Return of the native: Tom Creed

Return of the native: Tom Creed

Tom Creed, one of the busiest theatre directors in the country, has been appointed the new Festival Director of the Cork Midsummer Festival. Succeeding William Galinsky, who resigned last year to take up the artistic director position with the Norwich and Norfolk festival, Creed takes the reins of Cork’s 16-day multi-disciplinary arts festival, designed to support local artists, while presenting innovative international new work across the art forms. It is hard to imagine a more appropriate appointment.

Creed, who is 30, made his professional debut at the festival in 2003, directing Lynda Radley and Ciarán Fitzpatrick’s Soap! for Playgroup the company he co-founded and co-directs with Hilary O’Shaughnessy. In many respects, he is an embodiment of the festival’s spirit: a Cork-born artist with a tremendous appetite for making and discovering new work across disciplines and national boundaries.

Keeping up with Creed’s activities is its own challenge – already this year, his productions of Watt for the Gate Theatre and Raymond Scannell’s Mimic have been performed at home and in New York. The Cork Midsummer Festival alone has rarely featured a programme without one of his works: Dark Week at the Everyman Palace in 2005, The Train Show in 2006, Lynda Radley’s The Art of Swimming in 2007, Raymond Scannell’s Mimic in both 2007 and 2009, and Manchán Magan’s Broken Croí-Heart Briste last year.

An Associate Director of Rough Magic, for which he has directed five productions, Creed has also served as Theatre and Dance Curator of Kilkenny Arts Festival since 2008, bringing international work from Peter Brook, Mabou Mines, and Quarantine to the city, together with new Irish work from THEATREclub and Una McKevitt and, inevitably, Tom Creed.  He facilitated the Irish debuts of Belgium's Ontroerend Goed and Free Theatre Belarus.

“Having begun my professional career at Cork Midsummer Festival, I am delighted to have this opportunity to come back to Cork at this very exciting time for the Arts in the city,” Creed said of his appointment. “I am really looking forward to building on the fantastic work done by my predecessors Ali Robertson and William Galinsky and to working with the people of Cork and the local, national and international arts community to make new and extraordinary events happen across all the art forms over the coming years.”


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