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New stamps celebrate 150 years of Gaiety opening nights

7 October 2021

 Grand Old Lady of South King Street’ notches up 150 years

An Post has issued four stamps celebrating 150 years of opening nights at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre.  
Since opening its doors on 27 November 1871, the Gaiety Theatre has been home to top class musicals, dramas, operas and pantomimes, and live performance of all kinds. Named the ‘Grand Old Lady of South King Street’, it continues to entertain the masses, and these special stamps mark its unique contribution to Irish culture and society.

Designed by Irish design house, Red&Grey, the €1.10 stamps feature ‘Abdication’ (1948) starring Hilton Edwards and Micheál Mac Liammóir; ‘Dick Whittington’ (1957) starring Maureen Potter and Jimmy O’Dea; ‘Riverdance’ (2017) and the Druid theatre company’s production of John B Keane’s ‘Sive’ (2018).   

The set of four national stamps, and limited edition First Day Cover envelope are available at anpost.com/gaiety (with free delivery), the GPO and selected post offices.   

Caroline Downey, Gaiety Theatre owner said that is a huge honour for the Gaiety Theatre’s 150 years to be commemorated in the form of An Post stamps: “The Gaiety Theatre has been a tradition and a part of life in Ireland for generations. It is a household name and holds many fond memories for so many throughout Ireland and beyond. The images chosen represent just a small part of the incredible Irish talent that has been recognised internationally. We are delighted that images of very special productions at the Gaiety will travel the globe on letters and packages and evoke memories of some of those shared experiences.”

Anna McHugh, An Post Head of Communications said “The Gaiety represents a lifetime of great entertainment and a real sense of welcome, warmth and wonder for generations of Irish people.  These special stamps will share our pride in and admiration for the ‘Grand Old Lady of South King Street’ across Ireland and the world.”

History: The Gaiety Theatre first opened its doors on 27 November 1871, with the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, John Spencer, as guest of honour.  The first show was a double bill of Goldsmith’s evergreen comedy ‘She Stoops to Conquer’, followed by the tuneful burlesque ‘La Belle Sauvage.’

It has played host to a wide variety of familiar faces, from Maureen Potter and Niall Tobin, to contemporary writers such as Louise O’Neill and Martin McDonagh.  The venue also hosts a variety of shows including Riverdance, a full length stage performance of the 1994 Eurovision interval act, now a global phenomenon.
 

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