Harvest time at Lime Tree and Belltable theatres

Lime Tree board members Mike Finneran, Michael Keane; director Louise Donlon; Mayor James Collins; programme manager Marketa Dowling and chairman Colm O'Brien

DOWNTOWN venue, uptown offer was core to Alex Findlater & Co’s hosting of Lime Tree/ Belltable 2018 Autumn Programme on sunny Monday.

Led by Lime Tree Theatre’s director Louise Donlon and Belltable’s Marketa Dowling, scones and coffee nurtured the gathering from The Gaff, Cecilians and College Players, Limerick Panto Society, MIDAS and leaders of our international festivals  – dance’s Light Moves, Limerick Jazz and Richard Harris (film). Limerick Hurling hero Kevin Downes joined in the posse.

Mayor James Collins had great praise for these theatres’ adaptability and accessibility in providing “for theatre, music, film, comedy and conferences as well as touring companies that are important to raise profile.” Saluting the creativity of grassroot artists and organisers, he predicted that the various festivals’ content promised for “a very exciting programme.”

Limerick Panto’s Tony Cusack with Limerick’s Live 95fm Geraldine O’Regan

Manager Marketa Dowling, who secured the IFI’s weekly films for Limerick exclusively, sleuths constantly in Ireland and other parts for material that sings. Leafing through this season’s dates she referenced Dante or Die’s ‘User Not Found’ on September 16; ex-MIDAS Elaine O’Dywer’s ‘Queen of Technicolor’ in November; Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival; Pat Kinevane’s return and introduced the Belltable String Quartet Series.

Getting down to grit with Limerick Post, overseer of it all Louise Donlon addressed the hazard inherent in charting and producing shows that have no previous currency here. Seven successful years into the start up that Lime Tree was, a whistle in the dark out in MIC campus:

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“It is every year because the risk is in taking on what we judge in terms of what people would want to see and for them, the value in what they see. In choosing a programme for this venue we look at the whole range of the programme. It is not just about what we ourselves would like.

“When we lay out the season in advance we have theatre, classical musical, trad, dance, film, festivals. Our reputation is that we present quality work that is available and that we present it well.”

With a strong production background honed with Druid and with Belltable being our municipal theatre, Donlon underlines how necessary it is that the team “allows our own local artists to present work in their own city. It is really important as an artistic community that we give them opportunities.”

Hence The Gaff’s ‘Bingo!’, Bottom Dog’s Gala night, Cecilian’s The Producers, Belltable’s Book Club and  theatre makers’ hub are grafted in. From Belltable:Connect award winning shows to emerging film makers for #RHIFF, our theatre industry is so much more than showtime for show biz. 

Puruse and book www.limetreetheatre.ie