Events List for Balally Players and Other Groups

Productions that are running now, planned for the future or that have been on stage recently are listed on this page in two sections. The first section covers Balally Players events. The second section below that, Other Events, has information on plays and events presented by other groups and organisations.

To have an event included here, send details to the Committee using the form on the Contact page.

The Members' Area has a Balally Players Calendar of Events that covers a period of six months from and prior to the current month.

Balally Players Shows and Events

Shakespeare in the Park – June 2024

St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham & Killruddery Gardens, Bray

In 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', Shakespeare blends four separate strands that share some of the plot devices found in 'The Taming of the Shrew'. Love and the vagaries of the characters chasing and expressing it are at the heart of this play, which is considered to be one of Shakespeare's comedic masterpieces. In this, also one of his shorter plays, five acts move at a brisk pace to create lots of fun, madenss and mayhem among four young lovers, a group of amateur actors, and a mischievous group of fairies.

'Alone It Stands' in 2024Oberon (Kevin Stanton) with Titania (Jennifer McGrath) in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Poster photography and design by Declan Brennan.

'A Midsummer Night's Dream' is the perfect play for a performance outdoors on a midsummer evening. The story sees a group of four young Athenians in a romantic tangle joining with some fairies who inhabit a local forest. A wedding is planned and Bottom, the weaver, together with his friends in the woods rehearse a play, which they hope to stage for the wedding celebrations.

Balally Players brought this play to life in two glorious outdoor settings this midsummer. The final shows this year were on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 June 2024 at 8pm in the Sylvan Theatre in the grounds of Killruddery House, Bray, County Wicklow.

Earlier in June, on four evenings between Wednesday 12 and Saturday 15 June 2024 at 7:30pm, the play was performed in the Walled Gardens of St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham. The play was directed by Gerard Bourke, assisted by Joanne Keane.

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'Balally Shorts' – an evening of four treats

dlr Mill Theatre Studio 17 to 20 April 2024

In 'Balally Shorts', Balally Players presented a selection of four very different short plays; a mixture of drama and comedy. Two of the plays were by American playwrights and two were by Irish playwrights. The performances were from Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 April 2024.

'Alone It Stands' in 2024

It was exciting to have the world premiere of 'Handbag' by Tom Byrne - who is well known on the drama circuit as director, adjudicator and more recently - writer! Tom had just won the Claremorris Fringe Playwriting Competition 2024 with 'Handbag', which was directed for us by Tom's son Philip.

'Handbag' by Tom Byrne. Directed by Philip Byrne. Dark Comedy - Philly and Gobbo are up to no good! They are off exploring an old abandoned factory at the edge of their town when they discover a handbag with more in it than they were hoping for!

'Ohio Impromptu' by Samuel Beckett. Directed by Niall Balfe. Postmodern drama - An exploration of the poignant interdependency of two characters, Reader and Listener who, in reading and listening to the story of their relationship, echo the haunting quality of memory and nostalgia.

'DMV Tyrant' by Christopher Durang. Directed by Barry O'Connor. Comedy - A woman whose driver's licence has expired must negotiate the bureaucracy and disinterest of the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It does not go well!

'Judas Iscariot's Day Off' by David MacGregor. Directed by Sean Murphy. Absurd Comedy - Judas gets one day off every thousand years, and he's using this one to lawyer up and get out of the 9thCircle of Hell for good.

A selection of photos taken during rehearsals is available to view here,


'Alone It Stands'

dlr Mill Theatre & Festival Circuit to end of March 2024

Balally Players brought John Breen's play, Alone It Stands, back to dlr Mill Theatre in February. The last performance was four years ago in February 2020, just before everything shut down for COVID-19..

In this new 2024 production, director, Óran O'Rua, brought a new cast to the stage to give voice to this highly entertaining play.

'Alone It Stands' in 2024

'Alone It Stands', written by John Breen and originally published in 2004, is a play about a famous 1978 rugby match at Thomond Park in Limerick. It tells the story of what happened when the Munster provincial team played the New Zealand national team, the All Blacks.

The title of the play, 'Alone It Stands', is taken from the anthem of the club in Shannon, 'There Is An Isle'. The significance of the match comes from the fact that the result, a 12-0 victory for Munster was the only time that any Irish team, national or provincial, had ever beaten the All Blacks.

A whole host of different fictional stories are woven into what actually happened on the day of the big match itself and the excitement and anticipation leading up to it. The play presents the personal stories of various characters and their connections to the game on that remarkable day in Irish sporting history.

A handful of actors play a wide range of roles including the Munster team, the New Zealanders playing on the All Blacks team, the two coaches, the referee, the crowd, the press, a pregnant woman, Bunratty singers, several children, a dog and even the ball itself.

'Alone It Stands' took to the road for a series of performances as part of our 2024 Festival Circuit run.

  • 25 February - Kilmuckridge
  • 8 March - Strabane
  • 11 March - Newtownabbey
  • 15 March - Claregalway
  • 16 March - Ballyshannon
  • 18 March - Newry
  • 21 March - New Ross
  • 23 March - Carnew
'Juggernaut' in 2024
The cast of 'Alone It Stands' hard at work in rehearsal for the performances in dlr Mill Theatre.

Director, Óran O'Rua, wrote in the programme for the play that "Munster's victory over the All Blacks was a huge event in the life of the playwright, John Breen, who drew his inspiration for writing Alone It Stands when he learned that one of the Munster players' father passed away during the game against the All Blacks. From this piece of Irish sporting history tinged with tragedy, Breen has fashioned a funny, lively play in which both teams, plus fans, children, relatives and even a dog, are portrayed by a cast of six, with no props and only a half-time change of shirt. The very essence of life, triumph over adversity, runs throughout the play, from the opening words of the All Black's haka, Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora! (It is death! It is death! It is life! It is life!) through to the ordinary people on the Munster team and their extraordinary achievement in defeating an otherwise all-conquering New Zealand side".

Pat McCarry has more to say about the play and this production in his article published in


'Juggernaut' by David Sears

Decade of Centenaries project returns in a staged production during February 2024

Balally Players presented a forgotten play, David Sears' Juggernaut (1928), for three nights at the Lexicon in Dun Laoghaire on 8, 9 & 10 February 2024, in a fully staged performance..

'Juggernaut' in 2024
Mark Coen as Captain Hardy and Aoife Meagher as Margery Halpin. Photography & Design by Declan Brennan.
Conall Morrison
Conall Morrison

The director, Conall Morrison, has directed extensively with the Gate Theatre, Abbey Theatre, and with productions in Ireland and abroad. As part of the rehearsal process, Conall invites any members who would like to attend to come along and watch the rehearsal process across the month of January. For anyone who is interested, rehearsal will be taking place on Saturdays, from 10am-4pm in the Halla Mór, at the Pearse Museum from 6 January 2024.

The project was supported by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.

The Pearse Museum is the site of the former St Enda's school where the playwright, David Sears, was educated.

Readings of 'Juggernaut' in late 2023
The Pearse Museum in St. Enda's Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin.


What this location brought into question was whether the values Sears learned to cherish in St Enda's are themselves upheld or put on the line through his play. What is also likely to emerge in this play, is Sears's deep ambivalence over the lessons and stories that fired his romantic imagination as a boy. The public reading took place in an evening curated to reflect the era in which the play is set, with an exhibition related to Sears' life and published works and with musical interludes of songs and tunes from the era performed live. This event brought the past to life and Sears's play back into the light where it has always merited a place.

The Pearse Museum

David Sears wrote his play, Juggernaut, in the early 1920’s and entered it for competition in the Tailteann Games of 1928, which it won. It gained a production from Micheál Mac Liamór and Hilton Edwards, the co-founders of the Gate Theatre a year later. Sears was part of a generation looking to bring Irish theatre into line with progressive cultural movements outside the fledgling state. He was also someone profoundly marked by the revolutions at home. He was a student of Padraic Pearse's at St. Enda's and fought in the Easter Rising and the War of Independence. Sears sought, in his play, to reconcile his experiences of insurrection with recent developments in the Free State. He likewise sought for his dramatic writing a mix of the old and the new. What emerges in the tragedy he set out to write is a beguiling mix of the old—in the form of melodrama—and the new—in the form of drawing-room realism.

Micheal Mac Liamor and Hilton Edwards
Mac Liamór and Edwards

Sears sets the action during the War of Independence, and centres it around a middle-class family whose immunity from the struggle is shattered with the arrival of a wounded gunman looking for refuge. The dilemma for the family is sufficiently clear-cut for the melodrama of high emotion to play out around it. Should the family lie on behalf of a scoundrel whose actions — a murder and a theft — are in breach of the norms of civilised society they uphold? But, in doing so, are they not themselves betraying the bonds that unite all Irish people engaged in a righteous struggle? This dilemma takes on a more acute dimension when the daughter of the household finds herself in love with an officer in the British Army. She comes to realise that his life will be endangered by the Irish rebel should the secrets he has stolen—a list of British operatives in Ireland—reach his superiors. Her central encounters with the rebel and the British officer, respectively, constitute the heart of the play, and they are dramatized with an emotional and ethical complexity to rival the dramas of Noel Coward and R. C. Sherriff playing in the West-End.

The readings were curated by Thomas Conway, dramaturg, lecturer and tutor.

A rehearsed reading of this play was presented in dlr LexIcon, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin on Saturday 18 November at 7:30pm and the final rehearsed reading was in the Pearse Museum, Rathfarnham on Saturday 25 November 2023.

Juggernaut returns for three nights at the Lexicon in Dun Laoghaire on 8, 9 & 10 February 2024, for a fully staged performance.

Thomas Conway
Thomas Conway

During his time as literary manager and dramaturg with Druid, Thomas Conway gave dramaturgical support to world premières by Tom Murphy, Enda Walsh, Stuart Carolan, Lucy Caldwell, and Meadhbh McHugh and to revivals of plays by Eugene O’Neill, Martin McDonagh, Sean O’Casey, Tom Murphy, William Shakespeare (adapted by Mark O’Rowe) and Samuel Beckett, among others. He has also adapted Shakespeare’s Richard III for Druid. He has edited The Oberon Anthology of Contemporary Irish Plays (2012), bringing into print for the first time the work of Amy Conroy, Mark O’Halloran, Philip McMahon, Lynda Radley, Una McKevitt and Grace Dyas. He has edited two volumes of plays by Tom Murphy: DruidMurphy: Plays by Tom Murphy (2012) and The Mommo Plays (2014). Dramaturgy for independent theatre-makers and choreographers includes work with Michael Keegan Dolan, Pan Pan Theatre Company, Una McKevitt, Dick Walsh, and Painted Bird—the latter an ongoing collaboration with director, Fiona McGeown, to investigate women’s experiences throughout 20th century Ireland. His most recent project, The Lost Tenement Plays of O’Casey’s Dublin was presented at 14 Henrietta Street, the Tenement Museum, in November 2022.

Thomas Conway has taught acting students from many third-level institutions, including the Tisch School at New York University, Trinity College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Galway and The Lir, National Academy of Dramatic Art. He has been teaching Contemporary Theatre Practices in the Lir Academy’s MFA programme since its commencement in 2011.

The play was also presented in the Presentation Arts Centre in Enniscorthy on 21 October 2023.

Readings of 'Juggernaut' in late 2023
(l-r) Ruth Starr, Gerard Bourke, Murial Caslin-O'Hagan, Helen Dillon and Michael Dillon (photo: Enniscorthy Guardian).

In an article published in the Enniscorthy Guardian, reported on the Balally Players rehearsed reading of 'Juggernaut' in the Presentation Arts Centre in Enniscorthy on 21 October 2023.

The reporter, Sarah Murphy, quoted Front of House and photographer of The Presentation Arts Centre, Conor Gibson, who said that "the play went down a treat, especially amongst local history buffs. It was organised and performed brilliantly. We were delighted they chose Juggernaut and they paid perfect tribute to the play's writer, David Sears. It attracted a lot of local historians, and we would recommend anyone who has the chance to go and see it."

There is more about these performances, including photographs taken at the dress rehearsal, on the page for the play in the Productions section.


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Two One-Act plays in November 2023

'Salome' & 'Dead Man's Bells' in dlr Mill Theatre

On Monday 27 November 2023, Balally Players presented a performance of 'Salome' in dlr Mill Theatre. The play, written by Oscar Wilde and directed by Gary Wall qualified for the ADCI/DLI All Ireland One Act Finals.

'Salome' was presented together with another opportunity to see 'Dead Man's Bells' by Méabh De Brun and directed by Joanne Keane. That play was performed with another one act play, 'Autobahn' by Neil Labute and directed by Brian Molloy in dlr Mill Theatre Studio from 24 to 28 October 2023.

Balally Players One-Act plays 2023


'Salome', by Oscar Wilde was directed by Gary Wall

'Salome' is Oscar Wilde's twist on the biblical story of Herod, Herodias and Salome. This richly worded story with flamboyant imagery, tells of a lovely young girl Salome, her step-father Herod's obsession with her, and Salome's infatuation with the prophet John the Baptist (Jokanaan). What price will Herod pay to watch the dance of the seven veils? Lusted after by one powerful man and rejected by another, a young woman avenges herself … setting up a deadly chain of events!

'Dead Man's Bells' by Méabh de Brún was directed by Joanne Keane.

This dark comedy is a gothic, rural tale of inheritance, rivalry, and misdeeds, unreliably told by three sisters. Written by Máebh de Brún, award winning Irish playwright, the play is laced with black humour and quick wit, a worthy winner of the DLI/ADCI Playwriting Award.

"The foxglove bells, with lolling tongue,
Will not reveal what peals were rung"

– Mary Webb

"The play is a story of three sisters, one brother, and a farm that's up for grabs. The shared chorus of siblinghood, and the weight of unspoken family secrets, are explored with a balance of dark and the craic onstage in a journey of familial bickering and twisting tales."
– Michelle Crean. There are misdeeds — there will be consequences! One not to miss!

The October 2023 presentation also included 'Autobahn' by Neil Labute and was directed by Brian Molloy

This provocative collection of three short plays, each set within the confines of the front seat of a car, was written by world famous American playwright Neil LaBute. Each vignette explores the ethos of perception and relationship. The result is an unsettling montage, capturing the essence of middle America and the myriad paths which cross its surface.

"Sitting in an automobile was where I first remember understanding how drama works…Hidden in the back seat of a sedan, I quickly realized how deep the chasm or intense the claustrophobia could be inside your average family car."
– Neil LaBute

"This play has an ability to get under your skin" – The Guardian


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Summer Shakespeare 2023 - 'The Taming of the Shrew'

Final two performances in Killruddery Sylvan Theatre 6 & 7 July 2023

poster for Summer Shakespeare

Set in Italy, in the city of Padua, Shakespeare takes the threads of several love and marriage sub-plots and spins them into the fine yarn that is The Taming of the Shrew, which appears to have been written between 1590 and 1592.

“We will have rings, and things, and fine array.”

Lucentio, a rich young man, is excited to arrive with his servants, Tranio and Biondello, to begin his studies at the local university. His eyes are diverted from his books when his gaze is drawn to Bianca, a beautiful, gentle young woman. With little or no delay, he falls in love – besmitten and besotted – head over heals and head first into two big problems.

Bianca is already being pursued by two suitors, Gremio and Hortensio; and her father, the wealthy Baptista Minola, has decided that her older sister, the vicious, ill-tempered Katherine, must be married before any man may show more than a passing interest in Bianca.

“Tis hatch’d and shall be so.”

Undaunted, Lucentio sets out to climb up and over any and all obstacles placed in the way of his pursuit of true love. How he goes about tackling these problems spins the first of a series of threads that get knitted (and tangled) into the fabric of this enduring comedy.

The centre of the story, and the answer to Lucentio’s prayers, is the prospect of success in the courtship of Petruchio and Katherine, who appears unwilling to be ‘tamed’. Strong man Petruchio takes on strong woman Katherine in a series of ‘challenges’ – the rest (and the result) will be revealed in this Balally Players ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ presentation in June and July.

poster for Over the River

“If I be waspish, best beware my sting.”

This year's 'Shakespeare in the Park' will open in St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham.

The performances in the Walled Gardens of St Enda's Park were on Sunday 25, Tuesday 27, Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2023.

The Pearse Museum and St Enda’s Park is where Patrick Pearse lived and ran his innovative Irish-speaking school, Scoil Éanna, between 1910-16.

The museum and park are approximately 8Km from Dublin City Centre. The address, Saint Enda's Park, Grange Road, Dublin, D16 Y7Y5, is served by the number 16 bus, which stops close to the main entrance to the park on Grange Road. The numbers 17, 75, and 61 also serve the Rathfarnham area. There is car parking available on the site.

For more about the venue, visit the Pearse Museum website.

The play was also be performed in Killruddery Sylvan Theatre, in the grounds of Killruddery House, Southern Cross, Bray, Co Wicklow. The Killruddery performances were on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 July 2023. The shows in Killruddery started later at 8pm.

Readings of 'Juggernaut' in late 2023
Image produced from photos by Michael Lysaght

Killruddery House & Gardens is situated 20Kms south of Dublin, just beyond Bray in Co. Wicklow. Take the M50 southbound onto the N11 then take Exit 7, the Bray/Greystones exit and follow signs to Greystones. The venue is on the right near the end of the Southern Cross road leading from the N11 to the Greystones Road. Eircode: A98 W9F2 – GPS: 53.184907, -6.102392 For more about Killruddery House, visit the Killruddery website.

The play was directed by Karen Carleton.

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Balally Shorts

dlr Mill Theatre – 10 to 13 May 2023

Bally Short plays (2023)

In the middle of May 2023, Balally Players presented four nights of variety in the dlr Mill Theatre Studio with 'Balally Shorts', which featured six bite-sized plays in one marvellous theatrical evening. This diverse array of short plays featured a wide range of talent from within the group.

From drama to comedy and everything in between six directors, and six wonderful casts took to the stage to perform six short (15 minute) plays, showcasing just what theatre is all about.

Canker Sores and Other Distractions by Christopher Durang, directed by Barry O’Connor. A divorced couple meet by chance after ten years apart. Martin hopes for a reconciliation, and he and his ex-wife, Prunella, agree to meet for lunch in a local restaurant. His best efforts are, however, frustrated by the unique waitressing style of their server, Midge…

A Tale of Two Spectators by Peter Manos, directed by Joanne Keane. In a park, a man and a woman secretly watch their respective spouses carry on an affair. As time goes on we realise they have been meeting like this to watch their spouses for quite some time and have even developed something of a bond for each other, despite their predicament.

What Edward Did by Maeve Edwards, directed by Brendan Dunne. Two wedding guests meet at a wedding reception and strike up a conversation, after which a third member of the wedding party joins them.

Ribbons by Elaine Murphy, directed by Liam Borgström. A mother and son come to grips with each other after being estranged for five years.

Salad Days by Deirdre Kinahan, directed by Jean Monahan. A tender vulnerable play, set in a nursing home.

You Will Never Outrun Your Past by Michael Manley, directed by Mark Coen. Four school friends meet up after 20 years, only to have their reunion interrupted by someone intent on getting even with all of them. A piece about revenge and revelations, set in the present day.

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The Beauty Queen of Leenane

dlr Mill Theatre – 7 to 11 February 2023

poster for The Beauty Queen of Keenane

Sometimes I dream… of anything! Of anything. Other than this.

In the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, Maureen Folan - a plain, lonely woman, tied to her manipulative and ageing mother, Mag - comes alive at her first and possibly last prospect of a new life. But Mag has other ideas; and her interference sets in motion a train of events that leads inexorably towards the play's breathtaking conclusion.

2023 marks Balally Players' 40th Anniversary and the group opened this special year with 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane' by Martin McDonagh.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is one of playwright Martin McDonagh's (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Lieutenant of Inishmore) finest achievements. Winner of four Tony Awards on Broadway and nominated for an Olivier Award, the play conjures up the unbearable tension and loneliness of an isolated existence. Prior to his success with 'In Bruges' and the 'Banshees of Inisherin', this was McDonagh's debut play, the work that launched his career and electrified audiences. It introduced the world to McDonagh's darkly comic style, at times hilarious, at times vicious.

First produced by the Druid Theatre Company in 1996 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane' tells the story of spinster Maureen Folan, trapped in a dysfunctional relationship with her scheming and manipulative mother Mags, in a rundown cottage in the wilds of Connemara. Will Maureen's last chance at love have a happy ending? Not if Mags can help it.

With 'Banshees of Inisherin' hotly tipped for Oscar glory, Mill audiences had an opportunity to experience McDonagh's black humour in the flesh.

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Other Shows and Events

Kilrush Drama Group - South Leinster Drama Festival

Hilary Madigan takes on Mag (again!)

Kilrush Drama Group poster

Fresh from performing the role of Mag in 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane' for Balally Players, our very own Hilary Madigan reprised that role once more. This time, Hilary stepped into the role of Mag for a performance of the play with Kilrush Drama Group.

On Wednesday 8 March 2023 at 8pm there was a performance of the show as part of the South Leinster Drama Festival in St. Brigid’s Hall, Woolgreen, Carnew, Co. Wicklow, Y14 X953

This was another opportunity to see Hilary’s performance as Mag, the craggy old mother of Maureen.

The interaction between mother and daughter shows how both characters are detatched from everything around them, how they are disconnected from their wider family, and how the spite, resentment and hatred which has festered says much about the impact of isolation.

For more information visit the South Leinster Drama Festival website.

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The Good Doctor - Sandyford Little Theatre

dlr Mill Theatre Studio 29 March to 1 April 2023

Kilrush Drama Group poster

Following its sell out run of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, Sandyford Little Theatre returned to the Mill Studio with ‘The Good Doctor’ by Neil Simon.

The Good Doctor is a sparkling comedy that is by turns, charming, hilarious, sad, and touching. Based on the short stories of Chekhov, it centres around a writer, who speaks to the audience and shares his writing with them, throughout one day.

In one sketch, a feisty old woman storms a bank and upbraids the manager for his gout and lack of money. In another sketch, a crafty seducer goes to work on a wedded woman, only to realise that the woman has been in command from the first overture. And let us not forget the classic tale of a man who offers to drown himself for three rubles.

Classic Neil Simon humour where the stories are droll, the portraits affectionate, the laughter infectious, and the fun unending.

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dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin, D16 C5X6

Visit the theatre website for details on all shows

The dlr Mill Theatre is located in the Dundrum Town Centre, beside the Mill Pond. It opened in May 2006 with a production of 'Our Town' in which many Balally Players members participated. Since then the theatre has staged a wide variety of performing arts, community theatre, visual art, comedy, music, and children's shows. By including both professional and community productions in its programme, the theatre brings many people together both on and off stage. It has become a focal point of the community in South Dublin, a home for local groups and stage schools and a venue much loved by the many professional groups that have graced its stage.

If you have any queries about hiring the theatre or rehearsal spaces, call Kate Canning on 01-296 9340 or email manager @

The dlr Mill_Theatre_website has all the information you need about the theatre itself as well as a comprehensive list of all the shows coming up.

Mill Theatre

The theatre Box Office is open from Monday to Saturday between 12:30pm and 5:30pm and the theatre re-opens at 7pm when there is an evening performance. You can also phone 01-296 9340 to make a credit card booking.

To book tickets online...

On the theatre website click the button beside your chosen performance and follow the instructions. You should note that there is a €1 booking fee per ticket for all bookings taken online and over the phone and you cannot choose your seats online, you are automatically allocated the next available seat.

To book tickets at the theatre...

Call in to the Mill Theatre Box Office, which is open from Monday to Saturday, 12:30pm to 5:30pm. The theatre re-opens at 7pm when there is an evening performance.

To book tickets over the phone...

The telephone number to call is 01-296 9340. The information needed is the date and event you wish to attend, and how many tickets you require. If booking by credit card, you will need to give your card number and expiry date, your name and address. You should have an alternative date in mind, just in case your first choice is not available.