Irish Theatre Awards judging for 2023 paused while review of process takes place

‘After 25 years hosting the Theatre Awards, this is an opportune moment to review our processes’ says The Irish Times

The Irish Times has announced that the Irish Theatre Awards are to undergo a review of their processes.

The judging of plays staged in 2023 – a process that has already begun – will be suspended while the review takes place. Meanwhile, The Irish Times Irish Theatre Award ceremony for 2022 will be held on March 26th next.

A statement from The Irish Times announcing the review decision said: “After 25 years of hosting the Theatre Awards, we believe this is an opportune moment to review our selection and adjudication processes. To facilitate this review, the 2023 judging process has been paused.

“We stand over the independence and integrity of the 2022 judging panel and its adherence to the application of the current criteria. We look forward to collaborating with the theatre community to celebrate their success and quality of productions and to reflect the diversity of culture and society in Ireland.”


The review follows the Abbey Theatre expressing concern about the 2022 nominations, which were announced on February 4th.

A week after the nominations were announced, the team behind An Octoroon, which was nominated for three awards including Best Production and two acting awards, said The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards do not represent today’s Ireland.

“Although the cast of An Octoroon was made up of a majority of people of colour (8/10), a decision was made to only recognise the two white actors for nominations among all the individuals in the cast and creative team. We believe this is unacceptable.”

A follow-up statement from the Abbey Theatre said, following the announcement of the nominations, there had been discussions within the industry “around omissions in general and race representation and bias in particular”.

Reacting to the review announcement, a spokesperson for the 2022 and 2023 judging panels said: “This is a timely decision to ensure transparency, and it demonstrates the continuing commitment of The Irish Times and the Theatre Awards judging panel to reflecting the talent and diversity of theatre in Ireland.”

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times