Tom Hickey – A Tribute

The passing of Tom Hickey, an Actor and Director of such special qualities, has left the theatre world bereft of a very special talent. The dedication towards his chosen profession that Tom showed, produced a lengthy, successful career and the well-earned respect of peers and audiences alike.

His training, and subsequent involvement with Deirdre O’Connell at the Focus Theatre, paved the way for the success he gained in all aspects of the profession. His unselfish approach manifested itself with his founding of the Four in One Players, and his involvement in the Project Arts Centre, that created employment for so many actors over the years. Even when he was heavily involved in becoming a household name as Benjy in RTE Television’s, The Riordans, he still found time to mount extensive and long-running theatre tours.

His monumental performances in the plays of Tom Murphy, Frank McGuinness and Tom McIntyre, won him deserved awards, but Tom remained a true colleague, retained his great sense of fun and his wonderful sense of the absurd. The intensity of his performances were well tempered by his off-stage humour and camaraderie. To really get to know someone, you have to live closely with them for a prolonged period of time, and touring with Tom was always eventful, fun-packed and never dull. Working with him was a joy, watching him perform, a transportation into the world he had fashioned from the anvil of a marvellous ability.

Tom thoroughly merited the accolade of “one of Ireland’ greatest actors”, and has left an immense legacy, not only in the volume of work he produced, but also in the number of performers who learned so much from him and, to whom he meant so much.

“What feats he did…be in our flowing cups, freshly remembered!” (Henry V)

Laurence Foster
May 2nd 2021