Birth of Irish playwright, poet and author John Millington Synge. Synge was one of the leading lights of what was known as the Irish Literary Revival and along with Yeats and Lady Gregory was a founding member of the Abbey Theatre. His most famous work is The Playboy of the Western World, a satirical comedy which exposed some of the flaws in at the time not very accepting Irish society. On opening night, 26 January 1907, an angry crowd rioted during the play at what the Freeman’s Journal referred to as “an unmitigated, protracted libel upon Irish peasant men, and worse still upon Irish girlhood.”
When commenting on riots that occurred after the opening of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars, in 1926 Yeats referenced this event. “You have disgraced yourselves again. Is this to be an ever-recurring celebration of the arrival of Irish genius? Synge first and then O’Casey?