Anne Clarke to receive Special Tribute Award at Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards

Landmark founder recognised for her outstanding contribution to the industry

Anne Clarke on the set of Once the Musical in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin in 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Anne Clarke on the set of Once the Musical in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin in 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Anne Clarke of Landmark Productions is the recipient of this year’s Special Tribute Award at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards 2015.

The presentation will be made as part of this year’s awards ceremony, which takes place on Sunday, March 6th at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

Each year, the Special Tribute Award is given to an individual who has made a vibrant and outstanding contribution to Irish theatre. Previous winners include Stephen Rea, Olwen Fouéré, Marie Mullen and Tom Murphy. The winner is chosen by the awards’ organising team, and Irish Times editors and writers.

This year, Anne Clarke has been chosen in recognition of her extraordinary work as a producer of world-class theatre in the independent sector in Ireland. Last year, she produced Once The Musical, which subsequently toured to Asia and is due to return to an Irish stage in summer 2016, and The Last Hotel with Wide Open Opera. The latter is nominated for Best Opera in the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards and has just finished a run at St Ann’s Warehouse in New York.

Clarke founded Landmark Productions in 2003. Its first show was Skylight by David Hare. The company has frequently collaborated with Enda Walsh; along with Once and The Last Hotel, it has also produced Misterman, Ballyturk and The Walworth Farce starring Brian, Brendan and Domhnall Gleeson. Brian Gleeson has also been nominated in this year’s awards.

Other recent work includes Howie the Rookie (2013) by Mark O’Rowe, starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, and Deirdre Kinahan’s These Halcyon Days in 2012. The company has also had many commercial successes, including the Ross O’Carroll-Kelly plays by Paul Howard and three plays by Fiona Looney.

“In an ideal world I’d produce everything Enda Walsh has ever written,” Clarke told this newspaper in an interview last year. In the same interview, Enda Walsh said: “She’s hands down the best producer I’ve worked with anywhere.” In her daily work, he said, Clarke “shows ambition - and that’s what you want from your producer, that sense of, ‘It can happen; I’ll make it happen.’ “

The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards take place on March 6th at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Tickets are now on sale. See nch.ie or 01-4170000.

This year, An Post will sponsor the GPO Witness History Audience Choice Prize, in which readers can vote for their favourite Irish theatre show of 2015. The competition will be open for entries on January 23rd. See irishtimes.com/theatreawards.

The judges for the 2016 Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards are: Anna Walsh, director of Theatre Forum (chair); Ella Daly, general manager of Dublin Youth Theatre; and Prof Nicholas Grene, Trinity College Dublin (retired).

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