Cork Shakespearean Company: 12-17 November 1928 programme, and 1930 diary of The Loft theatre

Originally founded by Father Christy O’Flynn as An Críoch Scoil in the 1924/5 theatre season, the Cork Shakespearean Company had a brief nomadic existence as it wandered from the library in the North Cathedral Presbytery to Saint Vincent’s School and to premises in Gerald Griffin Street before making its home in two upstairs rooms at 37A John Redmond Street in 1926.  These premises, known locally as The Loft, became famous in Cork theatre circles and in the folklore of the city.  The Loft was situated over a former stable, which soon became the Exchange Toffee Works, run by the same family since 1929, and is now Linehan’s handmade sweet factory and shop, still using traditional recipes and original machinery.  Fr O’Flynn died in 1962, and the Cork Shakespearean Company bade farewell to The Loft in 2000.  Today the company is based in Eason's Hill Community Centre, Eason's Hill.

The Cork Shakespearean Company famously staged eight of Shakespeare’s plays in six days at the Opera House in 1928 with six evening performances and two matinees.  A digital copy of the programme for that week, 12-17 November 1928, can be viewed online by selecting the first image below. 

In 2016, Mr Pat Gunn generously handed over a manuscript diary containing handwritten accounts of theatre-related activities in The Loft during the year 1930.  This diary has very legible handwriting and the surviving pages run from 11 January to 22 December 1930.  Most of the entries are signed by N. Power, with other entries by Augustine 'Gus' Healy and Ina Long. 

Cork City Libraries created a digital copy of this diary in May 2016 for this website.  The diary should be of interest to students of theatre, particularly theatre in Cork, and to persons interested in aspects of the social and artistic history of Cork city in the early twentieth century. 

To browse the digital copy online, select the appropriate image below.   



12-17 November 1928 programme

1930 diary of The Loft



(See also reference in our Places: Shandon section to the Cork Shakespearean Company.)



Pat Gunn also donated an audio interview he made with his late father, George Gunn, about his exploits as an Irish Volunteer in the early twentieth century.  This recording can be listened to here or under the History tab above.  

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