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Belfast Lyric’s production of Red scoops prizes at the Irish Theatre Awards

Patrick O’Kane and Thomas Finnegan in Red at Lyric Theatre, Belfast Patrick O’Kane and Thomas Finnegan in Red at Lyric Theatre, Belfast
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Belfast’s Lyric Theatre and Prime Cut Productions were the big winners at this year’s Irish Theatre Awards, winning four categories including best production for their staging of John Logan’s Red.

Emma Jordan was named best director for Logan’s play, with Patrick O’Kane receiving the best actor award for his performances as the painter Mark Rothko in the production. He won the award jointly for Woyzeck in Winter, Landmark Production’s blending of Georg Buchner and Schubert for the Galway International Arts Festival.

Set designer Ciaran Bagnall was also recognised for Red, as well as his work on The Great Gatsby at Dublin’s Gate Theatre.

In a turbulent year for the Gate, currently embroiled in controversy surrounding former artistic director Michael Colgan, The Great Gatsby also took the award for best costumes, designed by Peter O’Brien, with Marty Rea judged best supporting actor.

Rosaleen Linehan took best supporting actress for The Red Shoes at the Gate and Woyzeck in Winter.

Best new play award went to Enda Walsh’s The Same (which also saw the best actress award shared by sisters Catherine and Eileen Walsh) while Donnacha Dennehy’s The Second Violinist won the best opera category.

Two new awards were introduced this year, including best ensemble (Reality:Check’s Enda Walsh double-bill Disco Pigs and Sucking Dublin) and best movement direction (Laura Murphy for the Bram Stoker Festival’s Whitby).

Actor Eleanor Methven received the special tribute award, with judges giving a special prize to the Abbey Theatre’s recently introduced scheme offering free tickets for first preview performances.