The Fit-up Theatre Festival was founded by Blood in the Alley Theatre Productions in association with Cork County Council in 2009 .It is a twice yearly festival running in both the Spring in the Blackwater region and in West Cork in the Summer. The Fit-up Theatre Festival revives the tradition of professional theatre companies touring shows to small rural towns and villages across Cork County, where there is traditionally a lack of accessibility to theatre, while promoting new Irish writing.
The 2020 Blackwater Fit-up Theatre Festival has just begun and will continue for five weeks with a different programme on offer each week. This is the fifth year of this very popular theatre festival. This year’s programme, curated by Artistic Director Geoff Gould, is the most ambitious and exciting to date with twenty- five nights of great theatre as eight new plays are performed in five venues in the Blackwater area.
January 29 – February 2 In Bairbre Ni Chaoímh’s new play Maura Laverty, This was your Life, Maura Laverty, the multi-talented broadcaster, cookery expert, agony aunt and controversial writer, who was a household name in Ireland for three decades, is spirited back from the dead to face a live and online audience on a surreal TV show called ‘This WAS Your LIFE.’ Legendary actress Carol Moore performs her new play The Experience of Being, a bemused and honest examination of the ageing process.
February 5 -9 Pat Kinevane has performed more plays at Fit-up Festivals than any other single artist, and his new play Before, produced by Fishamble;The New Play Company, will be much anticipated by audiences.
February 12 -16 Leitrim-born playwright Seamus O’Rourke brings his new play Indigestion to the festival and Aindreas de Staic makes his first visit to the Blackwater Fit-up with his award-winning play The Man from Moogaga. Both plays are performed on the same evening from the 12th to the 16th of February.
February 19 -23 Two new plays, Appropriate by Sarah-Jane Scott and Spliced by Timmy Creed, will be staged in the final week from February 19th-23rd. Both plays were enthusiastically received at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan welcomed the 2020 festival programme:
“Arts and theatre have a strong tradition in Cork County and nurturing this love of theatre is crucially important for current and future generations. With the support of Cork County Council and the Arts Council, the Blackwater Fit Up Theatre Festival brings new and established talent into smaller rural communities that perhaps may not have the opportunity to access otherwise. The programme shows a vast array of talent and genres, I am sure there is something there for everyone and hope it will continue for many years to come.”
The festival will host theatre productions across the Blackwater region, including The Town Hall in Mitchelstown, Bartlemy Community Hall, Ballynoe Community Hall, The Mall Arts Centre in Youghal and The Palace (Community Youth Centre) in Fermoy. Further details can be found on the festival website www.fit-uptheatrefestival.com.