“the most important theatre company in the English-speaking world”

Still on the theatrical theme.. Mick noted the resignation of the entire Board of the Abbey Theatre. The speculation on the way forward for the Abbey prompted the Guardian, yesterday, to run a leader column on the crisis – the Abbey matters not just to Ireland, but to the world, tied with a background article by Angelique Chrisafis. And today the Irish Times weighs in with a call for increased public funding of the Theatre – Abbey must stay centre stageFrom the Irish Times editorial –

Political decisions should now take advantage of these possibilities. If they are to do so effectively they must be in line with certain fundamental principles. Ireland needs and deserves a national theatre to express its distinctive literary tradition and develop it anew. It should be properly funded and mainly from the public budget, within agreed parameters of income and expenditure.

The theatre must enjoy the artistic independence that allows it on occasion to present drama with a political or social edge challenging prevailing views and political orthodoxies without fear of retribution. To do this it should be governed by a board representing the main stakeholders, but with a credible autonomy to fulfil such a mandate and capable of resisting gratuitous interference.