The renowned Gate Theatre will stage Emma Donoghue’s adaptation of her best-selling book which will transport audiences back to the Dublin of a century ago.


The historic Gate Theatre, founded in 1928, has made a name for itself as the home of innovative Irish and international drama. Its vision is to create a ‘world theatre’ that leads cultural conversation for artists and audiences in a progressive and inclusive dialogue. Equality and diversity are at the core of the Gate’s cultural values.

This April it stages a new play based on the best-selling novel, The Pull of the Stars, by Irish author Emma Donoghue.


Set in a crowded maternity ward in Dublin during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, the play follows young midwife Julia Power over the course of three eventful days as she battles to comfort and take care of her patients. 


Amidst the chaos of the under-resourced hospital, Julia meets Bridie, a young woman who lives in the Magdalene laundry across the street. With a quick mind and sharp wit, Bridie makes herself indispensable to Julia and romance blossoms between the two.


The play also features Dr Kathleen Lynn, a real-life revolutionary, Sinn Féin politician and medical pioneer who was the first female doctor at Dublin’s Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital. Lynn was also a member of the Irish Citizen Army and was chief medical officer during the 1916 Rising.


Although set a century ago, the theme of pandemic and the lesbian relationship between two of the main characters makes The Pull of the Stars a very modern play. It is a beautiful, moving and often funny look at sisterhood, destiny and the things that connect us.


Emma Donoghue is a Booker Prize-shortlisted writer and was Oscar nominated for her screenplay for the film of her novel Room.


The Pull of the Stars opens on April 10 and tickets are available from


More world-class drama will follow in July, when the theatre stages Brian Friel’s Olivier Award-winning play, Dancing at Lughnasa. The much-lauded play by one of Ireland’s greatest dramatists is set in Donegal in 1936 and tells the story of a family whose world is about to change forever.


Although almost 100 years old, the Gate Theatre is not the oldest theatre in Dublin. The Smock Alley Theatre dates from 1662 and is one of the most important sites in European theatre history. The Gaiety has staged music, comedy and drama since 1871 and the Abbey Theatre – Ireland’s national theatre – was founded in 1904 by WB Yeats and Lady Gregory.


Dublin also boasts Europe’s longest-running specialist theatre festival, Dublin The

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