By Conor O’Neill
Belfast’s Lyric Theatre has announced its spring/summer catalogue of some new, some returning, but most definitely exciting theatre.
In chronological order here’s what to expect to see on the Lyric’s famous boards.
First up is and running for two nights from March 9 – 10 is How To Bury A Dead Mule. This tells the story of Norman Clements, a Royal Irish Fusilier who having served in World War Two in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, and subsequently lives with post traumatic stress disorder.
Next we have This Sh*t Happens All The Time (March 22 – April). Directed by Rhiann Jeffrey the piece is a deeply personal, autobiographical monologue about homophobic hate crime.
April 5 – 7 see Before You Go follows Sorcha O’Hagan as she prepares to leave for a new life in Australia, beforehand a long overdue conversation with her father must take place.
Ghosts Of The Titanic (April 12- 16) blends fact with fiction and follows the days after the sinking of the infamous ship and focuses on the misinformation, political distraction tactics and fake news that follows.
Abomination (April 6 – 10) is the award winning opera making its way back home after a sell-out Belfast run at the 2019 Outburst Queer Arts Festival and fresh from the Abbey Theatre. It’s described as ‘contemporary, political, comic and emotionally complex’. This riotous Northern Irish original defined what new opera could say, to who, and why… with just a touch of drag.
Translations (April 23 – May 29) is a co-production with the Abbey Theatre of Brian Friel’s masterpiece and is directed by new artistic director Caitriona McLaughlin and promises to be ‘inquistive and powerful’.
No Citation (May 4 – 8) see Jeremy D’Wolfe McCarthy break in to a piano bar and getting more than he bargains for.
Blue Stockings (May 17 – 21) is Jessica Swale’s debut and follows Tess Moffat and her fellow first years who are determined to win the right to graduate. An eye-opening story about women’s fight for education and self determination against the backdrop of women’s suffrage in the late nineteenth century. This production is part of The Lyric’s Drama Studio, a programme of actor training for 18 – 25-year-olds.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary Marie Jones’ Stones In His Pockets. Co-produced with The Barn Theatre the show runs from June 7 – July 3. With director Matthew McElhinney at the helm this play follows a small rural village in Ireland as big Hollywood comes to produce its latest blockbuster.
Shedding Of Skin (June 14 – 19) is described as, ‘three furies, the voice of many women, meet to give rest to another. Through ritualistically sharing their stories of pain, abuse, resistance and survival’.
Breadboy (July 27 – 31) is the follow up to the British Youth Music Theatre’s production of Tony Macaulay’s hit musical Paperboy.
Jimmy Fay, executive producer of the Lyric Theatre said: “On behalf of the team at the Lyric, we welcome you to our spring/summer 2022 programme. After a long winter of Covid it feels like we’re finally stepping into a bright spring.
“Thanks to our wonderful audiences we were able to survive the pandemic, your appetite for theatre is what kept us going. Under our mission to create, entertain and inspire we are committed to delivering quality theatre from exceptional artists. Our programme reflects Northern Ireland’s diversity, ingenuity, creative energy and theatrical talent. New work sits beside established classics, visiting shows, creative learning and community workshops – all of which make a programme at the Lyric so far-reaching, eclectic and vibrant.”
Roisin McDonagh, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland added: “The past two years have made everyone appreciate, now more than ever, the importance and the value of the arts in our lives. The Arts Council, as principal funder, is proud to support the Lyric in all aspects of its work.
“As Northern Ireland’s leading producing theatre, the Lyric occupies a uniquely important place in our creative and cultural landscape.”
Well, there’s the list of what to expect; something for everyone’s tastes. Get on the phone and get booking.
The box office number is 02890 381081. For further information on the spring/summer programme simply visit http://www.lyrictheatre.co.uk