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Dublin offers a wide variety of different theatre options. Many important playwrights have hailed from Ireland and it is on the stages of Irish theatres that some of Broadway's most successful plays are first staged.
The Abbey Theatre was opened in 1904. It was only three years in existence when it was surrounded in controversy following the production of JM Synge's 'The Playboy of the Western World'. Also controversial was the production of Sean O' Casey's 'The Plough and the Stars'. Both plays provoked a storm of protest as they were seen as insulting to the Irish. The original building was burnt down in 1951 and subsequently rebuilt. The theatre still has many quality productions today.
The Gaiety Theatre is one of Dublin's oldest and most respected theatres. Seating up to 1100 people, the four levels of seating give the theatre an extra special ambience. It continues to attract some of the top plays as well as hosting the top pantomime in the country, held every year after Christmas. The Gaiety Theatre also has newly refurbished reception areas.
The Gate Theatre is now one of the most active theatres in the country. It is leading the way, giving opportunities to young up-and-coming Irish playwrights. The building dates from 1786 and was originally built as part of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital. The theatre itself was set up in 1928 by Michéal MacLiammóir and Hilton Edwards. It is also known for its productions of alternative drama.
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