A LETTER from Ralph Fiennes, a phone call from John Hurt and the welcome arrival of his third grandchild Theo helped Michael Colgan mark 30 years as the artistic director of the Gate Theatre.
Although he never envisioned remaining at the helm of the well-known Dublin theatre for more than five years, last night Mr Colgan invited peers, colleagues and friends from the industry to the unveiling of its newly refurbished foyer – a fitting gift for three decades of service.
"The Gate is my mistress and with the year that was in it I decided I wanted to buy her a new frock," Mr Colgan, who joined the theatre on December 1, 1983, told the Irish Independent.
"It's a love affair that will last a lifetime, we've had a terrific time together."
Father-of-three Colgan has brought more than 220 productions to life on the Gate stage and has worked with some of the biggest actors and directors in the world, among them Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, and John Hurt.
"I have the best job in the world and absolutely adore what I do. There are so many highlights, like getting the chance to bring Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting For Godot' to the stage, or working with the Cusack sisters," he said.
And of course, seeing the return of Jane Austen's classic 'Pride and Prejudice', which began its six-week run last night.