It is deeply saddening to learn that Gabrielle Reidy has died. Her career was bookended by roles in plays by Sean O’Casey at the Abbey Theatre. Starting as a child actor in The Shadow of a Gunman in 1971 and with her last role her acclaimed performance as Bessie Burgess in The Plough and the Stars 2012.
In the intervening years she graced many productions on stage, television and film. More information is contained in her obituaries in The Guardian and The Irish Times.
To celebrate its 110th anniversary the Abbey Theatre has produced a pictorial timeline of 110 important moments in its history from Éamon de Valera’s performance in A Christmas Hamper in 1905 to their writers salons nurturing the next generation of irish playwrights. Sean O’Casey features in two of these first as a listing in the submission logbook for Plough and the Stars and then in a stark image of the Abbey damaged terribly by fire in 1951 during a production of that same play. Remarkably the cast and crew managed to perform the play at the Peacock the next night.