Centre stage: Michael Colgan, director of the Gate, with Michael Gambon during the theatre’s 2010 production of Krapp’s Last Tape. Colgan believes that, for all the high-voltage celebrity of a minority of stars, actors in general are undervalued. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

One of the most interesting riots in Irish history broke out in January and February 1747 at Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. It was about many things, (...)