About Us

About Smock Alley – Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to welcome audiences to Dublin’s oldest, newest theatre. Our policy is to provide an enjoyable, affordable, quality experience, challenging & engaging you, in a friendly, feel-good atmosphere.

About Smock Alley – Our History

Smock Alley was the first Theatre Royal built in Dublin. John Ogilby opened it in 1662 as part of the Restoration of the British monarchy and King Charles II in 1660, along with the London’s Drury Lane (1662) and the Lincoln’s Inn Fields (1661). It was the first custom-built theatre in the city and still remains in substantially the same form, making it one of the most important sites in European theatre history. Smock Alley Temple Bar Theatre was the first theatre outside London to receive the title of Theatre Royal, but because it had been built on land reclaimed from the Liffey, the building was unstable and the gallery collapsed twice; it was rebuilt in 1735.

In the mid-1740s, Thomas Sheridan took on the role of manager of Smock Alley and made many improvements to it. While it was in operation as a theatre, it gave the world the plays of George Farquhar, Oliver Goldsmith, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and the brilliant performances of Peg Woffington, Thomas Sheridan, Spranger Barry, and Charles Macklin. It was on this stage that David Garrick, the greatest actor of the 18th century, first played Hamlet. Read More…

Things To Do – Tour the Theatre

Smock Alley Theatre offers full tours of its buildings during its own in-house productions. These tours trace the history of Smock Alley to its construction as the Theatre Royal in 1662, its time as St Michael and John’s Church, right up to the present day – with everything in between! For more information on when the next group of tours will take place, call us on 01 6770014. Read More…