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Irish Times Theatre Awards

I’m back! Following an unfortunate juggling accident with a cup of tea and my beautiful Macbook on Christmas morning, I was down a computer for a little while, I also was completely uninspired to write until I saw The Irish Times theatre nominations t’other day. The first thing that struck me was the enormous body of theatre work that is being produced every year across Ireland. I would have thought that I get to a lot of theatre and even when budget restricts me I would still be aware of a lot of productions, but looking down through the nominations I realised that I’m still ignorant of a lot of work being produced – a lot of really great work apparently. The notable absence of The Gate from the nominations is a pity, I can’t imagine what benefit it has to The Gate to exclude your productions and staff from what is great exposure for any theatre, production company and industry professional.

My fingers are crossed for Louis Lovett who, in my opinion, put down a great performance in B for Baby, and for Ellen Cranich’s fantastic soundtrack to Phaedra. It’s a pity I can’t give a more critical review of the nominations but perhaps the vast span of the awards will encourage me to attend even more theatre this year. I was disappointed to see As You Are Now, So Once Were We omitted from the awards, as the Joycean in me really enjoyed this production – although it’s not very Joycean, the play simply draws on Joyce’s desire to represent all of life in Dublin in one day and so The Company set out to do the same, along with help of some cardboard boxes. The production is about to start a run in the Peacock, so if you haven’t seen it, then get your bum along! Clickedy click here for more info.

Even though I never managed to get along to Theatre Upstairs, I have been impressed by their great marketing techniques, using cost effective social media to market their productions – check out their Facebook Group.

The awards will be presented on Feb, 27th but I don’t know if they’re going to be televised….

Here are the nominations in their entirety:

BEST ACTOR

Louis Lovett – as B and Brian in B for Baby at the Abbey Theatre, written by Carmel Winters and directed by Mikel Murfi
Malcolm Adams – as Tim Hartigan in Slattery’s Sago Saga, written by Arthur Riordan, directed by Jo Mangan for Performance Corporation
Marty Rea – as Hamlet in Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare and directed by Alan Stanford for Second Age Theatre Company
Karl Shiels – as Quinn in Penelope, written by Enda Walsh and directed by Mikel Murfi for Druid Theatre Company

BEST ACTRESS

Olwen Fouéré – as the woman in Sodome, My Love, written by Laurent Gaudé, translated by Olwen Fouéré and directed by Lynne Parker for Rough Magic Theatre Company
Hilary O’Shaughnessy – as the tour guide in Berlin Love Tour, written by Lynda Radley and directed by Tom Creed for Playgroup
Eileen Walsh – as Medea in Medea, written by Euripedes in a new version by Robin Robertson and directed by Selina Cartmel for Siren Productions
Aoife Duffin – as Winnie Butler in Christ Deliver Us!, written by Thomas Kilroy and directed by Wayne Jordan for the Abbey Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Laurence Kinlan – Mossy Lannigan in Christ Deliver Us!, written by Thomas Kilroy and directed by Wayne Jordan for the Abbey Theatre
Joe Hanley – as Fluther Good in The Plough and the Stars, written by Sean O’Casey and directed by Wayne Jordan for the Abbey Theatre
Ronan Leahy – as Tutor/Messenger in Medea, written by Euripedes in a new version by Robin Robertson and directed by Selina Cartmel for Siren Productions
Conor MacNeill – as Lyokha in Plasticine, written by Vassily Sigarev and directed by Pat Kiernan for Corcadorca Theatre Company

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Andrea Irvine – as Lady Macduff in Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare and directed by Jimmy Fay for the Abbey Theatre
Eleanor Methven – as Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest, written by Oscar Wilde and directed by Lynne Parker for Rough Magic Theatre Company
Karen Ardiff – as Mrs Cregan and Sheelagh Mann in The Colleen Bawn, written by Dion Boucicault and directed by Jimmy Fay for Bedrock Productions, Civic Theatre and Project Arts Centre
Brid Brennan – as Madge in Philadelphia, Here I Come!, written by Brian Friel and directed by Dominic Dromgoole for Woodpecker Productions

BEST DIRECTOR

Selina CartmellMedea, written by Euripedes in a new version by Robin Robertson, produced by Siren Productions
Jo Mangan Slattery’s Sago Saga, written by Arthur Riordan, produced by Performance Corporation
Wayne Jordan Christ Deliver Us!, written by Thomas Kilroy, produced by the Abbey Theatre
Rachel O’RiordanOver the Bridge, written by Sam Thompson and adapted by Martin Lynch, produced by Green Shoot Productions

BEST SET

Aedín Cosgrove The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane, directed by Gavin Quinn, produced by Pan Pan Theatre
John ComiskeySodome My Love, written by Laurent Gaudé, translated by Olwen Fouéré and directed by Lynne Parker for Rough Magic Theatre Company
Tom PyeJohn Gabriel Borkman, written by Henrik Ibsen in a new version by Frank McGuinness, directed by James Macdonald

BEST COSTUMES

Bláithín SheerinPhaedra, written by Hilary Fannin and directed by Lynne Parker for Rough Magic Theatre Company
Joan BerginJohn Gabriel Borkman, written by Henrik Ibsen in a new version by Frank McGuinness, directed by James Macdonald
Miriam Duffy The Birthday of the Infanta, directed and adapted from a story by Oscar Wilde by Bairbre Ní Chaoimh for Bewley’s Café Theatre

BEST LIGHTING

Paul KeoganPlasticine, written by Vassily Sigarev and directed by Pat Kiernan for Corcadorca Theatre Company
Sinéad Wallace Happy Days, written by Samuel Beckett and directed by Annie Ryan for Corn Exchange
Sinéad McKenna Medea, written by Euripedes in a new version by Robin Robertson and directed by Selina Cartmel for Siren Productions

BEST SOUND

Dennis ClohessySodome My Love, written by Laurent Gaudé, translated by Olwen Fouéré and directed by Lynne Parker for Rough Magic Theatre Company
Ellen CranitchPhaedra, written by Hilary Fannin and directed by Lynne Parker for Rough Magic Theatre Company
Philip Stewart The Early Bird, written by Leo Butler and directed by Donnacadh O’Briain for Natural Shocks

BEST PRODUCTION

The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane, directed by Gavin Quin for Pan Pan Theatre
Medea, written by Euripedes in a new version by Robin Robertson and directed by Selina Cartmel for Siren Productions
World’s End Lane, directed by Louise Lowe for Anu Productions
Phaedra, written by Hilary Fannin and directed by Lynne Parker for Rough Magic Theatre Company

BEST NEW PLAY

What’s Left of the Flag by Jimmy Murphy – directed by Charlie Bonner for Theatre Upstairs @ the Plough
Slattery’s Sago Saga by Arthur Riordan – directed by Jo Mangan for Performance Corporation
National Anthem by Colin Bateman – directed by Rachel O’Riordan for Ransom Theatre Company
B for Baby by Carmel Winters – directed by Mikel Murfi for the Abbey Theatre

BEST OPERA

Roméo et Juliette by Charles Gounod, directed by Annilese Miskimmon for Opera Ireland
The Diary of Anne Frank by Grigory Frid, co-directed by Annilese Miskimmon and Ingrid Craigie for Opera Theatre Company
Virginia by Saverio Mercadante, directed by Kevin Newbury for Wexford Festival Opera
Postcards from Dumbworld by Brian Irvine, directed by John McIlduff for Dumbworld/Brian Irvine Ensemble

JUDGES’ SPECIAL AWARD

Project Brand New
For their long-term dedication to supporting and providing a platform for the gestation of innovative new work.

Theatre Upstairs
To Karl Shiels, Paul Walker and Andy Cummins for their tenacity and commitment to bringing new Irish plays to a wider audience.

Carysfort Press
For their wide-ranging documentation of Irish theatre over the last 10 years, creating awareness of Irish theatre practice both at home and abroad.

Louise Lowe/Anu Productions
For continuing to present challenging theatre in unusual locations that illuminates darker, often ignored parts of society and makes her audience question what theatre can be.

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