The Gate Theatre’s first streamed production is the world premiere of The Visiting Hour by Frank McGuinness – April 22nd, 23rd, & 24th at 7:30pm

IN the first online Gate At Home production, a new play by Frank McGuinness will have its world premiere streamed from the Gate auditorium next month.  

 Frank McGuinness wrote the play during lockdown for the two renowned Irish actors Stephen Rea and Judith Roddy. Caitríona McLaughlin, the newly appointed Artistic Director- designate of the Abbey Theatre, will direct the production. 

 This moving new play about an Irish father (Stephen Rea) and daughter (Judith Roddy) at visiting hour in a nursing home during the pandemic, will be performed and recorded in the Gate auditorium, and streamed to audiences on April 22nd, 23rd and 24th at 7.30pm.   

The play quietly observes a daughter visiting her elderly father in his nursing home. His mind is beginning to wander, but conversations about the past can be dangerous, and family memories can look very different, depending on who is telling the story.  

 Gate At Home is a new artistic initiative of bespoke productions streamed from the Gate Creative Studio re-creating a unique and distinctive performance experience viewable from home.   

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 “I am thrilled to bring this dynamic creative team together for our first Gate At Home production,” said Selina Cartmell, Gate Director. “The Gate team have worked so hard to make this production happen, despite the ongoing financial challenges of the pandemic. With the welcome government investment of our vital Arts Council funding, last month we were able to announce the Gate Creative Studio, the Gate Masterclasses, and a series of commissions for Irish writers and theatre companies. Now we are especially grateful to bring theatre production back to the Gate in 2021.” 

 Frank McGuinness 

Frank McGuinness’s extraordinary plays have been produced around the world to critical acclaim, including ‘The Factory Girls, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me’ and ‘Dolly West’s Kitchen’. His adaptations for theatre form an exceptional body of work with translations of the plays of Racine, Sophocles, Ibsen, Lorca and Strindberg.  Productions of his plays at the Gate include Innocence (1986)  and ‘The Bread Man’ (1990).  Adaptations include ‘Peer Gynt’  by Henrik Ibsen (1988), ‘Three Sisters’ by Anton Chekhov (1990)  and ‘The Three penny Opera’  by Bertold Brecht (1991). 

 His play ‘Gates of Gold’  (2002), commissioned by the Gate, was a work of fiction inspired by the lives of Gate founders Hilton Edwards and Michael MacLiammoir. It offered a fascinating glimpse into a unique partnership, two lives devoted to each other, and to the theatre they founded.  


‘The Visiting Hour’ Cast and Creative Team 

Cast: Stephen Rea and Judith Roddy 

Directed by Caitríona McLaughlin  

Set and Costume Design by Katie Davenport  

Lighting Design by Paul Keogan  

Sound and Composition by Tom Lane 


€15 concession  |  €25 standard ticket | €40 household ticket | €50 support the Gate ticket 

Running time: 60 minutes. A captioned version of the production will be streamed April 23rdA Digital Tour, presented in partnership with venues around Ireland in the NASC Theatre Network including: An  Grianán  Theatre, Letterkenny, Backstage Theatre, Longford, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise,  glór,  Ennis,  Lime Tree Theatre,  Limerick,  Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire,  Siamsa Tíre, Tralee and Town Hall Theatre, Galway.  

The Gate is also happy to welcome Lyric Theatre, Belfast as a Digital Tour location. 


Tickets available at: