All Right on the Night: Anne Makower and Christopher Fitz-Simon Exhibition

Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Dun Laoghaire
Intro Text 

All Right on the Night is an exhibition celebrating the work of Anne Makower and Christopher Fitz-Simon in theatre, opera, television and radio.

Anne and Christopher have lived in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area for 56 years, at Richmond Hill, Monkstown, for 46 years before they moved to a mews house in Dún Laoghaire in 2011.  The exhibition highlights their intriguing family history.  Christopher was born into an extraordinary Irish family with Ulster Presbyterians on one side, and on the other he is a great-great-great-grandson of Daniel O’Connell, ‘The Liberator’.  Not to be outdone, Anne can trace her mother’s family back to the great Finn McCool; on her father’s side, the Makowers – who originated in Makow in Poland – emigrated and established a silk textile business in London.

Anne and Christopher share the same birthday and furthermore their first appearances on stage were in separate school productions of the same play – Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man – with Anne in London and Christopher in Dublin. Both went on to study at Trinity College, Dublin.  They appeared together with the D.U. Players before forging careers abroad, Anne in England and Christopher in North America. 

They met again in Teilifís Eireann (RTÉ), being among those who planned and operated the earliest transmissions.  Christopher initiated such iconic series as Tolka Row, and Anne produced most of the classical music programmes throughout her extensive career whilst juggling her other career as a soprano in recitals, oratorio and opera.  Some of the most popular TV programmes which she directed were Music in the Making, five operas in the RTÉ Proms, and Piano Plus with John O’Conor.

Christopher moved to and fro between TV and the theatre. He held executive positions at the Abbey Theatre, the Irish Theatre Company and the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.  He has lectured on Irish theatre in ten countries on four continents; among his many books (all on display at dlr LexIcon) are The Boys, a joint biography of Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLíammóir, founders of the Dublin Gate Theatre.

The exhibition was launched by An Cathaoirleach Cllr. Lettie McCarthy on Friday 22 October and the guest speaker was legendary dramatist Bernard Farrell, a close friend of this remarkable couple. The exhibition will be on display at dlr LexIcon until 31 January and includes a recent interview with poet and playwright Vincent Woods.