Belfast's Lyric Theatre was a big winner at this year's Irish Times Theatre Awards, with their production of John Logan's play Red, about painter Mark Rothko, scooping the awards for Best Production, Best Director for Emma Jordan, Best Actor for Patrick O'Kane (nominated for Red and his work in Woyzeck in Winter) and Best Set Design for Ciarán Bagnall (both for Red and The Gate's production of The Great Gatsby).
Listen to the RTÉ lyric fm Sound Out special live from the Irish Times Theatre Awards:
A quartet of works by prolific playwright Enda Walsh also bagged prizes at the ceremony in the National Concert Hall, with Walsh winning the Best New Play for Corcadorca's production of Walsh's site-specific piece The Same, which shared the Best Actress Award between sibling duo Catherine and Eileen Walsh. A revival of Walsh's breakthrough works Disco Pigs and Sucking Dublin won Reality:Check Productions the award for Best Ensemble, and his acclaimed operatic work The Second Violinist, created with composer Donnacha Dennehy, won the Best Opera prize.
Elsewhere at the ceremony at the National Concert Hall, which was hosted by Amy Conroy and Clare Barrett, veteran thespian Rosaleen Linehan scooped the Best Supporting Actress gong for her work in Woyzeck in Winter, while Marty Rea was named Best Supporting Actor for a pair of acclaimed performances, in The Great Gatsby and King Of The Castle. The Abbey Theatre received the Judge's Special Award, for their new Free First Previews initiative, which offers audiences preview tickets to productions at the National Theatre, awarded free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Actress Eleanor Methven was a popular winner of the Special Tribute Award for, in the judges' own words, 'challenging inequalities in Irish theatre, creating opportunities for positive change and, as a performer, always seeking richer ways to tell a story'.
Irish Times Theatre Awards - the winners in full:
Patrick O’Kane for Red and Woyzeck in Winter
Catherine Walsh and Eileen Walsh for The Same
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Marty Rea for The Great Gatsby and King of the Castle
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Rosaleen Linehan for Woyzeck in Winter
Emma Jordan for Red
The Lyric Theatre production of Red
BEST SET DESIGN
Ciarán Bagnall for Red and The Great Gatsby
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
Aedín Cosgrove and Paul Keogan for Far Away
Mel Mercier for Far Away
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Peter O’Brien for The Great Gatsby
BEST NEW PLAY
The Same by Enda Walsh
The Second Violinist
JUDGES’ SPECIAL AWARD
The Abbey Theatre
Disco Pigs and Sucking Dublin
BEST MOVEMENT DIRECTION
Laura Murphy for Whitby
AUDIENCE CHOICE PRIZE
SPECIAL TRIBUTE AWARD