Lyric Theatre, Belfast has announced their Autumn/Winter 2019 season programme. Themed Voyage and Discovery the programme features the best of world-class theatre and new writings which exploresthe idea of place and a sense of discovery – whether it be within your‘self’or discovery ofthe world at large.

The season opens with Willy Russell’s heart-warming comedy Shirley Valentine (31 Aug-5 Oct) directed by Patrick J O’Reilly and starring Tara Lynne O’Neill fresh from her appearance in the award winning Derry Girls. Described as “the funniest and most heart-warming play,” follow Shirley as she takes a voyage of self-discovery to Greece. October welcomes The Playboy of the Western World (8 Oct-2 Nov) a co-production with Dublin Theatre Festival directed by Oonagh Murphy, about life on the margins and the lengths we go to, to create a reality more exciting than the place we find ourselves. Both productions will also tour to venues across Ireland, including the Millennium Forum; The Market Place Theatre, Armagh; The Gaiety, Dublin.

In association with Edinburgh’s Traverse, the Lyric presents Meghan Tyler’s extraordinary play, Crocodile Fever (03-08 Sep), a darkly comic and surreal tale of sisters taking on the dark forces around their farm to the soundtrack of 80s pop. Crocodile Fever was developed as part of the Lyric’s highly successful New Playwright’s Programme. The programme is now in its third year with a vibrant new team of young writers. Be the first to see their writing in progress with the New Playwrights Showcase (31 Oct-02 Nov).

The Lyric is also delighted that their new writing entry into A Play for Ireland, an initiative of Dublin’s Fishamble Theatre Company, has  been chosen to be produced. The Alternative, by Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney, is a rich black comedy that imagines an alternative history of Ireland. It will tour around five theatres throughout Ireland before coming back home to the Lyric in the Autumn (08-13 Oct).

This Christmas you can enjoy the spirit of adventure and discover two wonderful new productions. Peter Pan (29 Nov-04 Jan) which follows the young Darling family help free Neverland in Paul Boyd’s new family musical. Meanwhile adult audiences will enjoy Grimes and McKee’s Driving Home for Christmas (19 Nov-04 Jan). A hilarious brand-new comedy about been stranded far from home during the festive season.

The Lyric’s voyage with Blackout continues into its 5th year.Through the Lyric’s Creative Learning department,this initiative educates young people about the consequences of crimes and realities of prison life whilst also employing emerging actors and artists.

With its continued aim to support local artists and companies the Lyric is thrilled to welcome a host of wonderful productions throughout the season. Conor Grimes and Kevin McAleer join forces as two vaudeville players travelling across the Great Western Way as famine stalks the land in SPUD! (31 Aug-14 Sep). The brilliant Nuala McKeever returns with a new one-woman play How to be a Tube! (18-22 Sep).

There is also a jam-packed programme of visiting shows this summer. Highlights include the return of the smash hit of last summer,the musical version of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy (01-04 Aug) by the British Youth Music Theatre. Marie Jones’ exceptional A Night in November (12-21 Jun) by Sodabreadproduction and John B Keane’s tender and robust comedy of love The Matchmaker (04-06 Jul). Conor Mitchell’s Belfast Ensemble continue their exciting experimental adventures in hi-fi staging during their summer BASH! (28-30 Jun) and later in the year with Abomination (07-10 Nov) as part of the Outburst Festival. Geraldine Hughes returns with the Brassneck production of Belfast Blues (06-11 Aug) and to top it all off Sir Ian McKellen will take to the Lyric stage aspart of his sold out 80th birthday tour, generously donating the proceeds to fundamental work of the Lyric’s Creative Learning department.

Executive Producer at Lyric, Jimmy Fay said:
“Our new season programme themed Voyage and Discovery invites audiences to join us on a journey to explore new works, see familiar faces or join us on our tour across Ireland. The programme has so much to discover and we hope audiences are as inspired by it as we are. The Lyric is a shared civic space for artists and audiences alike; a creative hub for theatre-making, nurturing talent and promoting the critical role of the arts in society.Our mission is to create, entertain and inspire.”

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland which is the Lyric’s Principal Funder, said:
“There is so much to enjoy in this season’s programme, with perennial favourites such as Shirley Valentine and Playboy of the Western World, all the way through to contemporary and challenging works like Abomination: An Opera. There’s also a real treat for anyone with a love of reading when the theatre plays host to JLF Belfast, an international literature festival which is reputed to be ‘the greatest literary show on earth’. On top of all of this, we have opportunities to appreciate some of the most exciting young writing talent that is currently emerging from Northern Ireland, through the Lyric Theatre’s pioneering New Playwrights Programme. The Arts Council is proud to be principal funder of this remarkable, innovative theatre.”

Tickets for all performances start from £12. Early booking is recommended.

For further information and bookings for the Autumn/Winter season visit
Tel: 028 9038 1081 or follow Lyric Theatre on Facebook and Twitter.


Media contacts:
Rachel Leitch, / t: 028 9038 5677

Rachael Harriott, / t: 07886 036 782

Notes to editors

About the Lyric

Over the past sixty-five years, the Lyric has established itself as Northern Ireland’s leading producing theatre, honouring the rich theatrical canon and also premiering the works of playwrights such as Stewart Parker, Martin Lynch, Marie Jones and Christina Reid. They have showcased the talents of Northern Ireland’s finest actors, including Adrian Dunbar, Conleth Hill, Stella McCusker, Ciarán Hinds, Frances Tomelty and the Theatre’s Patron Liam Neeson, and more recently Aaron McCusker, Rachel Tucker, Seamus O’Hara and Niamh Perry.
As a theatre committed to new writing, the Lyric’s role is to seek out the most exciting new voices in contemporary theatre and provide them with a platform to have their work produced on a national stage.
The Lyric Theatre is a playhouse for all. It is a shared civic space for artists and audiences alike; a creative hub for theatre-making, nurturing talent and promoting the critical role of the arts in society. Their mission is to create, entertain, and inspire.
In 2018 the Lyric celebrated 50 years at the Ridgeway Street location.