The shortlist has been announced for the The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards, recognising the best performances and productions in Irish theatre in 2018.

A quartet of acclaimed productions featuring strongly throughout the various categories: The Gate Theatre’s production of Roddy Doyle's The Snapper, a revival of Marina Carr’s On Raftery’s Hill at The Abbey, Druid’s Richard III and Grief is a Thing With Feathers presented by Complicité and Wayward Productions, in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts. 

The Snapper

Judges Ella Daly, Catriona Crowe and Paula Shields assembled the shortlist from 150 productions viewed in conventional theatres and site-specific locations throughout the country in 2018.

Richard III

"The nominated plays managed the difficult balance between ambition and achievement, and brought us high production values, inspired direction and remarkable performances," said the judges in a statement. "Many of this year’s plays dealt with dysfunctional families, an interesting focus as Irish society continues to deal with the uncovering of dark secrets from our collective past."

The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards ceremony takes place on 31st March.

2018 IRISH TIMES IRISH THEATRE AWARDS NOMINATIONS

BEST PRODUCTION

Grief is a Thing with Feathers

Complicité and Wayward Productions, in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival, adapted by Enda Walsh from Max Porter’s novel

How It Is

A Gare St Lazare Ireland / Everyman Theatre production

The Lost O’Casey

An ANU production

Richard III

A Druid Theatre production of Shakespeare’s play, in association with the Abbey Theatre

BEST OPERA PRODUCTION

Il Bravo

A Wexford Festival Opera production of Saverio Mercadante’s work

Dinner at 8

A Wexford Festival Opera production of William Bolcom’s work, co-production with Minnesota Opera and Atlanta Opera WB

Bluebeard’s Castle

An Irish National Opera production of Bela Bartok’s work

The Tales of Hoffman

An Irish National Opera production of Jacques Offenbach’s work

BEST DIRECTOR

Garry Hynes

For Richard III, a Druid Theatre production of Shakespeare’s play, in association with the Abbey Theatre

Roisin McBrinn

For The Snapper, a Gate Theatre production

Catríona McLaughlin

For On Raftery’s Hill, an Abbey Theatre production

Enda Walsh

For Grief is the Thing with Feathers, Complicité and Wayward Productions, in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival

BEST ACTOR

Declan Conlon

For his role as in Come on Home, an Abbey Theatre production

Stephen Dillane

For his role in How it is, a Gare St Lazare Ireland / Everyman Theatre production

Cillian Murphy

For his role as Dad in Grief is a Thing with Feathers, Complicité and Wayward Productions, in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival, adapted by Enda Walsh from Max Porter’s novel

Aaron Monaghan

For his lead role in Richard III, a Druid Theatre production, in association with the Abbey Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Peter Coonan

For his role as Ded Raftery in On Raftery’s Hill, an Abbey Theatre production

John McCarthy

For his role as Valene Connor in The Lonesome West by Martin McDonagh, an Everyman Theatre production

Mark Huberman

For his role as Polish Tom in Shelter by Cristín Kehoe, a Druid Theatre production

Owen Roe

For his role as Claudius in Hamlet, a Gate Theatre production

BEST ACTRESS

Maeve Fitzgerald

For her role as Dinah Raftery in On Raftery’s Hill

Hazel Clifford

For her role as Sharon Rabbitte in The Snapper, a Gate Theatre production

Sarah Morris

For her role as Nannie in The Lost O’Casey by ANU Productions

Lauren Larkin

For her role as Majella in Shelter by Cristín Kehoe, a Druid Theatre production

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Zara Devlin

For her role as Sorrel Raftery in On Raftery’s Hill

Aoife Duffin

For her role as Ophelia in Hamlet, a Gate Theatre production

Rebecca O’Mara

For her role as Dee in Furniture by Sonya O’Kelly, a Druid Theatre production

Aisling O’Sullivan

For her role as Stef in Furniture by Sonya O’Kelly, , a Druid Theatre production

BEST SET

Susan Hilferty

For Hamlet, a Gate Theatre production

Francis O’Connor

For Richard III, a Druid Theatre production

Jamie Vartan and Will Duke (video projection)

For Grief is the Thing with Feathers, Complicité and Wayward Productions, in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival

Paul Wills

For The Snapper, a Gate Theatre production

BEST LIGHTING

Aedín Cosgrove

For ELIZA’s Adventures in the Uncanny Valley, a Pan Pan Theatre production

Paul Keogan

For Hamlet, a Gate Theatre production

Sarah Jane Shiels

For FRNKNSTN, a Theatre Lovett production, adapted by Michael West from Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein.

Kris Stone

For How It Is, a Gare St Lazare Ireland / Everyman Theatre production

BEST COSTUME

Katie Davenport

For the Irish National Opera production of The Tales of Hoffmann, by Jacques Offenbach

Francis O’Connor and Doreen McKenna

For the Druid Theatre production, in association with the Abbey Theatre, of Richard III

Victoria Tzykun

For the Wexford Opera Festival production of Il Bravo

Paul Wills

For The Snapper, a Gate Theatre production

BEST SOUND

Mary Coughlan, Mongoose and Valgeir Sigurdsson

For Woman Undone, a Brokentalkers production

Joe Hunt

For The School Days of Thaddeus K, a Blue Raincoat production

Mel Mercier

For How It Is, a Gare St Lazare Ireland / Everyman Theatre production

Teho Teardo and Helen Atkinson

For Grief is the Thing with Feathers, by Complicité and Wayward Productions, in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival

BEST MOVEMENT

Justine Cooper

For The Misfits, a Corn Exchange Theatre production

Eddie Kay

For Woman Undone, a Brokentalkers production

Sue Mythen

For The Lost O’Casey, an ANU production

Catherine O’Malley

For ELIZA’s Adventures in the Uncanny Valley, a Pan Pan Theatre production

BEST ENSEMBLE

The Approach

A Landmark Production

The Lost O’Casey

An ANU production

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Rough Magic Theatre / Kilkenny Arts Festival production

Thirst (and Other Bits of Flann)

An Agro Grimace production

BEST NEW PLAY

The Approach

By Mark O’Rowe, a Landmark Production

Come On Home

By Phillip McMahon, an Abbey Theatre production

The Lost O’Casey

An ANU production

Northern Lights

By Stephen Jones, a Theatre Upstairs production

JUDGES’ SPECIAL AWARDS

Edward Beckett has scrupulously, fairly and flexibly stewarded his uncle Samuel Beckett's theatrical legacy since his death, keeping a delicate balance between his uncle's requirements and the desires of companies to re-interpret some of his great works.

John Fairleigh has provided significant support to playwrights and to new Irish writing for the stage, through the Stewart Parker Trust, which he founded in 1989 and of which he remains Chair, also in the fields of editing and publishing, and in his championing of international cultural exchange.

Monica Frawley is one of Ireland's most innovative and original theatre set and costume designers. She has worked with all the major Irish companies over 30 years and has made memorable work for the plays of Tom Murphy, Marina Carr, Brian Friel and Frank McGuinness, among others.

Nicholas Grene and Chris Morash have made an immeasurable contribution to academic writing on theatre in general and contemporary Irish theatre in particular. They have produced many of the core text books on the subject including the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Theatre.

Voting for the Audience Choice Prize, which gives the public the opportunity to vote for their favourite Irish theatre performance of 2018, opens on Feb 16 and closes on March 16, via the Irish Times website.

The ceremony takes place on 31st March, at the National Concert Hall in Dublin - tickets for the awards night are on sale from January 22nd via the National Concert Hall website.