Some time before his death in 1997, the novel ist Mervyn Wall told me how, as a young man, he attended plays in the original Abbey Theatre and was often fascinated to glimpse - five or ten minutes into the performance - the majestic head of WB Yeats appear in the stairwell from which people had entered.
The great man never lingered there for long and he rarely observed the action on stage. Instead his intense...
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