Belfast actor wins at UK theatre awards

Belfast actor Patrick O’Kane has received one of the highest accolades in acting, winning a best actor award at the UK Theatre Awards at the weekend.

O’Kane won the award for Best Performance in a Play for the acclaimed Quietly by Lyric Playwright-in-Residence, Owen McCafferty.

The play was an Abbey Theatre production, directed by the Lyric’s own Executive Producer, Jimmy Fay, which toured to Belfast in April. Both were delighted to hear of Patrick’s success at the awards.

“I couldn’t be happier for Paddy,” said Owen McCafferty. “It was a richly deserved award for an actor who is a shining light of his generation.”

Executive Producer, Jimmy Fay said: “I’m delighted that Paddy has achieved this acknowledgement for his absolutely superb performance. It was a wonderful trio to work with on Quietly – Paddy, Declan Conlon and Robert Zawadzki.”

The UK Theatre Awards are the only nationwide awards to honour creative excellence and the outstanding achievement seen on and off stage throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The awards were given at a glamorous ceremony at London’s historic Guildhall compèred by musical theatre star Michael Xavier, with a performance from Calamity Jane’s Jodie Prenger and appearances from guest presenters Anita Dobson, Tamzin Outhwaite, Angela Griffin, Lesley Joseph, Wayne Sleep, Debbie Kurup, Clive Francis and Brian Conley amongst others.

Belfast playwright Owen McCafferty’s powerful play wowed critics when it toured to the Edinburgh Festival in 2013 and has picked up a string of awards since it opened in Dublin in 2012.

Quietly is the story of two strangers who have lived through the Northern Ireland Troubles, played by Belfast actor Patrick O’Kane and Declan Conlon. Their lives have been shaped by the events of a single night years previously. Now they want to know the truth so they can come to terms with the past. As they work through the trauma and hurt, they gradually reach an understanding between them. The cast also includes Polish actor Robert Zawadzki who made his Abbey Theatre debut when it premiered on the Peacock stage in November 2012.

Patrick O’Kane also starred as John Proctor in the Lyric’s first play in the rebuilt theatre in 2011 – The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

For the full list of winners and more information on the UK Theatre Awards visit this link: