Hawk’s Well Theatre has been involved in the commissioning of a number of exciting projects during the last number of years.
In 2019 we celebrated the wonderful legacy of musician and song writer Thom Moore, with the well-received The Thom Moore Songbook night, which featured a number of local artists paying tribute to one of Sligo’s adopted sons. This follows on in the tradition of our annual Celebration Nights, where we have celebrated the extraordinary careers of Sligo artists. To date, we have celebrated artists including The Jazz Ladds, Rick Epping, Seamie O’Dowd, Eddie Lee, Cathy Jordan, Brian Leyden, Donal McLynn, Sandy Kelly, Steve Wickham and Niamh Crowley.
2019 also saw the theatre supported the production of Uprooted, a new theatre production made with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival and Brokentalkers Theatre Company, as well as the producion and premiere of Constance at Lissadell Church in late 2019. Elsewhere, Trad@Lunch returned for its second year over ten weeks in the summer, and The Takeover saw students take charge of the theatre for The Ballad of Burke and Hare.
In 2018 we comissioned and produced The Deepwater Rambler, a new piece of writing from Bob Kelly which celebrates the rich heritage of Sligo's docklands. We also began developing Constance, a new collaborative traditional Irish music and theatre production with Kellie Hughes and Michael Rooney. Supported theatre artist Miriam Needham to create a new writing project – Roots, inspired by her Camino escapades which premieres in Dublin Fringe Festival in 2019. Produced and presented the first Trad@Lunch series – a programme of free weekly lunchtime concerts during the summer to showcase Sligo traditional music.
In the same year, Hawk's Well Theatre commissioned and produced Tradroque – a juxtaposition of Irish traditional and baroque music traditions featuring the Sligo Baroque Orchestra and local professional traditional musicians. We also commissioned and produced Hands Across the World with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival - a series of public events that celebrated Sligo’s rich cultural diversity, and enabled the public to engage with multiple cultures in an open environment. In December 2018, we produced and presented the first Sligo Pops – a concert that celebrates the wealth of instrumental genres and talent to be found in Sligo today.
2017 saw a production and tour of Hallow – a music based commission from Duke Special and Stroller Theatre Network that's based on works by an influental and renowned Belfast-based poet Michael Longley. The same year, Hawk's Well Theatre began Sing for the Hell of It - a series of pop-up monthly choir workshops where anyone who likes to sing is welcome to join and sing along.
Shows we are particularly proud of and which have toured internationally include The Man in the Woman’s Shoes, and I Hear You and Rejoice by Mikel Murfi, which regularly returns to Hawk’s Well Theatre. Our co-production from Fidget Feet Aerial Dance, The Second Coming, meanwhile, was a highlight of the All Ireland Fleadh in August 2015, before undertaking a seventeen-date tour of Germany.
In 2014, in association with Loco and Reckless Theatre and the Nomad Theatre Network, Hawk's Well helped produce The Far Off Hills. This revival of Lennox Robinson’s classic comedy from 1928 is given new life under the direction of award-winning Mikel Murfi (creator of The Man in the Woman’s Shoes). Set and costume design is by Sabine Dargent and lighting design by Nick McCall.
In 2013, the inaugural Sligo Children’s Book Festival has exceeded all expectations. Hawk’s Well Theatre, The Model & Kids Own Publishing partnered to produce a five day festival to celebrate books. Older children were catered for in an original production of Rabhlaí, Rabhlaí by the Hawk’s Well Theatre in co-operation with the eight Sligo Primary Schools. That same year, we co-produced a live performance of musicians and artists who have joined to create new works inspired by the writing of W. B. Yeats. The Perfect Beauty was new music, new art and a new and fresh understanding of old words.
The Hawk’s Well Theatre turned 30 on the 12th of January 2012. The Hawk’s Well celebrated 30 years of fantastic performances from professional and local theatre companies, bands, musicians, comedians and performers throughout 2012. On Saturday 21st January the exhibition ’30 Years at the Hawk’s Well’ was opened. The staff of the theatre have been busy travelling down memory lane and compiling this exhibition of photographs, old programmes and memorabilia from the performances which the theatre has hosted over the decades.
Former Theatre-Artist-in-Residence Bob Kelly worked with us to produce The Big Wall - a site-specific theatre production staged in both Sligo Courthouse and Sligo Gaol.
We love to create new work for children and our shows Codladh Sámh and Concerts for Babies delight the youngest in our community. Produced by the theatre along with The Dock and Roscommon Arts Centre, the Trad Babies series was created especially for the youngest of audiences and their adults. The concept has since blossomed, and we have since held similar events including Beethoven Babies and Bluegrass Babies.
Hawk’s Well Theatre’s continuing commitment to developing new projects is ongoing. For more on our current projects, click here.