelcome. Shaw and the Abbey had been partners in controversy before, when Dublin Castle, the seat of the British administration in Ireland, objected to the production of The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet in 1909. At that time, when Lady Gregory was summoned to the castle, she was able to present the administration with two irrefutable arguments: the Abbey enjoyed the patronage of notable figures in Dublin society, and the theater was in an increasingly firm financial position, contributing ``over £1500 a year'' to the Dublin economy.1 The production went ahead in defiance of government opposition and was a great financial success for the theater. Neither of these arguments--patronage nor financial stability--was available to the Abbey in November 1915. An evaluation of correspondence between the Abbey's directors, the financial records of the theater, and the actions taken by the British http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies Penn State University Press

The Censorship of O'Flaherty V.C.

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The Pennsylvania State University
ISSN
1529-1480
Publisher site
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Abstract

When opposition arose to the Abbey Theatre's scheduled production of Bernard Shaw's new play, O'Flaherty V.C., the theater had very little impetus to fight the objections. Ireland was in the midst of a heated debate over the country's involvement in the Great War, and even though Shaw's satire of Irish politics was ``evenhanded,'' as described below, it was nevertheless unwelcome. Shaw and the Abbey had been partners in controversy before, when Dublin Castle, the seat of the British administration in Ireland, objected to the production of The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet in 1909. At that time, when Lady Gregory was summoned to the castle, she was able to present the administration with two irrefutable arguments: the Abbey enjoyed the patronage of notable figures in Dublin society, and the theater was in an increasingly firm financial position, contributing ``over £1500 a year'' to the Dublin economy.1 The production went ahead in defiance of government opposition and was a great financial success for the theater. Neither of these arguments--patronage nor financial stability--was available to the Abbey in November 1915. An evaluation of correspondence between the Abbey's directors, the financial records of the theater, and the actions taken by the British

Journal

SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Dec 24, 2008

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