From amateur and avant-garde productions, to huge touring musicals and Christmas pantomimes, if you love live theatre then Dublin is the city for you.
Theatre played a pivotal role in Dublin’s history, offering the opportunity for Ireland’s writers to share their stories with the city and its people. The Abbey Theatre, co-founded by one of Dublin’s best loved writers W. B. Yeats, performed a leading role in the cultural nationalist revival and has provided the stage for some of Ireland’s best loved and most controversial productions (including the powerful drama Cathleen ní Houlihan).
Each year, from September to October, Dublin’s festival season keeps theatre-goers busy, and once the Christmas season begins touring companies and pantomimes flock to Dublin. In September, the Tiger Dublin Fringe showcases the best in contemporary theatre from around the world, focusing on innovation in drama. Soon after, the Dublin Theatre Festival shows the classical productions of celebrated theatre companies alongside the work of emerging theatre-makers, aiming to capture the imagination of Dublin and develop a sense of connection and community across the city.
If you would rather make the play than watch it, Trinity’s drama society (D.U. Players) is the most active student drama society in the country (putting on two stage productions per week in term time) so you’ll have plenty of opportunities. Housed in the Samuel Beckett theatre, Trinity’s drama society has its own performance and rehearsal spaces, as well as an extensive collection of props and costumes accumulated over the years.
The first few plays of the year audition only those who have never been in a players production before, offering Freshers the chance to get involved with the society from the beginning. With over 40 productions a year it’s hard to keep track of everything performed at Players, but each year includes: original writing, reimaginings of classic plays, musicals, comedies, tragedies and experimental theatre.
So whether you’re a budding actor, director, costume-maker (or you just love the theatre), there are plenty of opportunities both inside Trinity and beyond its walls to enjoy the drama of Dublin.