Bewley’s Café Theatre
Sir, – The announcement of the closure of Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street is a devastating blow to its 110 employees.
The loss of the hugely successful Café Theatre is also devastating for the countless actors, writers, directors, designers, musicians and singers who have found a platform to present their work in its intimate surroundings. Theatre spaces on this scale are already in very short supply, and the loss of Bewley’s Café Theatre leaves the whole cultural community deeply saddened.
Apart from its role in showcasing exciting new work, Bewley’s Café Theatre has also served as a vital springboard for theatre artists. Many shows that began life there went on to tour other venues, nationally and internationally.
Bewley’s Café Theatre was the only venue in Dublin producing lunch-time theatre. The loss to the thousands of patrons who enjoy theatre at this time of day will be immense.
For many who are reluctant or unable to travel into the city centre at night, it may spell the end of their enjoyment of a regular live theatre experience.
The building’s associations with theatre stretch back long before the Café Theatre was opened. It played host to both Oscar Wilde and Richard Brinsley Sheridan as pupils in Samuel Whyte’s Academy, which was originally located in the present building. Whyte’s Academy was the model for Sheridan’s The School for Scandal.
Irish Equity sincerely hopes that the theatre can once again rise from the ashes, as it did during the more recent temporary closure, and continue its vital work in the city. – Yours, etc,