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Belfast’s Lyric reveals autumn/winter season

Published: 12 June 2022
Reporter: Michael Quinn

Lyric Belfast's autumn-winter season image Credit: Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Clare McMahon, Jimmy Fay, Paul McVeigh, Conor Mitchell (seated) Credit: Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Conor Grimes, Jimmy Fay, Alan McKee Credit: Lyric Theatre, Belfast

“Live, living and like you’ve never seen before” is the promise of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast’s newly announced programme for June to December, which foregrounds new work and tours of recent successes.

Featured in the venue’s Listen at the Lyric online audio series during the 2020 pandemic, season opener is Clare McMahon’s The Gap Year, “a journey of craic, coffee shops and self-discovery for three women in their 60s”.

Hotly anticipated is twice Ivor Novello Award-nominated Connor Mitchell’s return to his “first love”, musical theatre, Propaganda: A New Musical. An “old-fashioned Soviet love story” from the cold-hearted Iron Curtain era, it promises “a Broadway-influenced score” and features the Belfast Ensemble, most recently heard in a revival of Mitchell’s Abomination at the Lyric and Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, and Mass with the Ulster Orchestra.

There are first outings for new plays by David Ireland and Paul McVeigh. Ireland follows previous Lyric successes, Cyprus Avenue and Sadie (both screened on BBC Four) with a topical satire on Northern Irish politics and media, Yes So I Said, Yes. Polari Prize-winning novelist Paul McVeigh returns to the stage for the first time in 20 years with Big Man, a one-man show starring Tony Flynn about “how two men in pursuit of love move beyond the barrier of age and conflicting gay experience”.

Also returning are seasonal Lyric fixtures, Paul Boyd, with a new “glittering spectacular for all ages”, The Snow Queen, and anarchic duo Conor Grimes and Alan McKee, whose Grimes & McKee’s Christmas Craic-er is “jam-packed with Christmas chaos”.

The summer recess will see recent Lyric successes—Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney’s The Border Game and Caitríona McLaughlin’s Abbey Theatre co-production of Brian Friel’s Translations—on cross-border tours beginning in late-August.

Announcing the season, Lyric Executive Producer Jimmy Fay said, “new writing is the foundation stone of the Lyric Theatre. An audience discovering a new work for the first time can be perhaps the most electrifying moment in a theatre’s history. It is so important to celebrate and promote our home-grown talent and the best theatrical platform these remarkable writers can have is from the Lyric stages.”

    Related listings

  • Translations - Brian Friel (Lyric Theatre and Abbey Theatre)