Brendan Gleeson urged the government to start pumping money into the arts, describing it as “part of the fiber of life”.
leeson, who is currently shooting Martin McDonagh’s new film, The Inisherin Banshees in Co Mayo, was honored for his lifelong contribution to theater, by the Dublin Theater Festival.
The actor has made it clear that he is supporting a campaign to fund theaters outside of the pandemic, as each venue operates a maximum capacity of 60pc, under current pandemic restrictions.
“The government should take for granted, in the same way you have to pay the CAP, that the homeless will have to be housed and we have to have the arts,” he said on a live broadcast last night. of the Dublin Theater Festival.
“And they will have to put money into it, to get us out of the Covid case.”
Gleeson said if there was one thing society had learned from the pandemic, it was the vital importance of the arts and the “community experience” that had been lost to Covid-19.
“People will be hesitant to go out (for a while)”, but he added: “I think sanity is in the theater.”
The festival runs until Oct. 17 at half of its audience capacity, and is currently raising money through the Future Stages initiative, to help fund the arts after the pandemic.
However, Gleeson urged the state to do more.
“Everyone needs an economy, but everyone also needs a theater. I think Covid made people see the importance of the arts, it’s part of the fiber of life.
“We obviously need food, clothing and shelter, which is not too easy these days either.
“But if you get to a place where you are nourished and sheltered, it is vitally important to engage the heart and soul, as the theater and the arts do. This is what makes us human, it should be inbred as part of what is important, as the essence of life.
The star – who has performed alongside his two sons, Domhnall and Brian – added that he believes Ireland should open up more to theatergoers given the country’s high vaccination rates.
“We are over 90% double vaccinated,” he said. He said that should mean more seats will be occupied, if “significant” issues such as ventilation and other safety measures are in place.
Coming back to the theater after the pandemic had to be part of “our experience,” he said.
The artist felt that theaters should also attract audiences to shows and make them feel that something important was missing.
He said he sees the value of exploring live streams to complement, not replace live broadcasts. This would, according to him, be another source of income.
“The 80s saw people go there who didn’t normally go to the theater.
“I think it can happen again. Writers and producers, we should start looking at what is out there.
“People crave empathy, joy, distress and banality like they never have before.
“And that’s the best (ordinary) thing that happens sometimes. When you suddenly realize that everyone is on the same bus.
Thanking the festival for the award, the Dubliner said, “What the theater has given me, what I have given to the theater, has been a very rewarding gift and it means a lot to me this (award).
“I want to thank everyone I have worked with over the years.
“I think this Covid thing will make us stronger. “
The Dubliner, who grew up in Artane, north of Dublin, is one of the country’s best-known actors. Among his biggest movie roles to date is that of Alastor Moody in the Harry potter movies, like Ken in In Bruges, Garda Gerry Boyle in The guard and like father James in Calvary.
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