Dignity at Work

On Wednesday 22nd November Karan O’Loughlin (left in photo) and Andrea Irvine (right in photo) of Irish Equity met with Minister Heather Humphreys to discuss recent reports of harassment & bullying.
Amplify Women have compiled a toolkit of supports and resources. You can access it here – please spread the word. ow.ly/AdMf30gGHik

 

Congratulations to our friends in Australia

Congratulations to our friends in the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance Australia for all their hard work campaigning for a yes to marriage equality in Australia. Love conquers all!

FIA declaration on sexual harassment discrimination

The International Federation of Actors (FIA) Executive Committee unanimously approved a Declaration on sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the entertainment and media industries on 26th October 2017. The Declaration, authored and sponsored by the American performers union Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), recognizes the rights of all performers to a safe and harassment-free working environment and urges the industry to work in good faith with unions and performer organisations to develop a long-term strategy to achieve discrimination, harassment and retaliation-free work environments. Read the declaration

Dignity at Work Seminar

Bullying and harassment is never acceptable.
On Friday 10th November, Irish Equity ran a successful Dignity at Work Seminar in partnership with Screen Producers Ireland, Screen Training Ireland, the broadcasting Authority and The Lab. [Read more…]

Irish Equity calls on Minister to go further to combat sexual harassment and bullying

Irish Equity has criticised, as not going far enough, the announcement by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, that board members and senior staff in arts organisations are to take part in special workshops on sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace.  

Irish Equity Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “Reminding organisations of their responsibilities is always welcome but any initiative to tackle the problem of bullying and sexual harassment in the arts needs to have teeth. We are specifically calling on the Minister to create a direct relationship between funding and good practice. Arts organisations applying for funding should have to demonstrate that they are operating good practice in this area as part of the application procedure.

“We note with interest that the Minister has invited the heads of eight leading theatres, including the Abbey and Gate, to meet with her and the Arts Council next week to seek ‘ways to create a change in culture for the arts’. Before this meeting happens, those eight organisations need to be asked to demonstrate how they handle these issues currently, what procedures and policies they have in place and whether these practices and policies are up to standard.”

She added: “If unacceptable behavior is to be driven out of the sector there must be consequences for those who do not adopt proper procedures. Access to funding must be in question if organisations are not operating to the best standard on this matter.”

2018 IFTA Film & Drama Awards – Call for Entries

Call for entries deadline is; 5pm on Friday 17th November

Elegibility period is 1st January 2017 to the 31st January 2018. Full details about the Categories, Rules & Guidelines and submission details are all available here: www.ifta.ie/submissions.php.
Contact the Submissions Desk at IFTA – either by phone: 019053599 or email: submissions@ifta.ie

15th Anniversary Year
The IFTA Film & Drama Awards take place on Thursday 15th February (immediately prior to EFM at Berlin, and the BAFTA Film Awards), and will be broadcast primetime on RTÉ One. 2018 marks the big 15th Anniversary Year for the annual Awards. The positioning of the Awards into the international Awards season in February, is part of the Academy’s new phase of development for the industry which also includes the re-positioning of the IFTA Gala Television Awards into April on the annual Calendar of events. This new move will see IFTA working very closely with BAFTA across their respective Awards ceremonies which will take place on the same week.

About IFTA
The Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) is the all-Ireland organisation whose mission is to encourage, recognise and reward excellence in Irish Film and Television and to provide a platform for inspiration, creative development and collaboration across the entire industry. As part of this remit, the Academy also organises c 50 industry events each year within its industry Learning Programme which have recently included some of the world’s most respected filmmakers, such as Martin Scorsese, Michael Moore and Liam Neeson, and the upcoming 15th Anniversary Year will see an expanded lineup of exciting high profile talent and events throughout the year of 2018.

Scott Fredericks

The Irish Theatre has, sadly, lost the gifted actor and radio drama director Scott Fredericks, following a long and serious illness. Scott was born in Sligo in 1943 and left the family business after gaining a scholarship to train at RADA in London. His career started in Chesterfield Repertory and he subsequently worked with iconic director Peter Brook at Northampton. He then performed Mark Anthony in the West End and Henry II in Beckett.

Whilst appearing as a speedway rider in Crossroads, he was asked if he wanted to remain “or get out quick”. Scott decided latter, did another Dr. Who and a tremendous volume of work followed. Other featured TV roles included in Z Cars, Dixon of Dock Green, Dr. Who, Blake’s Seven, Triangle, John Halifax Gentleman and Dad’s Army.

In 1973 he returned to Ireland and played leading roles in the Gate Theatre for several seasons with Edward’s and McLiammoir. Lengthy tours and long runs of Peg o’ My Heart followed, and he performed for the newly created Irish Theatre Company, later appearing in Cal, Fair City and Caught in a Free State.

In 1980, he received the J.J. Finnegan Evening Herald Award nomination for his solo stage show, Yeats Remembers. In all, Scott made more than 30 Film and TV appearances and, in 1992, became a contract Radio Drama director with RTE and represented the station at the 1997 Prix Italia Awards.

For more than forty years, Scott was the quintessential, “leading man” and graced the stage with talent and dignity. He remained a member of British Equity for the whole of his career, but was a staunch supporter of Irish Actors’ Equity and of all its members. So many of us had the privilege of working with him for much of that time and we have all lost a good friend and a stalwart professional.

Laurence Foster

Richard Cummins

Richard Cummins known professionally as Ritchie Stewart was born in Dublin into a large theatrical family in 1930. His brother Danny was a well known comedian, his sister was a dancer and two of his brothers were involved in early cinema. He was writing scripts and sketches from his early years and continued to do so even in his retirement. He was a founding member of the ’66 Theatre Company. This company operated out of the Gas Company Showrooms in Dun Laoghaire for many years. The showroom included a theatre with a red-velvet curtained proscenium stage and 185 red plush tip-up seats, designed for cookery demonstrations but was discovered and used by professional companies. Many actors played there among them Michael Bogdanov, Pauline Delaney, Godfrey Quigley and Jack McGowan to name but a few.

He went to London in the late 60s and appeared in several West End musicals including 1776 which was produced in London in 1970. Another of his stage appearances was in the 1980 production of Juno and the Paycock when he played Needles Nugent with Judy Dench playing Juno. He had previously played the role in Dublin in 1966 when Peter O’Toole played the Captain.

He appeared in several films including Ulysses and The Naked Civil Servant and also in many TV shows including Tolka Row, The Bill, The Sweeney and Sykes and many others in the 70s and 80s.

When he retired he travelled the world spending months in India, in Africa, and in Vietnam. He didn’t stay in hotels and do the touristy things, he lived with the people, stayed in their homes, ate what they ate.

He died peacefully in Northwick Park Hospital on October 16th 2017 after a long illness.

Irish Equity will support members in confronting sexual assault and harassment

Irish Equity has assured members that the union will support them should they have any concerns regarding their treatment in the workplace, following the recent media coverage of sexual assault and harassment in the film industry.

Irish Equity Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “Bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, is just not acceptable. Workers in the creative industries deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Irish Equity will continue to challenge those in the industry who abuse their position.

“From information collected in a survey conducted by Irish Equity in 2016 we know that the vast majority of members experiencing or witnessing this kind of behaviour do not report it because they fear losing work. This culture of not reporting is a long standing problem in the industry that created the original precarious workers. Sexual harassment, bullying or any kind of harassment is unacceptable, it must stop now and the perpetrators of such behavior should be outed and challenged.”

Irish Equity President, Padraig Murray, said: “Members should be reassured that they can talk to the union in complete confidence. We are experienced in dealing directly with these issues and will act, without fear or favour on behalf of members who have experienced inappropriate behavior at work. I would encourage any member who has a concern about these issues, to please contact by phone at 01 858 6403 or email equity@siptu.ie.”

A Tribute to Peadar Lamb

The versatile and much respected actor, Peadar Lamb, passed away in his 88th year on the 1st of September, after a much lauded and long career. The son of the celebrated painter Charles Lamb, he grew up in Conamara and was married to well-known actress Geraldine Plunkett.

He became a member of the Abbey Theatre Company in 1954, having established himself in English and Irish Language stage productions. For the next thirty years he performed in almost every play there, in the canons of O’Casey, Behan, Bouccicault and Synge, several plays of Bernard Shaw and Becket and, numerous Irish Premiere’s.

In 1990 he toured North America in JM Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, played Dr. Burke in the TV movie, The Lilac Bus, and the Registrar in December Bride,

On leaving the Abbey Players, Peadar continued to perform as a freelance actor and received much acclaim for comedy and serious roles on stage and in film. In 2002 Peadar, and his wife Geraldine, played leading roles in a production of Tony Guerin’s play, Hummin’ for the Red Kettle company.

His film debut was in 1959 in This Other Eden, and a staggering total of a further 42 credits followed, his last being the television series, No Offence in 2015. Peadar also guested many times for the RTE Players on Radio and had a wonderful tenor voice which he used to good effect in plays.

A longstanding member of Irish Actors Equity, Peadar was a strong supporter of Actor’s rights and in 1969 was a member of the Abbey Theatre, Players’ Council which negotiated new contract conditions, selflessly representing the Abbey Actors for several years.

Peadar will be a great loss to the theatrical profession, and his dedication, comradeship, encouragement and loyalty will be sorely missed. A pleasure to work with, a delight to be in his ever-jovial company, his willingness to embrace all things, ensured that he was, truly, a ‘man for all seasons’.

Laurence Foster,
September 3rd 2017