NUI Galway Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, the Irish Theatrical Diaspora Project (ITD), and the Gate Theatre present:

The 12th Annual



30 April and 1 May 2015

The Gate Theatre, Parnell Square, Dublin 1


Since the Gate Theatre was founded by Hilton Edwards and Micheál Mac Liammóir in 1928, it has been a vital and essential presence in Dublin theatrical life. The Gate has given us outstanding, landmark productions (including the legendary Juno and the Paycock from 1986, the first Salomé in English in 1928, and world premieres of classic plays by Denis Johnston and Brian Friel), brilliant festivals (including the performance of all 19 stage plays by Samuel Beckett in 1991 and four festivals dedicated to the work of Harold Pinter), and daring tours (to China, Egypt, Israel, and beyond); it has also launched the careers of internationally-renowned actors (including Orson Welles, James Mason, and Michael Gambon), and important Gate productions have featured some of Ireland and Britain’s most famous actors (including Siobhán McKenna, David Kelly, Kenneth Branagh, Ralph Fiennes, Ciarán Hinds, John Hurt, Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, and – memorably – Sinéad, Sorcha, and Niamh Cusack alongside their father, Cyril, in Chekhov’s Three Sisters).

Given the immense importance of the Gate’s contribution to Irish theatrical culture, it has received less critical attention than it deserves. As such, this year’s Irish Theatrical Diaspora Conference will be dedicated to examining the Gate and the theatre practitioners associated with it – not just the celebrated artists mentioned above but also unsung figures such as Lord and Lady Longford, Mary Manning, Mainie Jellett, and Harry Kernoff. The conference will feature a public interview with Michael Colgan (the theatre’s artistic director and the man behind many of its greatest achievements) and performances from actors associated with the Gate (such as Barry McGovern and Michael James Ford); the programme will also include academic panels and plenary sessions which explore the theatre’s past, present and future. Surprisingly, this will be the first academic conference devoted entirely to the Gate.

To register for this conference – or to obtain more information about it – please write to Dr. David Clare ( or Des Lally ( The conference is free of charge but space is limited, so advance registration is required.


THURS., 30 April 2015

9.00am-9.20am: Registration GATE THEATRE CAFÉ / Tea and Coffee served

9.20am-9.30am: Opening Remarks GATE AUDITORIUM

 9.30am-10.30am: PLENARY SESSION – Richard Pine (Durrell School of Corfu) on “Micheal Mac Liammóir as a Graphic Designer in the context of the early Gate Theatre (with some opening and closing remarks on the Gate’s significance and the future of Irish theatre studies)” GATE AUDITORIUM

 10.30am-11.00am: Tea and Coffee GATE THEATRE CAFÉ AND BAR

 11.00-12.30pm: PANEL ONE – MAC LIAMMÓIR AND EDWARDS (Chair: Miriam Haughton of NUI Galway) GATE AUDITORIUM

Thomas Madden (NUIM) – “Letting Mac Liammóir Speak”

Ruud van den Beuken (Radboud University Nijmegen) – “A Future Femme Fatale: Prospective Memory Structures in Micheál Mac Liammóir’s Diarmuid and Gráinne

Des Lally (NUI Galway) – “The Fictionalization of Hilton Edwards and Micheál Mac Liammóir in Paul Smith’s Novel Stravaganza!

12.30pm-1.30pm: Lunch Break

1.30pm-3.00pm: PANEL TWO – BECKETT (Chair: Feargal Whelan of UCD) GATE AUDITORIUM

Trish McTighe (University of Reading) – “‘Be again, be again’: The Gate’s Beckett Country”

David Clare (NUI Galway) – “The Gate Theatre’s Beckett Festivals: Tensions between the Local and the Global”

Aoife Lynch (UCD) – “Beckett’s Endgame, Entropy, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics”

3.00pm-3.45pm: Rehearsed Reading of The Old Tune, by Samuel Beckett (after Robert Pinget), starring Barry McGovern (presented with support from the Irish Research Council) GATE AUDITORIUM

3.45pm-4.00pm: Tea and Coffee GATE THEATRE CAFÉ AND BAR


Paige Reynolds (Holy Cross) – “Mary Manning at the Gate”

Feargal Whelan (UCD) – “Lord Longford’s Yahoo: Swift and Anglo-Irish nationalism in the 1930s”

Virginie Girel-Pietka (CECILLE, Université Lille 3) – “Denis Johnston at the Gate”

 6.00pm-7.00pm: Public Interview with Michael Colgan (conducted by Vincent Woods of RTÉ) THE GATE LAB


FRI., 1 May 2015

9.00am-9.20am: Registration GATE THEATRE CAFÉ / Tea and Coffee served

9.20am-9.30am: Organiser Remarks GATE AUDITORIUM

 9.30am-11.00am: PANEL FOUR –WILDE AND SHAW (Chair: David Clare of NUI Galway) GATE AUDITORIUM

Audrey McNamara (UCD) – “The Actress Meets the Bishop at the Gate: Siobhán McKenna in Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan

Noreen Doody (St. Patrick’s College, DCU) – “‘Our only thorough playwright’: Oscar Wilde and the Gate Theatre, Dublin”

Ian R. Walsh (NUI Galway) – “Patrick Mason, the Anglo-Irish Playwright, and the Gate Theatre”

11.00am-11.30am: Tea and Coffee GATE THEATRE CAFÉ AND BAR

11.30am-12.30pm: Rehearsed reading of Bernard Shaw’s O’Flaherty, V.C., starring Michael James Ford (presented with support from the Irish Research Council) GATE AUDITORIUM

 12.30pm-2.00pm: Lunch Break

 2.00pm – 3.30pm: PANEL FIVE – DESIGN AND STAGING (Chair: Patrick Lonergan of NUI Galway) GATE AUDITORIUM

Elaine Sisson (IADT) – “Experiment and the Free State: The Gate Theatre and European Modernism 1928-1937”

Siobhán O’Gorman (TCD) – “From the Neo-Elizabethan to the Brechtian? Edwards and MacLiammoir’s Scenography post-1950”

Joe Vanek (Set and Costume Designer) – “Innocence and Beyond: Four Designs for Frank McGuinness Plays at the Gate”

3.30pm-4.00pm: Tea and Coffee GATE THEATRE CAFÉ AND BAR

4.00pm-5.30pm: PANEL SIX – FRIEL (Chair: Thomas Conway of Druid/NUI Galway) GATE AUDITORIUM

Emilie Pine(UCD)  – “Angry Young Men: Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Arnold Wesker”

Anthony Roche (UCD) – “Friel at the Gate: Lovers in Dublin and New York”

Graham Price (UCD) – “Faith Healer, Bracha Ettinger and the Art-Encounter-Event”

6.00pm-7.00pm: PLENARY SESSION – Public interview with Christopher Fitz-Simon (conducted by Nicholas Grene of TCD) THE GATE LAB