Trinity’s Samuel Beckett Theatre celebrates 30 years

Posted on: 20 May 2024

Ed Guiney, Sarah Jane Scaife and Gift Horse Theatre feature in the programme of events

Trinity’s Samuel Beckett Theatre will celebrate its 30th anniversary this week with a programme of events celebrating the unique nature of the theatre as a space where students learn, and then return as artists. 

Highlights including an interview with film producer Ed Guiney and an exhibition by Sarah Jane Scaife about the creation of her award-winning production of Laethanta Sona (Beckett’s Happy Days) with the islanders of Inis Oírr; and a new production created for the 30th anniversary by recent graduate theatre company Gift Horse Theatre.

All of the events are open to the public and most of events are free.

Tim Scott, Theatre Manager, Beckett Centre, explained: “The 30th anniversary celebrations of the Beckett Theatre will focus on celebrating the artistic legacy of the building and the unique nature of the theatre as a space where students learn, and then return as artists."


  • Laethanta Sona: Saol ar an gCreig 21-26 May. FREE. Installation curated by Sarah Jane Scaife for her award-winning 2021 production of Laethanta Sona (Beckett’s Happy Days). This is a photographic, sonographic and videographic exhibition celebrating the creation of the production in collaboration with the islanders of Inis Oirr.
  • Ed Guiney Talk 27 May (6:30pm) FREE but ticketed. Professor Ruth Barton will interview Producer Ed Guiney, Element Films producer behind the recent Oscar winning films ‘Poor Things’, and ‘The Favourite’.
  • The Beckett at 30: An Archival Journey 24 May – 1 June (10am – 6pm daily) FREE. A Dance Studio based installation drawing from artefacts in the Theatre archive. Involving photos, costume, set pieces, and interviews with alumni.
  • DON’T COPY ME 30 May – 1 June (7pm daily + 2:30pm sat mat) €10/15 A new production created by recent graduate company, Gift Horse Theatre.
  • Scratch Night 24 & 25 May (6:30 / 7pm) FREE but ticketed. A scratch night for new writing. Submissions welcome from staff, students and members of the public.

See here for further information and booking information are available at

Tim Scott, Theatre Manager, Beckett Centre, commented: “We can draw a direct line between the experience of our student in this building – their learning on stage in the theatre – and their careers. Theatres, when you're in college, are a bit like laboratories, except that the experiment and the learning that takes place is embodied. It is the time that students spend on stage, backstage, in the costume room and rehearsal rooms that inform their ability to excel in the arts.

“As we mark three decades of the Beckett Theatre, we are delighted to welcome back some of our graduates to celebrate and reflect on the theatre’s role in their theatrical careers, the Beckett’s impact on the wider industry. There’s a sense that as we turn 30, we’re also turning a corner, reaching a new sort of maturity in how we see ourselves and our position within the industry.”

More about the Beckett Theatre:

Named after one of the most innovative playwrights of the 20th century, the Samuel Becket Theatre was designed by de Blacam and Meagher and opened for business during the 1993-1994 academic year as a home for the relatively new Drama Department.

The theatre, which now forms part of the School of Creative Arts, operates for 18 weeks of the year as an educational facility, primarily hosting final-year productions. The rest of the year it operates commercially.

As one of the biggest stages in the city, it is an important part of the theatrical infrastructure of the city, receiving visiting companies and productions and operating as a host venue for significant events in the city’s cultural calendar, such as the Dublin Theatre Festival. The building is also home to DU Players.

The Beckett is next door to the site of old The Queen’s Theatre (on Aras an Phiarsaigh), a few hundred meters from where The Theatre Royal stood, and down the road from The Academy where the first few productions by Yeats and Gregory took place (when it was named the Ancient Concert Rooms), so it’s positioned on a historical theatre row, explains Tim Scott, Theatre Manager, Beckett Centre.

Now, it’s the only remaining theatre on Pearse Street. Its construction briefly bucked the trend of demolition of theatres, though that has accelerated sadly over the years with even more Dublin venues having closed since the Beckett first opened.

*First image: Publicity shot for 2021 production of Laethanta Sona.

*Second image: Publicity shot for Don't Copy Me running from 30 May – 1 June in the Samuel Beckett Theatre. 

*Cover image: production photo of The Berlin Project, 2016, devised by second year students, and directed by Rachel West.

Media Contact:

Fiona Tyrrell | Media Relations | | +353 1 896 3551