Audience rush stage during play on Irish peasant life in Mayo

February 14, 1914.

February 14, 1914.

‘General John Regan’ the play written by Canon Hannay (George A. Birmingham) with which Mr Charles Hawtrey delighted London play-goers at the Apollo Theatre for several months, was produced at Westport, County Mayo on Wednesday night, but it was brought to an abrupt conclusion by the audience.

Many of them rushed onto the stage and smashed up the scenery. The police were called in and the hall was quickly cleared, but some hours afterwards excited crowds paraded the streets, and stones were thrown through the windows of the hotel at which the players were staying, and of the shop used as a booking office.

The police charged the mob with their batons, but there were no serious injuries.

Mr Payne Seddon, whose company is touring the play in Ireland, stated that exception must have been taken to the scene in the play representing the town of Westport, or possibly the caricaturing of Irish peasant life did not meet with approval.

Canon Hannay was rector for about 20 years at Westport, and the scene of the play is laid in that town, but it has been given the name Ballymoy.

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Cultivate enthusiasm. It is like the chemist’s powerful re-agent - a drop of which transforms the dull and lifeless ore solution into a liquid that seethes into life, revealing to sight the precious metal that lay hidden within.