Contemporary Comment and Reviews
Dear Miss Deevy,
Last night I spent at the Abbey theatre one of the most enjoyable evenings of my life & I cannot refrain from writing to thank you for that pleasure. I have seen many plays, criticised many plays & been impressed by many plays but seldom have I been so conscious as last night…that I was witnessing what must be an epoch making play in the history of Irish drama. They tell me that not everyone is enthusiastic that one or two critics found fault. If there is fault then it is to these peoples critical powers.
The Reapers seemed to me to be entirely powerful, refreshingly virile ... in it's courage not to fall into dramatic cliches. ...
Here was atmosphere as few plays can boast of an atmosphere such as I have most vividly felt in Myers "The Furriers" or in the Russian novelists. Here was characterisation, flesh and blood and not mere ... injuries.
If there was error in the play then it erred on the side of reality. ... You gave us an honest to God dramatic picture of Irish family and "far ..." and since there was no comic relief in the form of ... patriotic speeches you were unable to make warm the blood of the Lenten Critics already mortified by absentention from wine, meat and tobacco.
... You were indeed well served by the players particularly by Arthur Shields ... and Shiela Richards and I felt that your play - an undaunted product of the .. - must go on again and often. Genius, like murder, will out. I look forward with ... to your next work and have little doubt that you will live up to the high standards of art in your intrepretation of life that you have set yourself.