Lunchtime talks from the creative minds at the forefront of Irish culture, science and the arts

First Up: Creative entrepreneurs on breaking through
A series of lunchtime talks from the creative minds at the forefront of Irish culture, science and the arts.

on Wednesday, 8th March from 1.00 p.m. – 2.00 p.m.
Paccar Theatre

The unique individuals featured in the First Up series believed in an idea and did everything possible to make that idea work. They invested in their own talent and creativity in order to create a career or lifestyle suited to their vision and personal aspirations.

The speakers will tell their own stories from the beginning, how they developed their ideas and will share their plans for the future.

Graham McLaren and Neil Murray were appointed as joint Directors of the Abbey Theatre in 2016. Both came to the Abbey Theatre from the National Theatre of Scotland, Graham as Associate Director and Neil as Executive Producer. Together, they are responsible for the Abbey’s programming from 2017 onwards.

You can see the full line up of speakers here.

First Up is a collaboration based at Trinity College Dublin between Science Gallery Dublin and Trinity Long Room Hub.


Equity calls for action on “pay to play” scams

In the USA there is a labour law referred to as the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act which prevents the charging of actors for auditions even when those auditions are disguised as workshops. [Read more…]

Irish Citizen Army Charity Calendar

The calendar costs €5 and is available to purchase in Focus Ireland shops, from Liberty Hall in Dublin and online HERE. [Read more…]

Vera Morgan – A Tribute

The death occurred of performer, Vera Morgan, on October 31st last. She is survived by her husband Val Joyce, the iconic “Radio Eireann” broadcaster. She was a staunch member of Irish Actors Equity for many years, supporting the Variety Artists Section.

Early in her career she was the vocalist in The Kevin Wood Showband, extensively touring Ireland in 1959 and, was deemed to be one of the most popular and outstanding singers. She even had her own fan club with a branch in Belfast. It is said that, the members of this Belfast branch cycled to Drumshanbo, just to see her.

In the 1960’s she was the guest professional for many leading Musical Societies, “Calamity Jane” being one of her many leading roles. In 1963 she starred in Cinderella with Jack Cruise in the Olympia Theatre and, in the late 1980’s appeared in Pantomime in the old Pavilion Theatre Dun Laoghaire.

Vera was the archetypal, thigh slapping, ‘Principal Boy’, a voice that needed no microphone!

She was as generous off-stage, as on and her sense of fun and camaraderie was infectious, being a delight to work with. Vera may not have been a household name, nationally, but she was a vital part of those early showband days and traditional Variety. It is only fitting that we acknowledge her great contribution to Irish Theatre.

Laurence Foster,
December 8th 2016

Irish Equity, the MUI and the NUJ winning for actors and musicians

equitymuiimageThis Bill which will restore the unions right to collective bargain rates for voice over actors and session musicians. Equity, the MUI and the NUJ have been fighting this battle for 12 years so today is a good day for voice over artists, musicians and freelance photographers. The Bill also deals with false self-employment for these categories for workers and will be put to the Dail as soon as possible. The bill has all party support and no further amendments are required so it will have a quick and smooth passage in Dail Eireann.
Photo: Irish Equity, MUI and NUJ members with their representatives at the Seanad on Thursday 10th November for the passing of the Competition Amendment Bill.




The Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016

The Competition (Amendment) Bill 2016, which seeks to return collective bargaining rights to freelance workers will be back for final stage in the Seanad on Thursday 10th November. After more than a decade it is with great satisfaction that we are now seeing progress on this issue. It can now be hoped that freelance workers will soon once again be effectively represented through collective bargaining by their union.


International Federation of Actors 21st World Congress

Delegates preparing for the International Federation of Actors 21st World Congress covering all issues concerning performers all over the world #fia21congress

Love not hate – Unite to legislate against hate crime

We need to send a clear message that racism and hate have no place in our communities and that our society should be inclusive of all.
We must break the silence on hate crime, encourage people to report it, and find effective ways to address all forms of racism and prejudice.

Read about the campaignPrint
Sign the petition




Anne (Moloney) O’Driscoll – A TRIBUTE

The Theatre, once more, has lost a pioneering practitioner. Anne (Moloney) O’Driscoll was a talented, determined theatre director at a time when it was a male dominated field. There were no half measures with Anne, but those who worked with her always maintained that they learned so much from her. In the late 1950’s she formed the famous Dublin Strand Players and kick-started the careers of many well-known professional actors. Her productions won many awards, particularly with “Ring Around the Moon”. Anne then soon established herself in professional theatre and toured with musical productions such as, “The Desert Song” and “New Moon”.

She also directed Dublin Theatre Festival Productions and, in the early 1970’s was one of the first directors to work in the original Project Theatre in Kings Street. Never afraid to tackle complex plays, her production of, “The Bald Prima Donna”, achieved critical respect.

She came from a talented family and, her sister Patricia Moloney was a fine stage actress and was also a member of the iconic RTE Players Radio Rep in its halcyon days.

Anne was also a founding member of Irish Actors Equity – Directors Section, and was a forceful and supportive committee member for many years, paving the way for better conditions for fellow directors.

Many of the Dublin theatre circle felt Anne should have had far more recognition from main stream Irish Theatre. However, she has left a lasting legacy for woman’s rights, and subsequent female directors owe her much. She has also left indelible memories for those who worked with her.

Laurence Foster,
18th July 2016

Anita Reeves – A tribute

Once more, Irish Theatre is bereft of an outstanding talent. Anita Reeves achieved star status in an amazingly unassuming manner. This was reflected in her “no nonsense performances” and her boundless affection for fellow artists.

Anita trained from a very early age in dance and performance. This was an invaluable springboard which led to full time training at the Brendan Smith Academy. Still in her early teens she appeared in the Abbey Theatre. Her first major appearances were in the iconic Gas Company Theatre, Dun Laoghaire in 1968 going on to star in Boeing-Boeing and the Irish premiere of The Knack. Even then her comedy timing was that of someone beyond her years.

A staunch member of Irish Equity for many years, Anita had genuine concern for her fellow performers. She was a delight to work with, dedicated, highly professional and with characteristic infectious enthusiasm.

Her catalogue of work is stunning. She was able to perform in the heaviest of “straight theatre” roles, in opera, musicals, pantomime and to sing and to dance with equal aplomb, a gift which is a reserve of few performers. In 1978, she starred in the Gate Theatre as Major Barbara – Micheál MacLiammoir’s last production.

Anita was an original member of the Irish Theatre Company in the early 1970s and went on to star in the Abbey Theatre on a regular basis until recently, appearing in a substantial canon of Irish classic theatre. Anita’s many film and television credits include Butcher Boy, Into the West, Ballroom of Romance, and Adam and Paul. She also featured in many RTE Radio plays, including War and Peace, Blooms of Dublin, and the daily serial, Southside.

I had the honour of working with Anita in several theatre and radio productions for nearly fifty years and, like so many others, shall miss her vitality and her talent but, most of all, the warmth of her friendship. Our prayers, thoughts and love, go out to Julian, Gemma and Danny.

Laurence Foster
8th July 2016.