Druid rounds off the year with two awards

Aaron Monaghan won Best Actor for his performance as Cripple Billy.

Aaron Monaghan won Best Actor for his performance as Cripple Billy.

Druid has this week won two awards at the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards, rounding off an incredible 2009 for the Galway theatre company.

Druid was nominated for four awards at the MENs for its productions of Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple Of Inishmaan and Enda Walsh’s The Walworth Farce, which both toured Britain last autumn. The awards ceremony took place on Tuesday night and Druid came away with two - Best Visiting Production for The Cripple Of Inishmaan and Best Actor for Aaron Monaghan for his performance as Cripple Billy.

These awards follow on from the five US theatre awards which Inishmaan received earlier in the year and just last month Garry Hynes won the prestigious Joe A Callaway Award in New York, which recognises excellence in the craft of directing, for her direction of McDonagh’s play.

This year has been Druid’s busiest with an unprecedented 360 performances in five countries, as well as enjoying the re-opening of its own Druid Lane theatre. Garry Hynes and the team at Druid are thanking Galway audiences for their “tremendous support down through the years but in particular this year”.

“Playing to audiences at home is always a real treat and we are most grateful to the people of Galway who keep coming to see our shows and have shown such unwavering support down through the years,” she said. “We look forward to welcoming them again in 2010.”

The company finishes off this year’s jam-packed touring schedule at Glór in Ennis with The Gigli Concert by Tom Murphy. It runs from Wednesday December 16 to Saturday 19. For more information contact 065 - 6843103. The Old Ground Hotel in Ennis is offering a special rate of €90 B&B, double occupancy, or €70 B&B, single occupancy, to anyone who quotes ‘Druid’ to avail of this offer. Contact the hotel on 065 - 6828127.

Druid has lots plans for 2010 but cannot confirm anything until it knows the outcome of next year’s Arts Council funding, expected in January. Meanwhile, the company’s production of Enda Walsh’s The New Electric Ballroom recently concluded its US tour in Los Angeles, while a seven-city Australian and New Zealand tour of The Walworth Farce starts in February thanks to funding from Culture Ireland.

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