Beckett and Keane help Druid Theatre box office income soar 38%

Productions of Waiting for Godot and Sive contribute to revenue increase of 21 per cent

Comedian Tommy Tiernan, who played the part of Thomasheen Seán in Druid Theatre’s production of John B Keane play Sive. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Sell-out nights for Druid Theatre’s productions of John B Keane’s Sive and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot last year contributed to box-office income soaring by 38 per cent to €1.3 million.

New accounts filed by the Galway company show that the surge in box office receipts helped overall revenues increase by 21 per cent from €2.2 million to €2.782 million.

The directors said that Druid’s box office was ahead of expectations with a 31 per cent increase in audience figures, rising from 68,208 to 89,104 who attended 183 performances across 16 venues.

However, a 26 per cent increase in costs to €2.768 million – due in part to numbers employed increasing by 42 per cent to 97 – contributed to the theatre’s surplus declining by 85 per cent to €13,971 for the year.


The accounts also disclose that the Druid board approved a contract extension for artistic director Garry Hynes to age 70.

The directors’ report also discloses that Druid paid €252,000 to acquire the 35-year leasehold interest in the restaurant property Cactus Jack’s at Druid Lane to further strengthen Druid’s presence on Druid Lane.


The directors said the 2018 surplus of €13,971 “arose from notable strong revenue generated from Druid’s productions of Sive and Waiting for Godot in particular, considerable increase in fundraising and development income and some favourable cost variances”.

The theatre company’s revenues were helped by Druid focusing on building up financial support from corporate supporters and this contributed to donations increasing sharply from €119,678 to €215,842.

The accounts also reveal that Druid last year received €1.084 million in Government grants including €928,287 from the Arts Council.

Numbers employed increased from 68 to 97 with staff costs increasing by 40 per cent from €932,065 to €1.3 million.

The highest-paid member of staff earned between €90,000 and €99,999. The total amount paid to key management personnel amounted to €194,420.

At the end of last December, the theatre firm had total funds of €1.88 million. The surplus last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €131,011.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times