Gaiety Theatre
The Gaiety Theatre is a theatre on South King Street in Dublin, Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, off Grafton Street
Grafton Street, Dublin
Grafton Street is one of the two principal shopping streets in Dublin city centre, the other being Henry Street. It runs from St. Stephen's Green in the south to College Green in the north...

 and close to St. Stephen's Green
St. Stephen's Green
St Stephen's Green is a city centre public park in Dublin, Ireland. The park is adjacent to one of Dublin's main shopping streets, Grafton Street, and to a shopping centre named for it, while on its surrounding streets are the offices of a number of public bodies and the city terminus of one of...

. It specialises in operatic and musical productions, with occasional dramatic shows.


Designed by architect C.J. Phipps and built in under 7 months, the Gaiety was opened on 27 November 1871 with the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was the British King's representative and head of the Irish executive during the Lordship of Ireland , the Kingdom of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 as guest of honour and a double bill of the comedy She Stoops to Conquer
She Stoops to Conquer
She Stoops to Conquer is a comedy by the Irish author Oliver Goldsmith, son of an Anglo-Irish vicar, first performed in London in 1773. The play is a great favourite for study by English literature and theatre classes in Britain and the United States. It is one of the few plays from the 18th...

and the burlesque La Belle Sauvage.

The Gaiety was extended by theatre architect Frank Matcham
Frank Matcham
Frank Matcham was a famous English theatrical architect. He is buried in Highgate Cemetery.-Early career:...

 in 1883, and, despite several improvements to public spaces and stage changes, it retains its Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 charm and remains Dublin's longest-established, continuously producing theatre.

Patrick Wall and Louis Elliman bought the theatre in 1936 and ran it for several decades with local actors and actresses. They sold it in 1965, and in the 1960s and the 1970s the theatre was run by Fred O'Donovan
Fred O'Donovan
Fred O'Donovan was an Irish theatre producer and businessman. He worked and associated with, Seán O'Casey, George Bernard Shaw, Peter O'Toole, Maureen Potter and Siobhán McKenna, amongst others....

 and the Eamonn Andrews Studios
Eamonn Andrews Studios
Eamonn Andrews Studios was founded by broadcaster Eamonn Andrews, famous for being the presenter with the big red book of This Is Your Life, a British television programme. In the 1960s, the launch of television in Ireland led him to become the Chairman of the RTÉ Authority...

, until - in the 1980s - Joe Dowling
Joe Dowling
Joe Dowling is the Artistic Director for the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. He is also well-known for his work as Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre in Ireland, and has directed plays in all the major theatres in Ireland as well as theatres in London, New York, Washington...

 (former Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre
Abbey Theatre
The Abbey Theatre , also known as the National Theatre of Ireland , is a theatre located in Dublin, Ireland. The Abbey first opened its doors to the public on 27 December 1904. Despite losing its original building to a fire in 1951, it has remained active to the present day...

) became Director of the Gaiety. In the 1990s Groundwork Productions took on the lease and the theatre was eventually bought by the Break for the Border Group. The Gaiety was purchased by music promotor Denis Desmond and his wife Caroline in the late 1990s, who undertook a refit of the theatre. The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Ireland)
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is the senior minister at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the Government of Ireland.The current minister is Jimmy Deenihan, TD. He is assisted by:...

 also contributed to this restoration fund.


Performers and playwrights associated with the theatre have been celebrated with hand-prints cast in bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 and set in the pavement beneath the theatre canopy. These handprints include those of Luciano Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti
right|thumb|Luciano Pavarotti performing at the opening of the Constantine Palace in [[Strelna]], 31 May 2003. The concert was part of the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of [[St...

, Maureen Potter
Maureen Potter
Maria Philomena Potter , known as Maureen Potter, was an acclaimed Irish singer, actor, comedian and performer.-Life:...

, Twink
Twink may refer to:* Chaffinch, a small bird in the finch family* Twink , a term for young or young-looking gay or bisexual men* Twink, a character from the Nintendo 64 game Paper Mario* Twinking, a role-playing game behavior, esp...

, John B Keane, Anna Manahan
Anna Manahan
Anna Maria Manahan was an Irish stage, film and television actress. She interpreted the works of, among others, Sean O'Casey, John B Keane, J. M. Synge, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Martin McDonagh, Christy Brown, and Brian Friel....

, Niall Toibin
Niall Toibin
Niall Tóibín is an Irish comedian and actor. Born in Cork into an Irish speaking family, Tóibín grew up on the north-side of the city in Bishop's Field. He has appeared in Ryan's Daughter, Bracken, The Irish R.M., Caught in a Free State, Ballykissangel, Far and Away, and Veronica Guerin, and has...

 and Brian Friel
Brian Friel
Brian Friel is an Irish dramatist, author and director of the Field Day Theatre Company. He is considered to be the greatest living English-language dramatist, hailed by the English-speaking world as an "Irish Chekhov" and "the universally accented voice of Ireland"...


The theatre played host to the 1971 Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest 1971
The Eurovision Song Contest 1971 was the sixteenth Eurovision Song Contest and the first held in Dublin, Ireland. The new voting system that was introduced in this Eurovision did have one big problem: some juries gave fewer points out than others...

, the first to be staged in Ireland, during the Gaiety's centenary year. Clodagh Rodgers
Clodagh Rodgers
Clodagh Rodgers is a singer and actress from Northern Ireland, best known for her hit single, "Jack in the Box".-Career:...

 (a contestant in that particular contest) later presented her RTE TV series The Clodagh Rodgers Show from the theatre in the late 1970's.
A nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

 is run every Friday and Saturday night in the Gaiety, with live bands on different floors, which is the latest-opening non-private members nightclub in the city.

The Gaiety is known for its annual Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

Pantomime — not to be confused with a mime artist, a theatrical performer of mime—is a musical-comedy theatrical production traditionally found in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, South Africa, India, Ireland, Gibraltar and Malta, and is mostly performed during the...

 and has hosted a pantomime every year - without interruption - since the mid 1850's. Actor and director Alan Stanford
Alan Stanford
Alan Stanford is a well known Irish-based actor and director.-Personal life:Stanford has lived in Ireland since 1969. He trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London....

 directed both Gaiety productions of Snow White
Snow White
"Snow White" is a fairy tale known from many countries in Europe, the best known version being the German one collected by the Brothers Grimm...

and Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault or Little Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm is a classic fairytale involving a beautiful princess, enchantment, and a handsome prince...

. The Musical Director for the past several shows has been Peter Beckett. Irish entertainer June Rodgers starred in the Gaiety pantomime for years, until she began to headline the equally established Olympia Theatre
Olympia Theatre, Dublin
The Olympia Theatre is a concert hall/theatre venue in Dublin, Ireland, located in Dame Street.-History:Built in 1879, it was originally called the "Star of Erin Music Hall". Two years later in 1881, it was renamed "Dan Lowrey's Music Hall" and was renamed again in 1889 to "Dan Lowrey's Palace of...

 panto. The Gaiety shows have included notable Irish performers that appeal to home grown audiences, including many Fair City
Fair City
Fair City is an award-winning Irish television soap opera on RTÉ One. Produced by Radio Telefís Éireann, it was first broadcast on Monday, September 18, 1989...

actors. Pantomimes in recent years have included versions of: Aladdin
Aladdin is a Middle Eastern folk tale. It is one of the tales in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights , and one of the most famous, although it was actually added to the collection by Antoine Galland ....

 (2010), Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk is a folktale said by English historian Francis Palgrave to be an oral legend that arrived in England with the Vikings. The tale is closely associated with the tale of Jack the Giant-killer. It is known under a number of versions...

 (2009), Cinderella
"Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper" is a folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. Thousands of variants are known throughout the world. The title character is a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune...

 (2008), Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast is a traditional fairy tale. The first published version of the fairy tale was a rendition by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, published in La jeune américaine, et les contes marins in 1740...

 (2007), and Mother Goose
Mother Goose
The familiar figure of Mother Goose is an imaginary author of a collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes which are often published as Mother Goose Rhymes. As a character, she appears in one "nursery rhyme". A Christmas pantomime called Mother Goose is often performed in the United Kingdom...


External links

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