Teresa Deevy Archive

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Plays and Writing

While all of the material written by Teresa Deevy is available by browsing through the Collections this page draws together items from the various collections related to specific pieces of writing.

This is not a complete representation of the holdings of the archive but it is a starting point for exploration.

1914 - 1919: Plays by D.V Goode

These three plays, 'Practice and Precept', 'Let Us Live' and 'The Firstborn' were written between 1914 and 1919 and are signed by 'D.V. Goode'.


1931:    A Disciple / In Search of Valour

Originally known as 'The Enthuasist'  this play was performed in the Abbey in 1931 as 'A Disciple'.  Produced by Lennox Robinson it ran for seven shows.
It was later revised and retitled 'In Search Of Valour' and was broadcast under that name on television by the BBC in 1939.

1932 Temporal Powers

Temporal Powers was Deevy's third play to run in the Abbey.  An 'Aonach Tailteann' competition winner it was staged in 1932 alongside Lady Gregory's 'Spreading the News'.
The play was well received, and it's fans included Frank O'Connor. In 1937, when O'Connor was a director of the Abbey, 'Temporal Powers' was revived for a 'headline' performance.

1935    The King of Spain's Daughter

The King of Spain's Daughter debuted on the Abbey stage in 1935 and was revived a number of times between that and 1939. It was recorded in two different languages for three different radio productions and was even broadcast by BBC television before the outbreak of World War Two.

1930 The Reapers

After the rejection of at least one play 'The Reapers' was the first Deevy play to be accepted and staged in the Abbey.
There are no known surviving copies of any manuscript.
What has survived are production details from the Abbey staging, a range of reviews and some correspondence.
Details of the Abbey production and the response it received from the critics can be explored from here. In 'What do we know about 'The Reapers'?' Dr. Shelly Troupe draws on the available material to conduct a 'Theatre Studies Investigation' and piece together a picture of the play's narrative, its themes and how it was performed.

1936: Katie Roche

By far the most popular of Deevy's plays 'Katie Roche' has been staged by the Abbey Theatre ten times since it's debut in March 1936 with the most recent production being in 1994.

1936    The Wild Goose

The Wild Goose was Deevy's sixth play to grace the Abbey stage. It was very well received on opening night with critic's noting the long drawn out applause that greeted the final curtain.
The archive also holds programs from non Abbey productions, both professional and amateur.
The text of the play was published in Devy's 'Three Plays'.
Finally we have some detail of two different radio productions.

1946: Polinka

Initial reviews of Deevy's 'The Reapers' compared her writing and characters to those of Anton Chekov. Almost twenty years later her adaptation of Chekov's 'Polinka' aired on BBC Northern Ireland. ..

Possession: Cattle of the Gods

Despite her loss of hearing Teresa Deevy produced at least these two treatments or librettos for a ballet entitled 'Possession (or Cattle of the Gods)'.
These were based on Elanor Hull's the 'Cattle Raid of Cooley', a telling of the Irish legend the Tain Bo Cualnge, a version of which is available to read at the Internet Archive.
The treatments contain the narrative of the ballet and though they give some flavour of the choreography and music, there  are no detailed descriptions of either. The effect both have in telling the story is clear however.


These two typescripts appear to be drafts of unfinished plays written by Deevy. They vary in size and topic, what they have in common is that they are all formatted as plays and they all appear to be missing some of the text.