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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 27, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

    Irish Times Theatre Awards

    Fiona McCann

    There’s been some kerfuffle about the nominations for the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2009,  with all manner of cyber mutterings, some measured comment and some, perhaps predictable, outrage – it is an awards list, after all. “This was our reflection of what was most memorable and what was of the highest artistic standard,” was how Sara Keating defended the nominations by the three judges, who saw hundreds of shows between them over the course of last year. Yet still these choices seem to have raised the hackles of those who query ommissions or quibble with inclusions. So what is it about these nominations that has so many tongues wagging in the theatre world? This blog is open for comment: have your say.

    • Jim Carroll says:

      Have any of the non-nominees moaned that they’re living on porridge and beans on toast yet?

    • I think Andrew Bennett definitely deserves the gong. His performance was amazing.


    • Jen says:

      Some seriously dodgy inclusions. Seriousy dodgy!

    • deborah says:

      like what “Jen”?

      Do tell please, I’m really dying to know what you think.

    • steve says:

      Most of the “outrage” seem to centre on the lack of nominations for the Abbey and the Gate. Well, having seen both of these theatres dominate the theatre awards year after year, I find this years list refreshing and refective of the exciting kind of work that exists outside of the main venues. I’m also going to enjoy it while it lasts becasue I fully expect to see this abberation corrected next year. Though presumably half the Abbey’s season this year will be ineliigible as it’s “back by popular demand”? (Yeah right….)

    • Nik says:

      Some questions that this year’s nominations should raise:

      Why decrease the number of nominations in the design categories? Are they less worthy categories?

      Shouldn’t a best production nomination have at least 2 nominations in other categories?

    • Little Red says:

      In general, most of the whingers probably haven’t even seen half of the shows’ it’s the typical attitude of the Dublin-centric divas. Where are the congratulations to those who have been nominated…..Typical Irish begrudgery….
      Jen: I too am intrigued by ‘dodgy’
      Nik: RE best production: wouldnt people then be complaining about judges being mean for not ‘sharing’ the nominations around, as per the criticism of 2 actresses being nominated in both categories?
      Jim: yes, I believe that the porrige and beans argument has already been made

    • Jonathan says:

      I like the fact that there is an opera category. Not hard to find 4 candidates when you live in a country that only managed to stage about that many productions during the whole year.

    • Barry says:

      Its about time that the smaller theatre companies are being recognised. They were without doubt the most creative, brave and, responsive groups this year. I wont go on a rant about “back by popular demand” productions, though obviously not ideal, especially within such a short time frame.
      I concur with Nik about the lack of emphasis on design, two worthy mentions this year “Solemn Mass For a Full Moon in Summer” at the Project (Rough Magic) and “Knives in Hens” at Smock Alley (Landmark Productions) these were simply amazing.
      Here’s to 2010!

    • Olwen Fouere says:

      I am sure that those who were nominated “deserved” to be and, just as in every year, there are bound to be others who “deserved” to be and were not.

      My big question is why do we have these ersatz hollywood style awards at all?

      I am not alone in observing how pernicious they are in creating a climate of competition which has absolutely nothing to do with what we do or why we do it.
      For the first few years, no one took these awards seriously but it was a welcome chance for a party. That attitude has changed. It is important that our work be acknowledged. But not like this.
      Please, Irish Times, lead the way and invent a new way of honouring and celebrating the work we do. Eliminate the vulgar idea of “…and the winner is…” for a start.

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