The Gaiety Theatre, Dublin
The Gaiety Theatre is a theatre on South King Street in Dublin, Ireland, off Grafton Street and close to St. Stephen's Green. 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 as guest of honour and a double bill of the comedy She Stoops to Conquer and the burlesque La Belle Sauvage.
The Gaiety was extended by theatre architect Frank Matcham in 1883, and, despite several improvements to public spaces and stage changes, it retains its Victorian 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 and the Eamonn Andrews Studios, until - in the 1980s - Joe Dowling (former Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre) 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 promoter Denis Desmond and his wife Caroline in the late 1990s, who undertook a refit of the theatre. The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism also contributed to this restoration fund.