Archive for March 9th, 2009

Lyric Build Begins

9th March 2009 by Maura McHugh

Today The Stage mentions that contractors are now in possession of the Langan-side site for the new Lyric theatre in South Belfast. It will have two performance spaces, and is due to reopen in early 2010.

Finance minister Nigel Dodds said: “The Lyric is one of Northern Ireland’s most important cultural assets and I believe that the new theatre will provide a much-valued facility for audiences and artists alike. The Lyric is also recognised for the important role it has played and will continue to play in the development of drama in Northern Ireland.”

New Abbey Will Go Ahead

9th March 2009 by Maura McHugh

The Stage reports that Martin Cullen, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, has pledged that the new Abbey Theatre will be completed despite the Irish government’s difficult economic situation.

The information came out of an exchange between Cullen and opposition party spokeswoman on the arts, Olivia Mitchell of Fine Gael, during a recent Dáil session.

“It’s incredible it could take so long,” she said. “It is not as if the minister is designing the building – he’s merely presiding over the drawing up of competition guidelines for someone else to design it. If that process can take years, as it has, how long will it take to build the theatre? The project has turned into a dramatic saga to rival anything the Abbey might stage.”

But the minister insisted progress was being made. “The project is complex,” he said. “There is a myriad of technical, procedural and legal factors to address, but the final work is being done at the moment.”

A free site has been provided for the theatre in the Dublin docklands and the project is to be developed on a ‘build, finance and maintain basis’ through a public-private partnership arrangement.

Mitchell questioned whether it was realistic to depend on public-private partnerships in the current uncertain economic conditions. “Was the project really being put on the long finger?”, she asked.

In reply, the minister said that delivering the new theatre was a top government priority. The design competition would get under way shortly, he promised, and added: “I am confident that when the competition is complete, we will have a world class design for a new iconic building for the city.”

2009 Olivier Awards

9th March 2009 by Maura McHugh

The winners of the 2009
Laurence Olivier Awards
were announced in a ceremony in London at the weekend:

Best Lighting Design: The Chalk Garden designed by Paule Constable at the Donmar Warehouse

Best Sound Design: Black Watch designed by Gareth Fry at the Barbican

Best Costume Design: The Histories designed by Tom Piper and Emma Williams at the Roundhouse

Best New Dance Production: Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal’s Café Muller/ The Rite Of Spring at Sadler’s Wells

Outstanding Achievement in Dance: The company of the Royal Ballet of Flanders for their performances in Impressing The Czar at Sadler’s Wells

Best New Comedy: God Of Carnage by Yasmina Reza (translated by Christopher Hampton) at the Gielgud theatre

Best Set Design: August: Osage County designed by Todd Rosenthal at the National Theatre, Lyttelton

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical: Lesli Margherita for Zorro at the Garrick theatre

Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre: The Royal Court theatre’s production of The Pride, Jerwood Theatre Upstairs

Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Patrick Stewart for Hamlet at the Novello theatre

Best Actress: Margaret Tyzack for The Chalk Garden at the Donmar Warehouse

Best Actor: Derek Jacobi for Twelfth Night, Donmar West End at the Wyndham’s theatre

Best Company Performance: The Histories directed by Michael Boyd at the Roundhouse

Best Theatre Choreographer: Steven Hoggett for Black Watch at the Barbican

Best Revival: The Histories directed by Michael Boyd at the Roundhouse

Best New Opera Production: English National Opera’s Partenope at the London Coliseum

Outstanding Achievement in Opera: Edward Gardner for conducting English National Opera’s Boris Goduinov, Cavalliera Rusticana, Der Rosenkavalier, I Pagliacci, Riders To The Sea at the London Coliseum and Punch And Judy at the Young Vic

Best Actress in a Musical: Elena Roger for Piaf at the Donmar Warehouse and Vaudeville theatre

Best Actor in a Musical: Douglas Hodge for La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse theatre

Best Entertainment: La Clique at the Hippodrome

Best Musical Revival: La Cage Aux Folles, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the play La Cage Aux Folles by Jean Poiret, at the Playhouse theatre

Best New Play: National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch by Gregory Burke at the Barbican

Best Director: John Tiffany for Black Watch at the Barbican

Best New Musical: Jersey Boys The Story Of Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe at the Prince Edward theatre 

The Society’s Special Award: Sir Alan Ayckbourn