Smock Alley celebrate their fifth birthday since re-opening as a theatre with a staging of The Rivals – a hilarious comedy of manners that has entertained audiences for almost 250 years. The show runs from 31 July until 2 September and is a fitting way to celebrate this grand old theatre as writer Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s father Thomas was once the actor/manager of the original Smock Alley Theatre and this will be the first time the play has graced the Smock Alley stage since the 1700s.
Smock Alley originally opened its doors as a theatre in 1662 and proved to be a popular venue until closing in 1787. It then spent over 200 years as a church before being lovingly restored and reopened as a theatre in 2012. Since then it has once again become a beacon for the arts in Dublin, playing host to a range of acts and staging their own in-house productions. The Rivals will be Smock Alley’s 8th in-house production and it guarantees a great night for all.
Set in the English town of Bath in the 18th century, The Rivals tells the story of The wealthy Lydia Languish. Brought up on romance novels, Lydia is searching for a suitor and only a poor man will do, so it is no wonder she falls for the penniless Beverley. However her formidable aunt Mrs. Malaprop, through a series of hilarious blunders, raises serious objections to Lydia’s choice.
This production is directed by Liam Halligan – who has extensive acting and directing credits in theatres at home and abroad. It also features an excellent cast, including Ashleigh Dorrell, Finbarr Doyle, Aislinn O’Byrne, Eavan Gaffney and Deirdre Monaghan.
This isn’t just a show, it’s a whole experience that allows visitors to fully appreciate the story of Smock Alley Theatre. There are free historical tours of the theatre before every performance. Visitors will learn about the fascinating story behind the theatre and learn more about Thomas Sheridan and his role in the management of the theatre where his son’s play will be performed over 200 years later.
On selected evenings you can enjoy a seasonal pre-show dinner with a glass of wine in the theatre’s magnificent Banquet Hall before heading downstairs to see the show. Tickets for these evenings cost just €30 and diners can choose from a delicious menu that includes, Roast Chicken with Chorizo, Peppers, Red Onion, Potatoes & Romesco, Tomato Gnocchi with Roast Tomatoes, Pesto & Rocket or Spiced Mackerel with Horseradish Potatoes, Grapefruit & Fennel Salad, all served with a glass of wine.
There will also be weekend matinees where visitors can enjoy brunch and a show. Have the perfect afternoon out with a scrumptious wholesome brunch in the Banquet Hall for just €25, which includes the matinee ticket. Once again, the menu is very exciting, with options including Eggs in Purgatory with Feta and Parsley and toasted bread, Corn cakes with bacon, guacamole and leaves, or Pastrami and Potato Hash with Fried Eggs.
Smock Alley looks back yet also drives forward this summer as they celebrate their history with this all new in-house production. With so many great ways to enjoy the show, the crowds are sure to flock to the theatre to celebrate their great history with them.