Message from the President, 2014

The Dublin Shakespeare Society was founded in 1907 and is the oldest non-professional theatre company in Ireland. The society is dedicated primarily to promoting the works of William Shakespeare – the greatest playwright of them all. Over more than a century of existence we can claim to have staged some of the best Shakespeare productions […]

The 1910s

From 1910 onwards the Society took to the boards – and to the Lawns. In the period to 1921, at least 5 productions were presented in Lord Iveagh’s Gardens, Stephen’s Green, which remains a popular recreational park for Dubliners and the occasional location of outdoor theatrical events. It is worth noting that the Society continued […]

The 1920s

Unfortunately, records of the Society’s activities in the 1920s are scarce and only two full productions are documented. It is likely that new political realities, including the arrival of Irish Independence in 1922, would have resulted in a reaction against an entity associated with the ‘British Empire’. But it should be recalled that the emphasis […]

The 1930s

The Dublin Shakespeare Society was formally established in 1935 as the successor to the Dublin Branch of the BESS. In fact, moves were afoot from 1931 to change the title of the Society. Leading lights from the former BESS, including prominent academics from both Trinity College and University College Dublin, were again to the fore. […]

The 1940s

One of the main restrictions on the Society in presenting full productions of Shakespeare’s plays through the 1930s and 1940s, was the lack of its own premises. In this absence, rehearsals were held in members’ homes, and other activities and meetings took place in various locations in the city. Even so, a more regular pattern […]

The 1950s

From the late 1940s the activities of the Society increasingly favoured the presentation of stage productions of the Bard’s plays. The Society in the 1950s more closely resembled the DSS of today. At least 17 productions were presented in the decade. All but two were Shakespeare plays. This increased output was undoubtedly helped by the […]

The 1960s

The 1960s was another good decade for the Society. The membership increased with the new emphasis on stage productions, but the records are somewhat incomplete as to the actual number of productions presented. There are records of at least 6 productions of Shakespeare plays and the Society presented an O’Casey play, The Shadow of a […]

The 1970s

Well established now in its studio premises in North Great Georges’ Street, the 1970s saw another surge in activity by the DSS and over 25 major productions are recorded. There was also a noticeable widening of the repertoire of the Society, with productions of plays by Beckett, Pinter, Stoppard, Arrabal, Strindberg, and even Neil Simon. […]

The 1980s

The 1980s was a phenomenal decade for the Society, with a total of 51 productions presented, 16 of which were full productions of Shakespeare plays. The Society celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1982 under the Presidency of Jack Brereton, another stalwart of the Society, who brought his unique talents as musician, actor and raconteur to […]

The 1990s

Not surprisingly, the loss of a permanent home resulted in a curtailment of the activities of the Society in the 1990s. 21 productions (8 of them in the last North George’s St. studio) were presented altogether during the decade, including 6 Shakespeare plays. Outside venues used for major productions from 1992 included Andrews Lane Studio, […]