Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Tributes paid to Vincent Dowling

Vincent Dowling (left) and TP McKenna (right) in Long Day's Journey into Night

Tributes have been paid to Vincent Dowling, the former artistic director of the Abbey Theatre, who has died.

Mr Dowling, 83, was linked with the national theatre of Ireland from 1953 to 1990, acting in more than 100 plays before working as director, artistic director and finally lifetime associate director.

Fiach MacConghail, director of the Abbey Theatre, said Dowling had a broad theatrical career which spanned five decades.

"In the early 1990s he played a pivotal role in touring internationally especially in the United States where he had settled," said Mr MacConghail.

"Vincent Dowling was an actor's director - having been an actor himself he understood the craft of acting.

"I know he will be fondly remembered by many of the greats of Irish acting who worked with him."

Dowling led the Abbey Theatre company on its first tours to the Soviet Union and Hong Kong.

His productions of The Playboy of the Western World also won international acclaim throughout his career, including the theatre's first national tour of America in 55 years.

He later directed an Emmy award-winning film version of the play for PBS TV in the United States.

He had been living in Massachusetts, in the United States, and is survived by his wife, artist Olwen O'Herlihy Dowling.

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