Gaiety Theatre 2015
THE HILARIOUS SELL-OUT HIT OF THE YEAR IS BACK!
RETURNING FOR TWO WEEKS ONLY DUE TO PHENOMENAL DEMAND
Monday February 16 – Saturday February 28, 2015
Dublin theatres include the olympia theatre Dublin, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre Dublin, abbey theatre Dublin, there are many good Hotels and Guesthouses near popular theatres in Dublin such as the olympia theatre Dublin, the dublin olympia theatre and many other Dublin Theatres have performances on each week.
Recommended Accommodation Near Dublin Theatres:
If you are travelling to Dublin for the Theatre and you would like to stay in good quality accommodation that offers value for money and personal service, please check the accommodation listed on this site, if you would like to stay in accommodation near the theatre all of the city centre accommodation listed on this site is within a few minutes’ walk or short taxi ride from all Dublin Theatres, on a nice summer evening you can enjoy beautiful walks along the Quays. Check our events guide for some of the events coming up in the theatre of your choice.
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre opens on June 24th
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is theatrical Bisto: traditional, familiar and very British. It’s a play so well constructed that all you have to do is add water and the meat juices – in the form of jobbing actors, actually – and it works. Now in its 60th year, The Mousetrap is the longest-running play in the world and, for many visitors to London, a must-see along with Madame Tussauds and the Tower of London. It is full of eccentricities, including the fact that Christie gave the royalties from The Mousetrap to her grandson, Mathew Prichard, when he was nine years old.
Was it liberating or oppressive to receive such a gift? “Liberating to an extent,” says Prichard, CBE, from his seat in the bar of St Martin’s Theatre in West Street, London, which has been home to the play for 38 years of its 60-year run. With the sunburned face of a keen golfer, he has played in Ballybunion, Waterville and Killarney.
“The Mousetrap is more than a play now. It’s almost an industry,” he says. “It’s a family charity, and royalties are used to benefit arts events in Wales, where I live, and the Mousetrap Theatre Projects, which takes people from disadvantaged backgrounds, who have special needs or a disability, to London’s best theatre.”
At 21, Prichard inherited the royalties of all Agatha Christie’s work, substantial considering that her 66 detective novels have sold close to four billion copies, ranking her up there with the Bible. They were sold to Chorion Media Group in 1998 and changed hands again last year. Prichard had sold the rights to the play when was in his twenties, to avoid inheritance tax, but got them back in 2001 and has since given more than £1 million in royalties to the Mousetrap charity.
The Mousetrap has run continuously since 1974 in the evocative wood-panelled St Martin’s Theatre, built in 1916, a 550-seat gem so fusty and charming in that tight-fisted country-house English way (just try finding a means to dry your hands in the ancient toilets) that it is part of the experience of the play. Built to give the impression of a private theatre, its walls are adorned with memorabilia – such as a photograph of a 20-something Queen Elizabeth II attending the play in a full-skirted Hartnell gown and mink stole – and huge, neck-craning oil portraits of the ancestors of Lord Willoughby de Broke, whose grandfather built the theatre.
The set and the “house” are almost as one, giving the feeling of travelling back in time and sitting in a giant doll’s house. On the mantelpiece on the set, the original clock from the first production holds forth and only recently was a leather chair, worn ragged by generations of actors’ bottoms, replaced with a new version.
This sense of history is important to all involved in The Mousetrap , and to many of the audience members. On the evening I visited to see the 25,170th performance, American tourists blocked the aisles photographing the theatre’s interior. The sense of being in a time capsule is so vivid, one imagines that if ad man Don Draper (the chief protagonist of Mad Men ) were on a worktrip to London, this is the play that he would see. A cartoon on the wall of the bar calls the play “The Eurotrap”, while another shows a couple with the line, “But Charles, you know we always see The Mousetrap on the first Wednesday of the month.”
The ancient wind machine, used for sound effects, is still in use, although a modern digital recording augments it these days. Since its premiere in 1952, audiences have heard the voice of Derek Guyler as the radio announcer (now crisply digitalised). And just outside the prop room, the stage door sign is so emblematic of everything an old stage door sign should be, that the week I visited, Simon Cowell was there to have himself photographed beneath it, accompanied by two impossibly leggy women (or so I’m told).
On the more wholesome Bisto side, The Mousetrap has seen generations of families attend, some coming back with grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and celebrating anniversaries at the theatre.
All of which is a way of asking an awkward question: will The Mousetrap taken out of its historical London context, at its address straight across from The Ivy (where the actors socialise), and marked by the new Agatha Christie memorial in Leicester Square, translate to the 3,000-seat Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, as beautiful and majestic as it is?
Artistic director Denise Silvey, who spent childhood summers in Malahide across the road from Eamon Andrews with her Irish mother Molly McKinney, originally from Blackrock, Co Dublin, has brought the play to Singapore and China, where it is “more popular than Shakespeare” because the play’s appeal is universal. The touring set is larger to fill the space and the cast specially chosen for the rigours of touring. Both in the theatre and on tour, the cast works 10 months on the trot without a day off – matinees included – before being replaced by the next cast. Auditions of 1,000 actors are held every 10 months in the tiny theatre bar where, over the past 60 years, 403 actors have won roles that pay “above equity rates, a workable salary,” says Silvey.
The production that comes to Dublin will feature some familiar faces from EastEnders : Steven France as the fey Christopher Wren, Jemma Walker as Mollie, Clare Wilkie as Miss Casell and Elizabeth Power as Mrs Boyle. Silvey’s husband Graham Seed ( The Archers ) will play Major Metcalf; Karl Howman ( Brush Strokes ) and Bruno Langley (Coronation Street , Dr Who ) also have roles.
“It’s old school, like a family more than a factory; everybody talks about the play with such love,” Silvey says. She herself was cast as Miss Casewell in the 43rd and 50th years of the play. “All the living actors meet together one evening a year and we all have our stories.” This begs the question, “Any none-living actors? Any ghosts?” There is one non-acting personage, Meggie, who since her death in 1923 haunts St Martin’s “when something awful happens”, but the non-living actors tactfully stay away.
The ensemble cast are chosen not just for acting calibre, says Silvey, but for their ability to get along with others and work as a team, since eight performances per week for 10 months without a break requires equilibrium. “There are no egos,” says Silvey, who is as much a human resources manager as an artistic director.
The most famous actor to have taken part remains the first: Richard Attenborough, who as Detective Sergeant Trotter appeared with his wife, Sheila Sim, as Mollie Ralston at the world premiere in Nottingham in October 1952, exactly eight months after a 25-year-old Elizabeth Windsor became queen of England.
The play is a whodunit, of course, and keeps audiences guessing until nearly the end in a sort of theatrical Cluedo – a boardgame published in 1949, incidentally. Eight people are trapped by a snowstorm in the Great Hall of Monkswell Manor in 1952 England.
The young couple who have inherited Monkswell are making a go as guest-house proprietors on scant resources, when they discover that there is a murderer in their mist and begin to stumble on bodies. Rather racy for its time, one imagines, the dialogue wittily shows people being barely polite in an atmosphere of growing pathos and stiff upper lips.
It’s an amusing and entertaining evening in the theatre that will appeal to all ages. Audiences at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre would do well to go with groups of family and friends and make an evening of it, enjoying Grand Canal Square and refreshments in the theatre bars.
Prichard thinks the play should do well here. “The Agatha Christie business is recession-proof. When times are hard people go back to the reliables.”
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre opens on June 24th
Venue: The Abbey Theatre Peacock
Written by: Shakespeare
Directed by: Denis Conway
Cast: Patrick Moy, Des Nealon, Denis Conway, Frank McCusker, Shane O’Reilly, Jonathan White, Frank Mackey, Damien Kearney, James Browne, Michael Power, Jane McGrath and Rachel Dowling
The history plays have long been ignored in Ireland. There is a misconception that they are laborious, somewhat obscure and daresay irrelevant as they are based on English history. Ouroboros Theatre’s production of Richard II in The Abbey Peacock hopes to extinguish such preconceptions with its adapted version of the approximately four hundred and eighteen year old play.
The company admirably treads the line between adapting to suit the intended audience and anesthetizing it by altering its voice and core messages too much. It is the same plot – Richard II, the egotist King of England, is divested of each of his royal powers when set against his cousin Bolingbroke. What he once considered god given and secure proves to be the silver spoon ripped from his hands. Without the privileges and aid he once had he is unable to defend for himself at all, leading to his eventual demise. While Bolingbroke professes guilt for his death, he continues to reign as the new king.
The new critical perspective Ouroboros Theatre brings to the play is zooming in on Ireland as the looming Other throughout the play, and comparing Irish history to the plot’s trajectory. At one stage in the play Richard II travels to Ireland with the aim of quelling a rebellion. The stereotype of the savage Irish is drawn upon again and again with comic effect, enabling the audience to reflect on how our image has evolved over time and how it affected our political interaction with the once great British Empire. Analogous to Richard II, Ireland has seen many uprisings and inquisitions of monarchy. There are further allusions to political Irish history through costume and weaponry (1916 style) and art in the set’s background. More importantly, the use of Irish accents solidifies the bond (however negative a bond it may have been historically) between the two countries.
As would be expected of any Shakespearean work, there are overarching broad themes as well that tie in with the Irish correlation but also stand strongly alone. The theme of passivity is a standout example. In a soliloquy Richard states “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me”. The question of inherent strength versus developed strength arises, economic privilege and its downfalls, and passive ideology in politics. Also, the passivity expressed here could be paralleled to the passivity pitfalls during recessionary periods such as now.
Patrick Moy gives as sharp a portrayal of the usurped king as could possibly be imagined. In the beginning all the vestiges of the overly entitled are smugly portrayed with what seems a somehow modern, relaxed expression of the main character. There is a confident familiarity with his character that lends itself to this relaxed, lived in (and therefore easily made modern) portrayal. As the character’s destiny unfurls, so too does his mind. Again, there is a willingness to fully express the heightened and crazed state Richard finds himself in. Rachel Dowling superbly depicts how selfishness is effaced by motherhood as the Duchess of York. With many of the cast playing more than one character, it would have to be strong, and they all are.
Set and costume designer Joe Vanek makes the most of the limited space provided. Moveable walls are repositioned by the actors during the play to change the setting. Some may find this-especially as the actors are directly involved-breaks the flow but it does make innovative use of the stage. There is little colour but the use of light and dark pronounced.
Make use of the Irish lens version of this historical heavyweight. Playing in the Abbey until the 4th of May, and in The Everyman, Cork between 7th May – 11th May, there is ample opportunity.
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
The concept of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre arose back in 1992. Mike Adamson CEO of Live Nation, Ireland and then CEO of the old ‘Point’ (now The O2) was constantly being asked by producers of ballet, operas, drama and musicals about staging their productions in Dublin. During this time, a restricted amount of large scale theatre productions were being staged at The O2 such as Cats, Bolshoi Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Glyndebourne Opera and Mamma Mia. It soon became obvious that the demand for theatre productions surpassed the weeks available in any given year at The O2. This ignited the natural question “could we build a proper theatre setting for top international theatrical productions elsewhere in Dublin?”
It was in 2003 that the concept of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre became a possibility during discussions with Peter Coyne (CEO) and Grainne Hollywood (Property Director) of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA). Peter and Grainne wanted an iconic building at Grand Canal Square in the Docklands. Rumours were abound that a smaller theatre or group of theatres may be located at Grand Canal Square. The DDDA asked for our thoughts on this location and we presented the concept of a 2,000 seating capacity theatre to include a classic three tier theatre auditorium. The DDDA had found what they were looking for and the vision was complete and the story of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre truly began. The DDDA appointed world renowned architect Daniel Liebeskind, theatre architects RHWL and Developer Chartered Land to build this landmark building.
The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre would not have been feasible without the Dublin Docklands Development Authority’s belief in and proposed financial structuring of the project. Joe O’Reilly of Chartered Land passionately embraced the project within his overall development around Grand Canal Square. Our business partner and friend Harry Crosbie, purchased the theatre, and with him now on board, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre was guaranteed to thrill audiences for decades to come.
The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre commenced building in January 2007 and the curtain rose for its inaugural performance on March 18th 2010 with The Russian State Ballet featuring stars from the Bolshoi performing Swan Lake. We are truly looking forward to welcoming you, the audience, to this wonderful world of theatre and our policy will always be to present something for everyone via a very diverse programme of theatrical experiences to meet everyone’s passion and interests including ballets, musicals, family shows, drama, concerts, comedy, orchestral and opera, many of which would not have been possible to stage in Ireland before.
Once you visit the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, I am sure you will agree that the developer, architects, construction company, engineers, acousticians and project managers have succeeded in building a theatre which is equal to the best of theatres from around the world.
We look forward to welcoming you soon to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and presenting the magic of International Theatre in its rightful home – Enjoy.
The History Of The Olympia Theatre
No building in Dublin recalls the Victorian Music Hall more readily than the Olympia Theatre, with its glass canopy, supported by ornamental pillar and wrought iron scrollwork.
Situated opposite Dublin Castle in the heart of the city, the theatre was designed by John Callaghan, a well-known architect of the time, for Dan Lowrey who opened his new theatre, known as The Star of Erin, on the site of the present Olympia Theatre on December 22nd, 1878.
The entrance was at 12 Crampton Court, an old-world courtyard of coffee and antique shops. For seventeen years under Dan, his sons & grandsons, The Star played host to all the great names in international vaudeville.
In June 1897, Lowrey’s was closed and remodelled and in August of that year it reopened as The Empire Palace Theatre of Varieties. So it happens that the theatre we now call The Olympia, this beautiful Rococo building, is almost precisely as it was on that August day in 1897. The new entrance from Dame Street actually runs under Lowrey’s old stage.
Barney Armstrong took over the reins of direction in The Empire in 1915. On February 5th, 1923, the name changed again, this time to The Olympia Theatre. Stanley Illsely and Leo McCabe took over in 1952 and were in management for twelve years.
In the early 1960’s a group of London Irish businessmen bought the building and land. Dr. Brendan Smith made contact with the owners and secured a lease on the building. He formed a new company called Olympia Productions Ltd. and was elected chairman.
Over its formative years many world famous names in the theatre and film world have appeared on the stage in the Olympia. These include Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Tyrone Power, Noel Coward, Alec Guinness, Dame Edith Evans, Marcel Marceau and many more…
On November 5th, 1974, during a rehearsal break on the opening night of West Side Story, the Proscenium Arch of the theatre collapsed and sadly the theatre remained closed until March 14th 1977. It was due to the generosity of Dublin City Council, Corporation and, indeed, the Dublin people and members of the Irish Theatre Community, but especially the tenacious efforts of the Board of Olympia Productions and the staff, that the theatre was re-opened on March 14th 1977.
When the theatre opened its doors again in 1977, Gerry Sinnott took over the lease & the running of The Olympia and enjoyed an 18 year reign until 1995, when Gaiety Investments took the helm. The Gaiety Investments group have consistently brought the patrons of The Olympia to their feet with world class events including live music concerts as well as seated theatre shows.
Another catastrophe hit The Olympia Theatre, quite literally, when the ornate glass canopy which had sheltered people as they enter theatre since 1897, was knocked down by a truck in an accident on 18th Nov 2004. Over the course of two and half years it rested in Glasgow while being painstakingly restored to its former beauty. The canopy was re-installed, with the help of the Department of Arts, Sports & Tourism, and unveiled by Maureen Grant on 12th November 2007.
The venue remains Dublin’s most loved theatres & music venues, with a repertoire that spans all genres, rock, pop, comedy, theatre, pantomime, cabaret, traditional, folk, hip-hop, metal, easy listening, variety acts, ballet, magic & more…
The stellar reputation of the theatre is proved time & time again when world famous acts request intimate shows here for their Irish fans. In recent years we’ve had big names such as: REM, Radiohead, David Bowie, Morrissey, Muse, Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Blur, Kings Of Leon, Michael Buble, Alicia Keys, The Killers, The Prodigy, Snow Patrol, Interpol, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, The Script, Faith No More, The Pixies, The Specials, Florence & The Machine, Bryan Adams, Mumford & Sons, Beady Eye, Adele, Queens Of The Stone Age & Noel Gallagher, all of whom chose the relatively small venue to host shows here when they could have sold out large arenas.
The ornate doors of The Olympia Theatre have been open & welcoming patrons for the last 116 years, and we look forward to welcoming many future generations to our venue.
The Abbey Theatre
The Abbey Theatre was founded as Ireland’s national theatre, by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory in 1904 “to bring upon the stage the deeper emotions of Ireland”. Although written more than a hundred years ago, this is still the kernel of what constitutes the artistic imperative for the Abbey Theatre today.
The Abbey produces an annual programme of diverse, engaging, innovative Irish and international theatre and invests in and promotes new Irish writers and artists.
We do this by placing the writer and theatre-maker at the heart of all that we do, commissioning and producing exciting new work and creating discourse and debate on the political, cultural and social issues of the day. Our aim is to present great theatre art in a national context so that the stories told on stage have a resonance with artists and audiences alike.
Over the years, the Abbey Theatre has nurtured and premiered the work of major playwrights such as J.M. Synge and Sean O’Casey as well as contemporary classics from the likes of Sebastian Barry, Marina Carr, Bernard Farrell, Brian Friel, Frank McGuinness, Thomas Kilroy, Tom Mac Intyre, Tom Murphy, Mark O’Rowe, Billy Roche and Sam Shepard. We continue to support new Irish writing at the Abbey through our commissioning process and our New Playwrights Programme.
The Abbey Theatre is the only theatre in Ireland with a full time in-house Casting Department dedicated to seeking out new and emerging talent, as well as keeping abreast of the continued work and development of previously established actors from all over the country and abroad. The department is responsible for casting all productions for the Abbey and Peacock stages as well as all readings, workshops and studio initiatives.
Each script will receive an individual response and commentary from the New Playwrights Programme Manager. The reading process can take up to four months.
If your work is accepted for further development, a meeting with the New Playwrights Programme Manager, a one-day reading of your script or a workshop may be offered. Suitable writers whose scripts have been submitted are automatically considered as potential candidates for the Abbey’s New Playwrights Programme.
The Abbey Theatre is not looking for any particular style of writing but rather a script that is theatrical and original. At present, we are concentrating on Irish writing and so are not accepting scripts from abroad. The Abbey Theatre will only accept an unsolicited script which is in either Irish or English and is clearly typed and formatted.
We shield the identity of the writer from the readers at all times so that the reading will be completely unbiased. Scripts which have the writer’s name on each page of the script will therefore not be accepted.
A cover letter should be included with your script, giving your contact details and your writing experience to date.
Please only submit one script at a time. We cannot accept another submission until we have responded to your initial submission
Please submit a hard copy of your script by post and an electronic version by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Scripts will not be accepted unless both electronic and hard copies are sent.
Please submit electronic copies in Word or Rich Text (rtf) format (not Works or Final Draft)
Hard copy scripts without an accompanying stamped addressed envelope will not be returned and will be recycled
Please make sure your script is clearly legible and free of typing errors
We cannot accept handwritten scripts, radio plays, screenplays, novels, poetry, soundtracks or audio recordings
Please send your hard copy script to:
26/27 Lower Abbey Street