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

Irish Equity calls on TV3 to reconsider postponement of Red Rock

Irish Equity has expressed disappointment with the announcement by TV3, today (Wednesday, 30th August), that it intends to postpone the production of a fourth series of the popular drama show Red Rock.

Irish Equity Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “The cast of Red Rock are extremely disappointed at this situation. The development of this show was a good initiative by TV3 to which the cast were very committed. All the indicators for the show were very positive. It has very good viewing figures on TV3 as well as being popular on the BBC and Amazon. The show has acquired a solid fan base, a fact obvious from the numbers who have taken to the Red Rock Facebook page to express their disappointment at the decision.

“The cast needs to be congratulated for its commitment to the creation of such a high quality and popular show and remains committed to rounding off the current season for its fans. This is a good production and Irish Equity members call on TV3 and any other interested parties to reconsider the decision to postpone it.”

Irish Equity President, Padraig Murray, said: “The loss of this production is a blow to the TV industry in Ireland. We have an abundance of talented and experienced cast and crew but there are just not enough TV productions to reflect this.

“The Government needs to take a serious look at how it is promoting and developing indigenous TV production in the Republic of Ireland, particularly in light of Britain’s exit from the EU meaning we cannot be overly reliant on incoming productions. We must have adequate funding and plans for indigenous TV production if we are to effectively use the talent and resources available.”

Michael Twomey – Actor Director – A Tribute

Michael Twomey was born in Cork in 1933. He made his first stage appearance in the old Cork Opera House in 1944 at the age 11, in Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! Pantomime and revues in Cork followed and his versatility as an actor, director and raconteur ensured steady work in all media for 70 years. At the age of 82, he played the lead role in a production of The Outgoing Tide at his beloved Everyman Theatre, Cork. Last year, he participated in a 1916 commemoration show that toured Co Cork, despite ill health. [Read more…]

Gerry Sullivan – A Tribute

The Irish Theatre World has lost another original member of the founding union, which became Irish Actors Equity Association. Gerry Sullivan a much revered actor, has died at the age of 92 in Wexford.

Though known by many for his portrayal of Dr. Howard in “The Riordans” TV series and then “Glenroe”, he made twenty other film appearances including, “Educating Rita”, “Kidnapped” and “The Irish RM”.

He was also the fourth and final Dr. Harry Murphy in RTE Radio’s longest running radio drama series, “Harbour Hotel”.

However, he was as a fine, second generation, stage actor when he established himself with the Abbey Theatre. Later he starred in, “The Country Boy”, “Does Your Mother?” “The Pearse Pageant” at the National Stadium, “Goodbye to the Hill” and “Michaelmas Eve”. Gerry featured in many Dublin Theatre Festivals, in London’s West End and, was an accomplished stage designer and director.

Moreover, he was a gentleman in every sense of the word; a joy to work with and a generous friend to all actors. He will be greatly missed by the profession that he graced so well.

Laurence Foster,
7th July, 2017

Condolences

The executive committee of Irish Equity today sent condolences to those bereaved and injured in the bombing attack at Manchester Arena last night.

May Fest 2017

MayFest 2017 aims to celebrate and invigorate workers’ culture with a series of events in the home of Irish trade unionism. Produced by the SIPTU Dublin District Council this inaugural festival season includes plays and events that deal with working class history, culture and politics. Tickets available at the door. See the full listing of events

Support the Beijing Treaty on Work IP Day

Support the Beijing Treaty on Work IP Day – Tweet your photos of support using the hashtags #WorldIPDay #BeijingTreaty calling for strong IP rights for performers worldwide: The Beijing Treaty outlines global standards acknowledging the right of audiovisual performers to be compensated fairly for the use of their creative contributions. It grants performers economic rights to improve their livelihoods, as well as moral rights, giving them the ability to better protect their images. This treaty sets a landmark new global IP standard for audiovisual performances at international level. Read more at http://www.beijingtreaty.com/

 

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