Making an Abbey Debut

The Dead features nine acting debuts at the Abbey Theatre. Muiris Crowley, who plays Mr. Bergin, provides an insight into the experience of taking to the Abbey stage for the first time.

So opening night has finally arrived. After five sell out previews where only three things remained constant each night (the snow, the laughter and the magic of this truly beautiful story) I believe we are now ready Mr. Joyce!

As I scour through my wardrobe selecting the right outfit for tonight’s after show celebration, I can’t help but return my thoughts back to the first day of rehearsals; atop the Abbey Theatre and looking out of the window I see the tricolor flying high over the GPO. Walking the halls in a dream, stalked by portraits of Lady Gregory and J. M. Synge. As I take my seat at the reading table on the first day, I am greeted by Rosaleen Linehan on my right and Mark Lambert on my left. No pressure. No pressure at all. A box of chocolate biscuits doing a round of the table comes to me; I do love a good biscuit; but I remember to make a good impression so I only take three. And like this it began and has continued.

Six weeks on I guess I am still taking it all in. I am reminded of our trip to 15 Usher’s Island where we danced the lancers in the front room of the old mansion, or the sound of the box piano echoing down the stairs as ‘I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls’ was played. We are responsible for bringing our audience into Joyce’s Dublin of 1904, a Dublin where music, tradition, hospitality and identity were of top priority. It’s the experience of being exposed to a deep knowledge and a truly selfless dedication to the telling of this story that will make this night more special.

“It is time for me to set out on my journey westwards.” I am right there with you Mr. Conroy!


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