(from the Irish Times, 1/14.)

We announce the shortlists for the Irish Times Theatre Awards, selecting the best productions, writing, acting, directing and design in 2011

The three judges saw 150 shows up and down the island, then had to narrow them down to a shortlist. Here they talk about what they saw in 2011, what impressed them – and what didn’t grab them so much

A good year? 

Jack Gilligan It was a good year in that there was a huge amount of activity again. It goes to show in the times we’re going through how resilient the theatre sector is and how creative, and that people can still manage to stage shows, so many of them in the year. Not all of it was great. Maybe that’s something that needs to be looked at. I would be a great advocate of mentoring: it’s needed more and more. We saw some fantastic shows, and at the top level there was very keen competition and strong contenders for the awards, but maybe there’s a fairly large body of mediocrity


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