The Abbey Theatre and Yeats Society Sligo present
Now Must We Sing: Celebrating WB Yeats
26 November 2023
Date: 26 November 2023
On the Abbey stage
Duration: 100 minutes approx.
Tickets: €30 – €35
A landmark event marking 100 years since WB Yeats was awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature.
The Abbey Theatre and Yeats Society Sligo are proud to present an evening of celebration marking the centenary of poet, playwright and Abbey Theatre co-founder WB Yeats being awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Some of Ireland’s finest poets, writers, actors, and musicians will come together to perform and pay tribute to his legacy, led by Abbey Theatre Artistic Director Caitríona McLaughlin, and Yeats Society Sligo Director Susan O’Keeffe.
Among those contributing to this evening of celebration will be Jolly Abraham, Loré Adewusi, Marina Carr, Derbhle Crotty, Lelia Doolan, Theo Dorgan, John Francis Flynn, Sam Furlong Tighe, Raymond Keane, Victoria Kennefick, Seán MacEarlaine, Paula Meehan, Marion O’Dwyer, Mary O’Malley, Lisa O’Neill, Marty Rea, Stephen Rea, Samuel Yakura and Caitríona Yeats.
WB Yeats’ work was recognised by the Nobel Academy “for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.”
The Academy’s recognition of the new Irish Free State in the world was of vital importance. It was a crucial step in Ireland’s emergence as a free state, helping to restore her unique identity after centuries of British rule. Ireland’s identity and place in the world was now official and secure.
The Nobel Prize in Literature was rooted in the Irish Literary Revival, which played a key role in the birth of the Irish nation. WB Yeats, together with Augusta Gregory and George Moore, led this cultural revolution, at the most turbulent time in Irish history. Its most significant legacy was the establishment of Ireland’s national theatre in 1904, the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.
Yeats dedicated his Nobel acceptance speech to the importance of the Irish Dramatic Movement, which he led. However, he is one of the few writers whose greatest works were written after the Prize was awarded. During the last 20 years of his life, he reverted increasingly to poetry, and he became one of the outstanding and most influential twentieth-century poets.