This charming Victorian venue with its distinct Venetian facade is Dublin's longest running theatre, and has always been a highly popular venue. Opened in 1871, the Gaiety Theatre has long showcased a mix of Irish and international entertainment. Acts may typically include:
- Drama, including Irish (original and classic)
- Classical Recitals
Charming Old Theatre
Dubliners and visitors alike love coming to the Gaiety for its classic, intimate setting. The small venue means that seats are never too far from the stage, while the ceilings and the many balconies are beautifully sculpted, and Victorian chandeliers provide a warm ambience during intermissions.
Dublin's Walk of Fame
Handprints cast in bronze of well-known Irish and some international performers and playwrights are set in the pavement under the canopy of the theatre, which has become known as "Dublin's Walk of Fame". The handprints include those of
- Luciano Pavarotti
- Billy Connolly
- John B. Keane (playwright)
- Ronnie Drew (singer with The Dubliners)
The Grand Old Lady, as she was once nicknamed, is renowned in Dublin for her Christmas pantomime. The Gaiety has hosted a panto every year since 1874, and the Gaiety pantomime is considered the best of the pick of pantos held throughout the city, with cameos from well-known local stars.
The Gaiety Night Club
The Gaiety is also a popular weekend night venue among Dubliners. Every Friday and Saturday, the theatre opens as a nightclub, offering live performances on one floor. Alternatively, crowds can enjoy a DJ on another floor, or just enjoy drinks and conversation on yet another. Many people regularly pass between all three rooms, which makes the Gaiety a unique experience among Dublin's nightlife offerings.
It was designed by architect C.J. Phipps and was constructed in less than seven months. Since it opened in 1871 with She Stoops to Conquer (comedy) and laBelle Sauvage (burlesque), the Gaiety has become Dublin's oldest and most continuously producing theatre, honoring the original express purpose of her founders to present the highest-quality entertainment, no matter the type of performance involved. In 1971, Ireland's state broadcasting organisation, RTE, sent their first live colour transmission from the Gaiety. The 1971 Eurovision Song Contest, live from the Gaiety, was watched by an audience of 400 million.
Modern Conservation and Enhancements
In 2003, a large state-aided conservation and rehabilitation project was undertaken at the theatre. Air-conditioning was installed and the seating was revamped in order to produce a larger and more comfortable space for the audience. A further renovation occurred in 2007, during which the stage was rebuilt, the orchestra pit enlarged, and other improvements made in an effort to optimise the quality of the performance experience of both the actors and audiences. Despite the production capacity enhancements and other renovations, the theatre has not lost its initial Victorian charm.