Smock Alley Theatre
Smock Alley Theatre History Tour
Visit Dublin’s oldest newest theatre and be regaled with tales of our cultural history and varied past. Discover the sights and sounds of the colourful theatre world of 17th century Dublin and the evolution of Europe’s longest-standing Theatre right up to the present day.
Hosted by informed, entertaining, and unforgettable guides, come and see our beautifully restored 17th century premises.
Duration Up to 90 minutes
Cost Historical Tours €8 per person (group of 12 minimum) or Tour + Lunch €17.50 per person
Other information Free tours are provided as included in the ticket price for our in-house productions which run twice a year (August & December)
How to get there
Smock Alley Theatre is situated on Exchange Street Lower with its façade facing on to Essex Quay/Wood Quay. We are only a 12 – 15 minute walk from Tara Street DART station and 5 – 10 minutes from the Jervis Street or Four Courts stops on the LUAS red line. It is a 10 – 15 minute walk from O’Connell Street. There are parking facilities at Christchurch and Fleet Street
For further information please see the theatre's website
Smock Alley Theatre lies in an unassuming part of Dublin city. Nestled on the banks of the River Liffey in a quiet part of Temple Bar you would be forgiven for thinking it a quiet little building. But its foundations lie in the oldest part of our city. We stand next to the founding site of Dublin. By the time our theatre was built we were part of the Kingdom of England and were under the rule of King Charles II. The city was one of the most important in the Kingdom, so much so, that it was given its own Theatre Royal. Indeed, we were the first and only Theatre Royal ever to be built outside the great walls of London.
In 1662, the doors opened, to the glorious and opulent Theatre Royal at Smock Alley. Velvet drapes, glittering chandeliers and beautiful hand painted sceneries dazzled the Dublin audience. We were also one of the first theatres in the world to incorporate the brand-new invention of “footlights” on to the stage. The Theatre Royal at Smock Alley gave the world the plays of George Farquhar (The Recruiting Officer), Oliver Goldsmith (She Stoops to Conquer) and Richard Brinsley Sheridan (The Rivals). 300 people attended the theatre each night, seven days a week to be enthralled, entertained and enlightened by actors, acrobats, dancers, musicians and trapeze artists. Hundreds of candles blazed in brass chandeliers as Peg Woffington, Charles Macklin and even the greatest actor of his generation, David Garrick, tread the boards of one of the greatest theatres in the Kingdom.