Druid Theatre Company

The Druid Theatre Company (referred to as Druid) is a major Irish theatre company, based in Galway, Ireland. In 1975, the Company was founded by Garry Hynes, Marie Mullen and Mick Lally - all of whom first met and worked together as members of University College Galway dramatic society, commonly known as NUIG Dramasoc. It was the first Irish professional theatre company to be established outside Dublin.[1].

Since 1979, Druid has owned a theatre building in Galway City Centre. The former tea storehouse was originally owned by the McDonaghs, one of Galway’s famous merchant families. In the late 1970s, the company negotiated a peppercorn rent with the owners which enabled the company to renovate and install its own venue and rehearsal space - which the McDonagh family later generously donated to Druid. In 2011, following extensive refurbishment, what was originally known as the Druid Theatre was renamed The Mick Lally Theatre in memory of Druid co-founder, the late Mick Lally. The theatre serves not only as a dedicated workspace for the company but it has also established itself as a landmark cultural facility for the promotion and the development of the arts in Galway. Throughout the years, the lane on which the theatre is situated has gone by numerous names; including Red Earls’ Lane, Chapel Lane, Courthouse Lane, and since 1996, Druid Lane, when Galway City Council renamed it in celebration of the company’s 21st birthday.[2]

For over forty four years, Druid has presented groundbreaking work and aims to create electrifying theatre. As well as touring extensively across Ireland, the company’s productions have played internationally to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Druid has garnered an international reputation for classical and new Irish writing, and is one of the most well-known and respected companies in the English-speaking theatre world. It has been a pioneer in the development of Irish theatre and is generally credited (alongside Macnas and the Galway Arts Festival) with making Galway one of the primary cultural centres in Ireland.[3]

In 1996, Druid premiered Martin McDonagh’s debut play The Beauty Queen of Leenane', in a co-production with the Royal Court Theatre, London. Following a strong opening in Galway, the production played across Ireland, in London, Sydney, and New York. During its Broadway run, the production won four Tony Awards, including Best Director for Garry Hynes - the first woman to win an award for directing in the history of the awards ceremony. In 2005, the company presented DruidSynge, an production of all six plays of John Millington Synge as a day-long theatrical event, at the Galway Arts Festival to critical acclaim.[4] Several years later, Druid revived a trilogy of Tom Murphy’s plays (Conversations on a Homecoming, A Whistle in the Dark and Famine) entitled DruidMurphy; this production later dominated the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards in 2014. Druid continued to present ambitious large-scale ensemble productions in 2015 with DruidShakespeare - William Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2 and Henry V in a new adaptation by Mark O'Rowe - which toured Ireland, the UK and the prestigious Lincoln Center Festival.

As of 2013, a permanent Druid Ensemble exists to work alongside artistic director Garry Hynes to further the artistic programme of the company and share a commitment to "investigate new creative possibilities."[5] This ensemble is composed of seven actors who have performed in numerous Druid productions over the last thirty years. Alongside founding member Marie Mullen, the Druid ensemble are, Marty Rea, Rory Nolan, Aaron Monaghan, Aisling O’Sullivan, Garrett Lombard and Derbhle Crotty.

Key Productions

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