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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Frank Fay, with his brother William Fay, were primarily responsible for the development of what became known as the Abbey style of acting, Frank drawing upon his study of the French actor Coquelin and the director André Antoine, William with his experience of acting in fit-up touring companies. This style, conditioned by the limited playing resources available to them, centred on fine speech, teamwork, and restraint. In a later period, after the Fays had left in 1908, the tradition of ensemble playing in a permanent company allowed for the development of fine individual character acting represented by Sara Allgood, F. J. McCormick, and Barry Fitzgerald. The actor-manager Anew McMaster, with his large romantic style, helped to shape the tradition of the otherwise modernist Gate Theatre. Irish acting in the first half of the twentieth century was thus a hybrid compound of many different elements.

Keywords: Frank Fay, William Fay, Abbey style of acting, Sara Allgood, F. J. McCormick, Barry Fitzgerald, Anew McMaster

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