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Abbey Theatre leads Irish Times Theatre Awards

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A production by the Abbey Theatre of the controversial Edward Bond play, Saved, took three of the main honours at the Irish Times Theatre Awards in Dublin this week.

Jimmy Fay, who directed the production, took the Best Director award, while the performance of Eleanor Methven, in the role of Mary, won her the vote for Best Supporting Actress. Sinead Wallace completed the hat-trick, winning Best Designer: Lighting award for her work with Saved and a Rough Magic production of Don Carlos.

Don Carlos also earned the Best Actor gong for Nick Dunning, a regular in The Tudors TV series, for his role as King Philip II. Eileen Walsh was judged Best Actress for her performance in Terminus, by Mark O’Rowe, at the Abbey, with the production later travelling to the US, where it played off-Broadway.

For his performance in Paul Howard’s Last Days of the Celtic Tiger, at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, Rory Keenan won Best Supporting Actor. Rough Magic won Best Production honours for Don Carlos, directed by Lynne Parker, with Sweeney Todd, at the Gate Theatre, voted Best Opera. Best New Play was Sean McLoughlin’s Noah and the Tower Flower, produced by the Fishamble company.

This was the 11th year of the awards, with the three judges, including Christopher Fitz-Simon, a former artistic director of the Abbey, viewing more than 140 productions across Ireland. Veteran actress and comedienne Rosaleen Lenihan was accorded a Special Tribute Award for her contribution to Irish theatre.