Venue and date

The conference will take place at Trinity College Dublin on 17-18 February 2017.


Trinity College, University of Dublin is located in the heart of the city. Although it was founded in 1592, the College is in many ways an eighteenth-century institution. Many of its iconic buildings were built during this period, notably the Long Room Library (built 1712-1732) home to 200,000 books and one of the most impressive libraries in the world. The College’s Front Gate is flanked by statues of eighteenth-century alumni Edmund Burke and Oliver Goldsmith and the institution also educated Jonathan Swift and Bishop Berkeley, among others.


For those of us with an interest in the theatre of the eighteenth century, there were many other persons of note who also attended the College. Henry Brooke, William Congreve, Richard Daly, Dennis Delane, George Farquhar, Robert Jephson,  Charles Molloy, James Quin (perhaps), Thomas Sheridan, Thomas Southerne, Owen Swiney, and Nahum Tate were among those who pursued theatrical careers fortified with a Trinity education. Trinity might also lay tentative claim to Charles Macklin, reputed to be a badgeman (i.e. dogsbody general) for the students in the early 1700s.


Trinity was and remains within a short distance of Smock Alley Theatre which opened its doors first in 1662. Like its counterpart Theatre Royals in London, Smock Alley was an energetic site of cultural and political activity for much of the century before it closed its doors in 1787. It was the theatre where Garrick first played Hamlet (1742) and the artistic exchange between it and the London theatres was an important source of cultural vitality for both cities in this period. It reopened as a theatre in 2012; fittingly, Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer was its first play of the modern era.