The Gaiety Theatre

Dublin, Ireland | C.1871

Photo Credit: David Maguire

As Ireland’s longest-established public theater, The Gaiety Theatre in Dublin has certainly lived up to its name. Located on South King Street near St. Stephen’s Green in the heart of the city, the Theatre has put on lighthearted entertainment – and the occasional drama – for over a century.

Designed by architect C.J. Phipps and opened in 1871, the Theatre was built in less than seven months. To celebrate its grand opening, a double bill of comedy was presented with performances of “She Stoops to Conquer” and a burlesque version of “La Belle Sauvage”. The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, John Spencer, was the guest of honor. Twelve years later, prominent architect Frank Matcham expanded the Theatre, which to this day, it still maintains many of its Victorian-era details.

Throughout the years, The Gaiety has welcomed audiences to enjoy performances of Shakespeare, comedies, dramas, opera and ballet. The Theatre has also hosted a diverse array of entertainers, from playwrights like George Bernard Shaw; stage and screen actors like Julie Andrews and Peter O’Toole; and opera performers like Luciano Pavarotti.

After decades of changing hands, current owners Denis and Caroline Desmond purchased the Theatre. In 2003, the Desmonds conducted the Theatre’s largest restoration in 50 years. Four years later, a second restoration saw the stage rebuilt, orchestra pit enlarged and improvements to the scenery operations for large-scale productions.

Affectionately known as “The Grand Old Lady of South King Street”, the Gaiety Theatre remains a central place to experience Irish culture and Irish theater.

Create an account to comment! Login/Sign Up.


Log in

Need an account? Sign up

Sign up

Already have an account? Log In

Enter your email to reset your password

Enter your new password