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 During her time

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PostSubject: During her time   Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:14 am

Lady Gregory remained an active director of the theatre until ill health led to her retirement in 1928. During this time she wrote more than 19 plays, mainly for production at the Abbey.[14] Many of these were written in an attempted transliteration of the Hiberno-English dialect spoken around Coole Park that became widely known as Kiltartanese, from the nearby village of Kiltartan. Her plays had been among the most successful at the Abbey in the earlier years,[27] but their popularity declined. Indeed, the Irish writer Oliver St John Gogarty once wrote "the perpetual presentation of her plays nearly ruined the Abbey".[28] In addition to her plays, she wrote a two-volume study of the folklore of her native area called Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland in 1920. She also played the lead role in three performances of Cathleen Ni Houlihan in 1919.

During her time on the board of the Abbey, Coole Park remained her home and she spent her time in Dublin staying in a number of hotels. At the time of the 1911 national census for example, she was staying in a hotel at 16 South Frederick Sreet.[29] In these, she ate frugally, often on food she brought with her from home. She frequently used her hotel rooms to interview would-be Abbey dramatists and to entertain the company after opening nights of new plays. She spent many of her days working on her translations in the National Library of Ireland. She gained a reputation as being a somewhat conservative figure.[30] For instance, when Denis Johnston submitted his first play Shadowdance to the Abbey, it was rejected by Lady Gregory and returned to the author with "The Old Lady says No" written on the title page.[31] Johnson decided to rename the play, and The Old Lady Says 'No' was eventually staged by the Gate Theatre in 1928.
[edit] Retirement and death




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