History of the Theatre
The history of The Mick Lally Theatre on Druid Lane
History of the Venue
The Mick Lally Theatre has been the home of Druid’s work since 1979. The building was once a tea storehouse, owned by the McDonaghs, one of Galway’s famous merchant families. Druid negotiated a peppercorn rent with the owners in the 1970s which enabled the company to have its own venue, and the McDonagh family later generously donated the building to Druid.
Druid and the Theatre
Since Druid first moved into the space, the company has been creating groundbreaking theatre which premieres to audiences in Galway, then Ireland and the world. The landmark cultural facility is where the real character and shape of the company took root and has been the creative birthplace of all the company’s work from J.M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, to Martin McDonagh’s Leenane Trilogy, from the production of The Gigli Concert by Tom Murphy which re-opened the venue in 2009, to the epic theatre event, DruidShakespeare, in 2015.
The Theatre in Recent Years
What was known as Druid Theatre was renamed ‘The Mick Lally Theatre’ in 2011 in memory of Druid co-founder the late Mick Lally. The theatre has since become home to many visiting and local organisations and is a regular venue in annual festival programmes including Galway Theatre Festival, Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, Galway International Arts Festival and Galway Jazz Festival.
Through the years the lane on which the theatre is situated has gone by numerous names; Red Earls Lane, Chapel Lane, Courthouse Lane (there formerly having been a courthouse at the Flood Street end of the lane) and since 1996, Druid Lane, when Galway City Council renamed the lane for Druid’s 21st birthday.