Is Dublin’s Abbey Still Relevant?

With Dublin’s historic Abbey Theatre in the throes of a powerful fiscal crisis, Mary Kenney worries that a large percentage of the Irish public may not be interested in saving it. “Although they say, in opinion polls, that that they approve of a national theatre, not enough ordinary people really go there. [BBC soap operas] Coronation Street and EastEnders, along with Irish television soaps such as Fair City, now provide the everyday stories that were once part of the Abbey repertoire. When you go to the Abbey these days, the audience is often composed of visiting Americans and the well-heeled Dublin bourgeoisie. After it is “restructured”, with proper subsidies, I hope that it will connect more to the life of the people.”