Gate Theatre

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Gate Theatre
Amharclann an Gheata[1]
Gate Theatre logo (Dublin).svg
Gate Theatre Dublin.jpg
Gate Theatre is located in Central Dublin
Gate Theatre
Gate Theatre
Location within Central Dublin
Former namesDublin Gate Theatre
Address1 Cavendish Row, Dublin, Ireland
Coordinates53°21′11″N 6°15′43″W / 53.353056°N 6.261944°W / 53.353056; -6.261944
Public transitConnolly station
Luas Red Line: O'Connell Street Upper / Parnell
OwnerThe Gate Theatre Trust[2]

Founded in 1928, the Gate Theatre is considered by many[who?] to be Dublin's home for great European and American theatre, as well as classics from the modern and Irish repertoire. A space rich with history, it was at the Gate that Orson Welles, James Mason, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Michael Gambon began their prodigious acting careers. Award-winning director Selina Cartmell has served as Artistic Director of the Gate since April 2017.



The Gate Theatre was founded in 1928 by Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir.[4] During their first season, they presented seven plays, including Ibsen's Peer Gynt, O’Neill's The Hairy Ape and Wilde's Salomé. Their productions were innovative and experimental and they offered Dublin audiences an introduction to the world of European and American theatre as well as classics from the modern and Irish repertoire. It was at the Gate that Orson Welles, James Mason, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Michael Gambon began their prodigious acting careers.

The company played for two seasons at the Peacock Theatre and then on Christmas Eve 1929, in Groome's Hotel, the lease was signed for the 18th Century Rotunda Annex - the ‘Upper Concert Hall’, the Gate's present home, with Goethe's Faust opening on 17 February 1930.

Lord and Lady Longford[edit]

In 1931, the newly established Gate Theatre ran into financial difficulties and Lord (Edward) and Lady (Christine) Longford provided financial support. The Longfords worked with Edwards and MacLiammóir at the Gate until 1936, then a split developed and two separate companies were formed and played at the Gate for six months each. The companies also toured for six months until the death of Lord Longford in 1961.

During this period Edwards and MacLiammóir (Gate Theatre Productions) ran shows in Dublin's Gaiety Theatre and toured productions to Europe, Egypt and North America.


From the 1980s onwards the Gate, under the directorship of Michael Colgan, cemented its international relationship, touring plays around the world for audiences from Beijing to New York. The theatre established unique relationships with leading contemporary playwrights including Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Brian Friel. The first ever Beckett Festival was produced, presenting all 19 of the stage plays over three weeks. The first ever festival of Pinter's plays followed, along with many premieres and productions of Friel's work including the acclaimed production of Faith Healer with Ralph Fiennes which won a Tony Award on Broadway.[5]

With the generous support of funders, the fabric of the building was restored and renovated under the guidance of Ronnie Tallon and Scott, Tallon Walker Architects. This included the provision of a new wing, which incorporated a studio space – The Gate Studio –for rehearsals and workshops, offering practitioners an opportunity to develop and nurture creativity.

Recent Years[edit]

On 3 April 2017, Selina Cartmell became Director of the Gate. As a freelance artist, she has directed a diverse range of work from Greek tragedy and Shakespeare, to international work and contemporary Irish drama. In 2004, she established Dublin based Siren Productions, a multi-award-winning company conceived to innovate the classics and create relevant and dynamic new work, integrating theatre, dance, visual arts, architecture, film and music.

Her productions have been nominated for thirty five theatre awards, winning ten, including three for best director

Season 1:The Outsider[edit]

Cartmell's inaugural season, themed “The Outsider”, opened 12 July 2017.[6] The Outsider season includes; an immersive production of The Great Gatsby directed by Alexander Wright. Nina Raine’s Tribes directed by Oonagh Murphy, Hans Christen Anderson’s The Red Shoes adapted by Nancy Harris and directed by Selina Cartmel, John Osborne’s Look Back In Anger directed by Annabelle Comyn, Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece re-imagined and performed by Camille O’Sullivan and Feargal Murray, Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins directed by Selina Cartmell, The stage Debut of Roddy Doyle’s The Snapper directed by Roisin McBrinn, Shakespeare's Hamlet directed by Yaël Farber and starring Ruth Negga, and, to close the season, the return of The Great Gatsby directed by Alexander Wright.

Season 2: LOVE and COURAGE[edit]

Selina Cartmell's second season, based on the themes of love and courage, opened on 6 March 2019 with four world premieres and three Irish premieres. LOVE and COURAGE includes The Children by Lucy Kirkwood, directed by Oonagh Murphy and starring Seán McGinley, Marie Mullen, and Ger Ryan as retired nuclear scientists reuniting in the wake of a nuclear disaster. Beginning by David Eldridge, directed by Marc Atkinson and starring Marty Rea and Eileen Walsh in a real time portrayal of the beginnings of a relationship. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, directed and designed by Tom Cairns and starring Frank Blake, Samantha Bond, Zara Devlin, and Marty Rea. The Snapper Revival, directed Roisin McBrinn. Incantata by Paul Muldoon, a Galway International Arts Festival and Jen Coppinger production, directed by Sam Yates and starring Stanley Townsend in an adaptation of Muldoon's epic poem on life, love, and loss. Beckett's Room by Dead Centre with Mark O'Halloran in a co-production between Dead Centre and Gate Theatre. Faultline by Anu Productions, an immersive piece about the mass exodus of LGBTQ+ population from Ireland in the 1980s, in a co-production between Anu Productions and Gate Theatre. The Beacon by Nancy Harris, a co-production between Druid Theatre Company and Gate Theatre. Pale Sister by Colm Tóibín, starring Lisa Dwan, in a co-production between Audible and Gate Theatre. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens in a new version by Jack Thorne, directed by Selina Cartmell and the cast includes Owen Roe and Fionnula Flanagan.


  1. ^ "Stair Amharclann an Gheata". Beo!.
  2. ^ "Gate Theatre Board & Governance - The Gate Theatre, Dublin, Ireland".
  3. ^ "PS032 Gate Theatre 1933 - Dublin City Council".
  4. ^ "90 Years of The Gate Theatre | Dublin City Council". Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  5. ^ "Award for 'Faith Healer'actor". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  6. ^ O'Connor, Derek (2017-05-17). "Gate Theatre begins new chapter with Gatsby & The Snapper". Retrieved 2018-06-28.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°21′11″N 6°15′43″W / 53.35306°N 6.26194°W / 53.35306; -6.26194