Above: (Wikipedia): “Marble Arch is a 19th-century white marble-faced triumphal arch in London, England. The structure was designed by John Nash in 1827 to be the state entrance to the cour d’honneur of Buckingham Palace. In 1851, on the initiative of architect and urban planner Decimus Burton, a one-time pupil of John Nash, it was relocated as a ceremonial entrance to the northeast corner of Hyde Park at Cumberland Gate. Following the widening of Park Lane in the early 1960s, the site became a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane and Edgware Road, isolating the arch.”
“Expressionism was a movement in drama and theatre that principally developed in Germany in the early decades of the 20th century. It was then popularized in the United States, Spain, China, the U.K., and all around the world. Similar to the broader movement of Expressionism in the arts, Expressionist theatre utilized theatrical elements and scenery with exaggeration and distortion to deliver strong feelings and ideas to audiences.”
“…*Sean O’Casey, original name John Casey, (born March 30, 1880, Dublin, Ire.—died Sept. 18, 1964, Torquay, Devon, Eng.), Irish playwright renowned for realistic dramas of the Dublin slums in war and revolution, in which tragedy and comedy are juxtaposed in a way new to the theatre of his time…
After several of his plays had been rejected, the Abbey Theatre in Dublin produced The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), set during the guerrilla strife between the Irish Republican Army and British forces. In 1924 the Abbey staged Juno and the Paycock, his most popular play, set during the period of civil war over the terms of Irish independence. The Plough and the Stars (1926), with the 1916 Easter Rising as its background, caused riots at the Abbey by patriots who thought the play denigrated Irish heroes. When first produced in the 1920s, these plays had an explosive effect on the audiences at the Abbey and helped to enlarge that theatre’s reputation.
O’Casey went to England in 1926, met the Irish actress Eileen Carey Reynolds, married her, and henceforth made England his home. His decision to live outside Ireland was motivated in part by the Abbey’s rejection of The Silver Tassie, a partly Expressionist antiwar drama produced in England in 1929. Another Expressionist play, Within the Gates (1934), followed, in which the modern world is symbolized by the happenings in a public park.”
From: The Changing Scene (1937), by Arthur Calder-Marshall:
“…The scene is laid in Hyde Park, ‘a London Park’ as it is called…O’Casey has succeeded in giving the sense of the crowd – the nursemaids, guardsmen, soul-saviours, economic missionaries and gardeners whose lives so curiously intermingle round Marble Arch. (A couple of years after I saw Within the Gates performed at the Royalty, I was walking through the crowd at Marble Arch. There were the familiar sympathetic and sardonic knots around the platforms, the usual individuals arguing with one another, oblivious of the people round them, the inevitable casuals and suddenly the Salvation Army dismally striking up a hymn tune. Suddenly another tune came into my head, a light, pervasive melody that seemed to reconcile the whole conflicting movement around me. Everybody was moving to that tune. And it was not for some minutes that I realised that the music in my head was the air of the opening chorus of Within the Gates. The association of ‘Hyde Park’ came later; the evocative stimulus was the similarity of movements.)”