I’m not online much over here in Sri Lanka but it’s bloody brilliant to see so much passion about the Abbey. The National Theatre my eye. It hoovers up over 50% of the Arts Council’s annual theatre budget but when has it created a piece of theatre that really inspired and challenged? Never in my memory. Growing up in Leitrim the Abbey might as well have been on the other side of the moon. In fact we only ever came across it in the history books and for years I thought it no longer existed.
I’m delighted that the disgraceful lack of women writers in its 1916 program has instigated a long overdue hard look at the monument to convention and safety that is the Abbey. I’ve argued for years that the damn place should be shut down.
But of course this issue is broader than a problem with boring programming at the Abbey. It’s about how we raise our sons and daughters. I have a baby coming. If I am lucky enough to have a daughter, I hope she grows up in an Ireland that only sees her gender as another aspect of her worthy of celebration. If I have a son, I hope he will be a feminist.