July 20, 2010 by Smock Alley
The Independent – Tuesday 20th July 2010
The excavation of a 17th century theatre was hailed today as a historic event which should be celebrated on the world stage.
For more than 100 years Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin was a thriving venue, with top thespians treading the boards and strong working links with London’s Covent Garden.
But as the theatre’s popularity waned it was forced to close and take on new guises as a Catholic church and, more recently, an adventure centre.
The curtain was raised again this year on Smock Alley as part of a multi-million euro project to rebuild the performance space on its original site.
During the three-week excavation, which ends today, archaeologists unearthed the theatre’s foundations along with a number of key artefacts, including mosaic flooring, discarded oyster shells and wig curlers.
“Today is really a very historic and significant day,” Smock Alley’s director Patrick Sutton said.
“It’s a day for the world to celebrate because it’s about finding something absolutely unique, something which dates back to 1662.”
“We’ve chosen to hugely respect the theatre and its value and the very stones that we’re standing on. It’s a fantastic inheritance to have.”