A Short Discourse on Change

Irish Blog Awards Nomination
23rd February 2010
Jo Mangan, Simply SPACE & Paper Ball screening
10th March 2010


The most importat change today (arguably a subjective one) is to the number of years our Artistic Director Jo Mangan has been in this world. I hope you have a fantastic day!

More objectively, however, the particular question of change can be traced like a red line throughout the history of metaphysics. Plato argues for the unchanging nature of reality, only to be refuted by Aristotle’s substances being subject to change and temporary. Hume maintains that no cause brings about a necessary change and Kant is very compelling in his view that all we can really know is representations of objects as they appear to us and nothing more.

Whether you lean towards Plato or are more of a common-sensical Aristotelian, change affects our every day empirical lives. It can be quick or gradual, small or substantial, temporary or permanent, sometimes positive and sometimes not so welcome. The recent passing away of Eugene Lambert is certainly a great loss to the Irish arts scene and he will be fondly remembered by several generations.

It seems that the Irish theatrical and artistic landscape in general is beginning to undergo a conceptual change (in light of the recent Arts Council funding decisions). Whether it is welcome or not, many arts practitioners will have to find alternative ways in which they work.

Since last night, there are also new holders of the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. Unlike other years, I was not in attendance (which is also a change!), so cannot offer a first-hand account of the evening. I was following the updates on Twitter, so thank you to all lovely tweeting people!

Congratulations to all nominees and especially the winners:

Special Tribute to Tomás MacAnna

Best ProductionNo Worst There is None , directed by Dylan Tighe for the Stomach Box in association with Poetry Ireland.

Best Actress – Stella McCusker for her performance as Mag in the Lyric Theatre production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh.

Best Actor – Denis Conway as the Irish Man in Druid Theatre‘s production of Tom Murphy’s The Gigli Concert .

Best Supporting Actress – Maeve Fitzgerald for Woman in Anú’s production of Basin

Best Supporting Actor – Bryan Burroughs for his role in the Barabbas‘ production of Johnny Patterson: The Singing Irish Clown by Little John Nee.

Best Director – Annie Ryan for Corn Exchange Theatre‘s production of Freefall by Michael West.

Best New Play – Michael West for Freefall produced by Corn Exchange Theatre.

Best Opera – Wexford Opera Festival’s production of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles , directed by James Robinson.

Best Lighting – Sinead Wallace for Landmark‘s production of David Harrower’s Knives in Hens.

Best Set –  Maree Kearns for Frank McGuinness’ Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme , produced by Nomad in association with Livin’ Dred.

Best Costume – Rodrigo Rodriguez for the Core Dublin production of The Trojan Women by Euripides, which he also co-directed with Alan King.

Best Sound – Ben Delaney and Conor Linehan for the Abbey Theatre production of Tom Murphy’s The Last Days of a Reluctant Tyrant.

The Judges’ Special Award – Tania Banotti for her leadership in the National Campaign for the Arts.

Enjoy your well deserved success and may it bring a positive change to you and your theatre work.

In the microcosm of The Performance Corporation, much has changed in recent weeks. Our artistic plans for 2010, our budget – many a time, employment structure, working hours, new lift in Castletown House – hopefully faster, new artistic options,.. And I am trying to embrace it – after all, they say that change underpins progress.

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