Dublin’s dou­ble act

The Oldie - - READ­ERS' LET­TERS -

SIR: it is al­ways a plea­sure to read Va­lerie’s Grove’s ra­dio col­umn, and all the more so when she in­cludes pro­grammes of Ir­ish in­ter­est. Her com­ments on Si­mon Cal­low’s Ra­dio 3 The Es­say ‘The Boys’ – about Ed­wards and Mac Li­ammóir and their the­atre in Dublin (Septem­ber is­sue) – are ac­cu­rate in that the Gate The­atre was styled by the know­ing as ‘Sodom’, in a ref­er­ence to its founders’ sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.

How­ever, Dublin wit did not then sim­ply call the Abbey The­atre ‘Go­mor­rah’, af­ter an­other bib­li­cal city of the plain.

Rather, the Abbey be­came ‘Be­gor­rah’, since the na­tional the­atre reg­u­larly pro­duced Ir­ish plays with ru­ral set­tings, in con­trast to the in­ter­na­tional reper­toire of­fered by the Gate. Thus the two the­atres jointly at­tracted the soubri­quets Sodom and Be­gor­rah. Chris Spurr, Bal­ly­gowan, County Down, North­ern Ire­land.

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