Outlook on the Abbey Theatre

Abbey Theatre (Dublin) – Dublin Pubs

Upon exploring Dublin, I knew the first place I wanted to go check out was Abbey Theater. From previous works, biographies, and etc, I had heard a lot about this theater. One can tell a lot about the history of a place by its theater definitely. Because theater, as a form of entertainment, has a long and complicated history in all areas that it was performed. In early Europe, actors were seen as being in the same level of prostitutes, as theater was a shameful and low-tier form of work. However, just like prostitution, the demand and popularity was still there, as many would go attend theaters to watch plays, musicals, and etc. Seeing its shameful history makes it intriguing to see how popular and revered theater is now, as it is constantly labeled as revolutionary and inspirational.

However, upon entering the establishment, I am surprised at how much all of it is very underwhelming. There are a small set of bright red seats that overlook a screen that seems pretty unaccommodating, as if the side rows would struggle to enjoy the show. An absence of decor, art, or even just simple uniqueness looms over the theater and I’m left wondering if I’m looking at the right theater or simply a stock photo of one.

Thinking further about it, I do understand that my opinion can be heavily biased because of what I am used and exposed to. The glitz and glam of Hollywood has presented me theaters such as the TCL Chinese Theater, and even a trip to California’s Catalina Island has boasted a fancy, solo venue, Avalon Theater, that has gorgeous artwork and painting in the interior. However, I acknowledge that not all of these theaters are going to have the same history, appearance, and meaning, and even in its bland, non-picturesque theater, Abbey Theater still holds much significance and awe in its interior.


  1. I had the exact same underwhelming first impression of the Abbey Theater when I looked at the pictures – they honestly dont look that much bigger or different that some of the theaters in my local high school district. Seeing it in context for how long it has been open, however, I appreciate it more as a symbol of the tradition of theater in Ireland.

  2. I think we all had the same underwhelming experience when exploring the Abbey Theater…and I agree, I think we’re accustomed to things that are big and fancy when it comes to entertainment. But that’s why I think (at least to me) the Abbey Theater stands out almost as more significant than other theaters, because it depends so heavily on the substance/shows that it produces and much less on its appearance.

  3. I really liked your comment about the history of theater! I was unaware of the previous scorn towards the theater. That is fascinating! I wonder what changed and when, because I feel like now most theater is considered almost an elite occupation.

    I was also rather underwhelmed by the architecture of the Abbey Theater. I think the cause may be the era in which it was constructed. The late 50’s and 60’s was full of rather drab concrete and steel buildings (in my opinion). For example, the Boston City Hall and Bunche Hall at UCLA are both large concrete products of the 60’s. Meanwhile, the TLC Theater and the Avalon Theater are both productions of the 1920’s, an architectural era of exuberance with sweeping arches and almost gaudy decorations.

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