On Sunday 31st March 2019 the Irish Times Theatre awards were announced in the National Concert Hall in the presence of Josepha Madigan, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht who also spoke.
The Best Production was won by Richard III, a Druid Theatre production in association with the Abbey Theatre. This production won also best costume design thanks to Francis O’Connor and Doreen McKenna while O’Connor alone won the best set design.
Another winner in more than one category was Anu’s production of The Lost O’Casey. It won the Best New Play and Sarah Morris won the prize for Best Actress while Sue Mythen was the winner of the Best Movement Direction. Similarly How it is, a Gare St.Lazare Ireland production from the novel by Samuel Beckett, won both Best Soundscape with Mel Mercier and Best Lighting Design with Kris Stone.
Owen Roe won Best Supporting Actor for his role in the Gate Theatre’s production of Hamlet and he was also the recipient of the Special Tribute Award which was presented to him by Selina Cartmel, the director of the Gate Theatre in recognition of ‘a body of work which includes memorable roles.. particularly for Rough Magic and the Gate.’
The Best Actor was won by Cillian Murphy for his performance as Dad in Complicite and Wayward Productions of Grief is the Thing with Feathers in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival. Furniture by Sonya Kelly, a Druid theatre production, had two nominees in the Best Supporting Actress where Rebecca O’Mara was victorious for her performance as Dee in that show.
The Best Director was Catriona McLaughlin for the Abbey Theatre’s production of On Raftery’s Hill and the Best Opera Production was Il Bravo from the Wexford Opera Festival. While Rough Magic Theatre and Kilkenny Arts Festival were triumphant for their joint production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Best Ensemble category.
There was also the Judge’s Special Award which was given to Monica Frawley for ‘being one of Ireland’s most innovative and original set and costume designers, and working with all the major companies over thirty years’ – a recognition richly deserved.
In his acceptance speech for Special Tribute Award, Owen Roe gave a masterly performance of what such a speech should be, while Garry Hines on behalf of Druid’s production of Richard III, in association the Abbey, delivered a speech which did Irish theatre proud.
The entire event was compered by Janet Moran and Nyree Yergainharsian who kept the entire evening moving a merry clip.