Galway Advertiser 2007/2007_04_19/GA_1904_E1_006.pdf 

Resource tools

File information File size Options

Original PDF File

2.8 MB Download


1066 × 1500 pixels (1.6 MP)

9 cm × 12.7 cm @ 300 PPI

558 KB Download
Resource details

Resource ID




Original filename

Galway Advertiser 2007/2007_04_19/GA_1904_E1_006.pdf

Extracted text

6 N E W S

April 19 2007

New wizard at Druid
BY KERNAN ANDREWS DruidSynge catapulted Druid Theatre Co to a whole new level. The challenge now is to built on that and surpass it, by being ambitious for the company and its future. This is the view of Declan Gibbons, who on Monday was appointed Druid's new managing director. He takes over from Feargal McGrath who recently became manager of the Town Hall Theatre. Mr Gibbons, originally from Donegal but who has been in Galway since the 1980s, brings a wealth of experience to the job. He started his arts career working in the Galway Arts Festival box office. In 1992 he joined Macnas as financial controller and in 1994 became general manager, a position he held until 2003. During this time he worked as a creative producer with responsibility for commissioning and producing the company's artistic programme. He also organised many national and international theatre tours for Macnas in France, America, and Columbia. He served on the board of Galway Arts Festival for three years and for the past two years has worked with Ticketmaster. Mr Gibbons says he is "thrilled and genuinely very excited" to be Druid MD and says he is looking forward to returning to work in the arts. "I was itching to get back working with a creative organisation and there are not many opportunities to do that in Galway," he tells me as we sit for the interview. "If I was asked for my dream job I would say a theatre company based in Galway with an international reputation - and that's Druid." Given Mr Gibbons' background, it is no surprise he applied for this job, but what did he feel he could bring to this role that maybe others could not? "I have local knowledge and industry knowledge," he says. "Druid performs in three different arenas - local, national, and international. It's very important that there is a balancing act between the three. Another thing I feel strongly about its touring nationally and internationally, and I have experience of that with Macnas." With Feargal McGrath as managing director and Garry Hynes as artistic director, Druid was revitalised and made into a major force in Irish and international theatre staging DruidSynge. Taking over from Mr McGrath, Mr Gibbons must be thinking `How do you beat that!'? "One of the things Feargal did was build a team of people that are now central to the organisation," says Mr Gibbons. "Now you have a much stronger organisation that is very driven who could deliver DruidSynge. That is the benchmark but Garry Hynes is very prolific and hard working and she wants to beat that and do something that will have as much of an impact." Key to that success will be the staging of new works by emerging dramatists and national and international tours. "Druid is committed to the classic Irish repertoire of which Synge is a part and Druid's productions of Synge are regarded as definitive," says Mr Gibbons. "We wouldn't want to change that. Druid is also committed to new writing. It has staged Enda Walsh's The Walworth Farce, Stuart Carolin's Empress Of India, and Lucy Caldwell's Leaves, and Martin McDonagh in the 1990s. "When Martin McDonagh happened that brought Druid to a whole new level and DruidSynge would not have happened without the Leenane Trilogy. These were cases of new writing supporting classic theatre and the money from the success of classic theatre being put into supporting new writing. Druid will be staging classic Irish theatre and new work by Irish and non-Irish writers." For Mr Gibbons, touring is "the life blood of theatre" and the success and goodwill Druid has enjoyed from the public and critics is too precious to lose. "Once you have established a profile you have to keep touring to keep your profile up or else you will be forgotten," Mr Gibbons says. "There are many who still don't know Druid, so there is work to be done in creating new audiences and I'm very keen we develop that

Declan Gibbons

Related featured and public collections
 Galway Advertiser 2007 / 2007_04_19