Wednesday 18 September 2019

Gate delays start of new play after Colgan furore

Former artistic director of the Gate Theatre Michael Colgan. Photo: Damien Eagers
Former artistic director of the Gate Theatre Michael Colgan. Photo: Damien Eagers

Allison Bray

The Gate Theatre has confirmed it has been forced to push back its latest production by a week due to the fallout from the ongoing controversy surrounding its former artistic director Michael Colgan.

The world première of Dublin playwright Nancy Harris's adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale 'The Red Shoes' was due to run from November 23 to January 27 at the theatre.

The Irish Independent reported on Saturday that the theatre was considering postponing the production. Yesterday it announced the run will be shortened by a week. The play is now scheduled to begin on November 30, as the theatre's new director Selina Cartmell deals with the controversy surrounding allegations of inappropriate behaviour by the long-standing former artistic director.

"Her priority over the past weeks has been to ensure she has been available to lead the team at The Gate, alongside her role as director of this new production," The Gate said in a statement yesterday. Officials from the theatre were unavailable for further comment.

However, Ms Cartmell said in the statement: "As the new director of The Gate, just over six months in the role, I am committed to continue to lead this theatre into its next chapter.

"Under my leadership, The Gate is committed to dealing professionally and compassionately with any issues arising from the past, and I fully understand it will take time to build trust and understanding from our colleagues and the community. Our collective intent is to build a theatre of international standing and excellence.

"Creative endeavour and collaboration, openness and accessibility, diversity and equality are the fundamentals to achieving a theatre people can trust and express themselves in our pursuit of excellence. We are busy creating this fantastic new show and I do hope people will come and enjoy it."

The development comes after Mr Colgan had issued an apology in the 'Sunday Independent' at the weekend over comments that had been made to playwright Grace Dyas.

Irish Independent

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