Austin Clarke and Irish theatre


Sir, – I was delighted to read Gerard Smyth’s feature on poet Austin Clarke (An Irishman’s Diary, May 10th). Clarke, a playwright too, was an important figure in Irish theatre. His involvement in Dublin’s Lyric Theatre, which was founded in 1944, ensured the staging of numerous innovative productions, including the verse plays of WB Yeats.

Other Lyric productions encompassed interpretative movement and were choreographed by Erina Brady, a decision which enhanced the innovative interpretation of the one-act fantasy dramas by George Fitzmaurice, including The Dandy Dolls(1945) and The Magic Glasses (1946).

We should also remember the work of Liam Miller, another stalwart of Irish theatre. Miller founded the Dolmen Press in 1951, which ensured the survival of many dramatists’ work, including the aforementioned Fitzmaurice. Clarke and Miller are among a host of individuals whose contributions to Irish theatre deserve acknowledgement. – Yours, etc,


Knocknagree, Co Cork.