|Address||9 Northgate St.
Athlone, County Westmeath
|Type||Theatre and music venue|
|Opened||March 2nd, 2008|
|Years active||2005 -|
The Passionfruit Theatre is a theatre and theatre company based in Athlone, County Westmeath, Ireland. It was founded by Irish playwright and novelist Joe Ducke, Old Vic graduate Emily Campbell, and lighting designer Emma Lohan. It is the third theatre in Athlone along with the Dean Crowe Theatre and Arts Centre and the Little Theatre.
Since its inception, Passionfruit Theatre has produced shows in Athlone, as well as others which have toured Ireland to some critical acclaim.
The company's first production under the Passionfruit moniker was a tour of Joe Ducke's one-act play "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" in 2005. The play centres on three real-life characters: Maud Gonne, Lady Gregory, and William Butler Yeats, and how their lives intersect on the evening of December 31, 1899. According to the author, he wrote the play "during the Christmas holidays in 1999 [...] when the New Millennium was just around the corner. The setting is New Year's Eve 1899, and I used real characters to describe the new feeling of anticipation that always surrounds such crucial dates and occasions."  The production was directed by Mark Shanahan with set and costume design by Emily Campbell. Dermot Ward played Yeats, Anne Hoey played the role of Lady Gregory, and Emily Campbell played Maud Gonne. Anne Hoey won a best actress award for her portrayal of Lady Gregory on the One-Act circuit in 2006.
In 2006 Passionfruit Theatre embarked on three high-profile productions. The first was Walk a Crooked Mile, a three-act play by Joe Ducke, which was performed in the Athlone Dean Crowe Theatre in February 2006. The production was directed by Paul Fagan, with set and costume by Emily Campbell and lighting design and operation by Emma Lohan. The cast included Passionfruit regulars Dermot Ward, Anne Hoey and Emily Campbell. The author has described the play as Hamlet reset and retold in the Irish midlands. In August 2006 Passionfruit toured two one-act plays, Brazen Bulls by Irish playwright Oswald J. Healy, and A Slight Ache by Harold Pinter, including dates in the Bak of Ireland Theatre in N.U.I. Galway, the Bog Lane Theatre in Ballymahon, and the Teacher's Club Theatre in Dublin. Both plays were directed by Paul Fagan, with set and costume design by Emily Campbell and lighting by Emma Lohan. Brazen Bulls starred Dermot Ward, Stephen Herbert and John Keane, while A Slight Ache starred Eoin O'Connell, Evie Craddock and Dan O'Dowd.
Other productions include:
- "With Wandering Steps and Slow" by Oswald J. Healy (2007)
- Directed by Paul Fagan
- "The Pot of Broth" by William Butler Yeats (2008)
- Directed by Luke Hayden
- 5 Dec 2007 ... One Of Us by Joseph Ducke (Passionfruit Theatre Company,
- Dir: Suzanne Hogan): played Marcus Goodbody Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone ...
In August 2007 Passionfruit Theatre was approved for a governmental grant towards the refurbishment of its theatre at Northgate St., Athlone, with its planned grand opening in October 2007. The newly refurbished theatre has been designed by Budd Holden, student of the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City.
- "New Theatre Set to Open in Athlone". athlonenews.com. 2008-02-27.