COVID-19 Information – what to expect:
As you can understand during these difficult times, this has been the most challenging Fit-Up Festival we have ever programmed. As you know we were forced to cancel our festival last summer, but we are really looking forward to getting it up and running and welcoming audiences again – in a new format this time.
In order to make the West Cork Fit-Up Festival work this year we ask our audience to adhere to the following guidelines and systems:
– All tickets must be pre-booked via our Box Office to guarantee a seat.
Box Office: 0876076745
Phone only – no texts please
– We are not travelling around this year, instead we will be performing all shows from the same location for the two weeks: a tent behind the community centre in Ballydehob
– Performances will be outdoors (in a large tent with open sides) – so please dress for the Irish weather!
– Limited seating with social distancing in place
– No tickets guaranteed on-the-door
– Masks or face-coverings must be worn on arrival and departure from venue, but not during the performance.
– Pods of up to 6 people may sit together
– All seated. No standing
– Cash payments only. No change available so please have exact notes. There is no card system available.
– Arrive 20-30mins early to allow time to be seated
– Shows will begin on time, no latecomers
Live Stream:For those missing the festival and who can’t be with us in Ballydehob this year, for the first time ever we are broadcasting the festival LIVE online. On Sat 24th & Sat 31st all performances will be live-streamed from the tent. Each show will be available to view FOR FREE by clicking this link
The story behind the Fit-Up Theatre Festival
The Fit-up Theatre Festival’s mission is to provide rural communities with access to the highest standards of playwrighting, acting and theatre-making that Irish professional theatre has to offer, and we bring it directly into local community halls at an affordable price.
In 2009 Artistic Director Geoff Gould, Company Manager Jessica Finken and Technician Shane Ward set off around West Cork in an old Renault 19 with the actor Joan Sheehy and four stage lamps and commenced a journey that would result in the revival of an old theatre tradition: the ‘Fit-Ups’ of the 1950’s when professional theatre companies travelled to rural villages performing in make-shift venues during the summer. Since then, with the excellent support of Cork County Council Arts Officer Ian McDonagh and more recently The Arts Council, we have presented and staged 42 productions of mostly new plays in 16 different locations in West Cork.
The Fit-Up continues to grow each year, and now there are currently three Fit-up Theatre Festivals annually: the Blackwater Valley Fit-up Theatre Festival in late January/early February; the West Waterford Fit-Up Theatre Festival in May and the West Cork Fit-up Theatre Festival which runs during July and August, with a the fourth Fit-Up due to be added this year. We are delighted to announce that we will be partnering with Marian, Marsha and Eugene of The Three Rings in Tuam, Galway County Council Arts Officer Sharon O’Grady and the Arts Council to produce the first ever North East Galway Fit-Up Theatre Festival in September 2021.
While we are eternally grateful to the myriad of actors and technicians who have graced us with their talent, the Fit-Up would not exist without the tremendous support we have received from our audience. For that we thank you sincerely and hope that this year’s festival – although markedly different in format due to COVID-19 – will provide you with as much enjoyment as previous years.
The Fit-up Theatre Festivals are a joint initiative between Blood in the Alley Theatre Productions, Cork County Council and the Arts Council.