Article first appeared in Hot Press on 15th January 2018.
After a year of crisis in Irish theatre, the awards set down a marker as the celebration of Irish talent continues into its 21st year.
In the Best Actress category, Catherine Walsh was nominated for her role as Lisa in Corcadorca’s production of The Same, by Enda Walsh.
While Eileen Walsh was short-listed for her role as Lisa in Corcadorca’s production of The Same, by Enda Walsh.
Katie Honan was picked for her role as Eli in Let the Right One In, adapted by Jack Thorne, in a production by The National Theatre of Scotland by arrangement with Marla Rubin Productions Ltd and Bill Kenwright, in association with the Abbey Theatre.
And Clare Monnelly was selected for her role as Charlie in Axis:Ballymun’s production of Charlie is a Clepto, by Clare Monnelly.
In the Best Actor section, Ollie West was picked for for his role as Hamnet in Dead Centre and Abbey Theatre’s co-production of Hamnet, by Bush Mourarzel and Ben Kidd.
Shane O'Regan was nominated for his role as Tommo in Pemberley Productions and Verdant Productions co-production of Private Peaceful, adapted by Simon Reade from Michael Morpurgo’s novel.
Patrick O’Kane was short-listed for his role as Rothko in Prime Cut and Lyric Theatre’s co-production of Red, by John Logan; and his role as Woyzeck in Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Fesitval’s co-production of Woyzeck in Winter.
And Aaron Monaghan for his role as Martin in Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera’s co-production of The Second Violinist by Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh.
Among the most nominated productions in the 17 categories are: Dead Centre and Abbey Theatre co-production Hamnet by Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd; Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival co-production Woyzeck in Winter, adapted and directed by Conall Morrison; and The Great Gatsby, adapted and directed by Alexander Wright for the Gate Theatre.
On February 25th, The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards will recognise the best performances and productions in Irish theatre in 2017.
The three judges for 2017 were: Ella Daly, Playwright & Independent Producer; Catriona Crowe, National Archives of Ireland, and Paula Shields, Producer, RTE. During the course of the year they have seen almost 150 productions in conventional theatres and site-specific locations throughout the country.
The categories of Best Ensemble and Best Movement Direction are being introduced for the next awards ceremony. A third category is also being modified, with Best Sound Design changing to Best Soundscape, to recognise the wider variety of music and sound design elements that appear in modern Irish theatrical productions. “The new categories available to us for The Irish Times Theatre Awards are very exciting developments for us to work with,” says Ella Daly.
The 2017 Awards are proudly sponsored by TileStyle. Commenting on this year’s shortlist, Gerard McNaughton, Director, TileStyle, said: “We are very proud to be associated with the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards, which showcase the best performances and productions in Irish theatre each year.
"From a TileStyle perspective, it is very fulfilling to be in a position to acknowledge and celebrate Irish theatre talent. We are inspired by the creativity and innovation demonstrated by this year’s shortlist. We congratulate all those who have been shortlisted and look forward to celebrating these incredible achievements at the National Concert Hall on February 25th.”
The Audience Choice Prize continues this year, opening from 20th January at irishtimes.com, where the public will vote for their favourite Irish theatre performance of 2017.