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The iconic Bewley's on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

Lunchtime Theater at Bewley’s Café

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Lunchtime theater at Bewley's Cafe on Grafton Street in Dublin has returned featuring some of Ireland’s top acting talent.

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Bewley's cafe lunchtime theater at Bewley's Cafe
The iconic Bewley's on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

Bewley’s Café Theatre has been operating since 1999 and is popular among Dubliners and visitors alike.

In fact, the initiative has an international reputation for both innovation and excellence.

An Irish Times Judges’ Special Award Winner, the repertoire includes everything from classic one-act plays based on the works of Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and Sean O’Casey, as well as newer material.

The current lunchtime theater show, “Changing the Sheets,” is being performed until April 9th, with a new soirée performance at 7 p.m. each night beginning March 31st.

Beginning April 11th, you can enjoy another new show titled “Philo,” a play written by Peter Sheridan, which debuted at the Sean O'Casey Theatre in 2021.

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people eating at a table Lunchtime theater at Bewley's Cafe
The Harry Clarke stained-glass windows in Bewley's Cafe of Grafton Street, Dublin. Photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

If you’re looking to tap into the rich Irish theatrical heritage and marvel at the architecture of this great Dublin landmark, including the fabulous Harry Clarke stained-glass windows and other notable art installations, then this is the perfect afternoon activity for you.

And it’s affordable, too.

Expect to pay between €10 and €15 for a ticket to the lunchtime theater at Bewley’s Cafe.

Performances begin at 1 p.m. and are over by 2 p.m.

The Bewley name has a long association with Dublin.

The Bewley family, with origins in the Quaker movement, came to the city from Cumberland, England, in the 17th century.

In 1835, Samuel Bewley and his son, Charles, imported over 2,000 chests of tea from China in the hopes that the tea would sell in the Irish market.

That was before tea drinking was a national pastime.

Luckily for the Bewleys, the gamble paid off and helped make the company a household name in Ireland with its formation in 1840.

After selling tea for a number of years, the family expanded into the coffee business, opening cafes on South Great George’s Street in 1894 and another one on Westmoreland Street in 1896.

What would become their flagship store on Grafton Street, where the lunchtime theater performances are held, was opened in 1927 by Ernest Bewley.

The building once housed the Seminary for the Instruction of Youth, where the Duke of Wellington (who served twice as Britain’s prime minister) and Robert Emmett, the Irish nationalist, went to school.

You’ll find Bewley’s cafes across Ireland as well as in the U.S. and the U.K. under different brand names.

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