Thursday, September 8, 2011

Siobhan McKenna's first press review?

[James Hardiman Library Archives,
Siobhan McKenna Papers, T20/368]

From 16th to 23rd November 1941 Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, the Irish language theatre based in Galway, staged a production of Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Translated by S.L O Suilleabhain and directed by Walter Macken, it had been planned that the Taoiseach, Eamonn de Valera, would have attended the opening night. Founded in 1928, An Taibhdhearc had founda new lease of life from 1939 with the appointment of Walter Macken as director, who also took the lead in this play.

[James Hardiman Library Archives,
Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe Collection, T1/D/76.]

Siobhan McKenna had just started her Arts degree in U.C.G. and had acted in An Sciursa Bhan by Karl Capek the previous June and An tImpire Mac Seoin by Eugene O'Neill in September, but this was her first major role with the theatre. Later, when she went for auditions in the Abbey in 1945, and Ernest Blythe asked her for an impromptu speech in Irish, it was one from this role she performed.

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