The Gate Theatre has unveiled the second full season under CEO Selina Cartmell and one of the key elements is a return to the big winner from the first with The Snapper coming back for a summer run from June through to August.

That may not be the most creatively brave call but there is a strong logic with a massive 74 per cent of those who made the show a sell-out success in 2018 admitting it was the first time they had been to the theatre on Parnell Square.

Now that is the kind of marketing that allows a lot more leeway when it comes to staging other productions and the gate has certainly not come up short on that front.

We reported earlier this week the importance of crowd pleaser shows like Big Maggie had been for the Druid Theatre Company and the same holds true no matter what size the company.

The Gate has pulled the same trick bringing back The Great Gatsby which opens next week and is all but sold out through until January.

The programme for 2019 beyond these two attractions is themed Love and Courage and includes two contemporary dramas by Lucy Kirkwood and David Eldridge which will run back to back from 28th February to 20th April.

The third production before The return of The Snapper is somewhat more traditional for the Gate with an adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, directed by Tom Cairns making his Irish stage debut.

No sign of a Ruth Negga style star turn yet but there is a lot of thought and imagination going into the Gate’s planning and it’s a space well worth watching.

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