(Peter Crawley’s article appeared in the Irish Times, 3/7.)
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” utters Henry IV, in Shakespeare’s play of the same name. Druid Theatre Company may be in a position to test that theory this morning, following the Galway company’s regal sweep of the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards last night in Dublin.
DruidShakespeare, the thrilling cycle of four of Shakespeare’s history plays, skilfully condensed by playwright Mark O’Rowe, won five awards at the gala event in the National Concert Hall. Its haul included awards for Best Production of 2015, Best Director for Garry Hynes, Best Actress for Derbhle Crotty (who played across gender as Henry IV), Best Actor for Marty Rea (who played beyond gender as an epicene Richard II) and Best Costume Design for Doreen McKenna and Francis O’Connor (who played a blinder for all genders).
The 19th edition of the annual awards, judged by Gerry Smyth, Róise Goan and Anna Walsh, reflected a year in both Irish theatre and Irish society that was marked by discussions of gender and sexuality.