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HISTORY OF THE LYRIC


1965

Laying the Foundation Stone

Austin Clarke lays the Foundation Stone of the Ridgeway St Theatre on June 12th 1965, in the Cent...

Austin Clarke lays the Foundation Stone

1968

Mary O'Malley in the New Build

Mary O'Malley onsite with the blueprints of the new theatre on Ridgeway St.

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1968

The Opening Production

A selection of production shots from The Cuchulain Plays by W. B. Yeats, the opening production o...

1968

I remember the opening night in the new theatre......

I remember the opening night in the new theatre. We could hear the anticipatory chatter of the guests while we put on make up in almost darkness, the lights were still being installed in the dressing rooms as the audience were arriving!

Sam McCready from Lyric First Memories

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1969

Phaedra

Racine's French dramatic tragedy, taken from Greek Mythology was first written in 1677.  The Lyric produced the ...

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1969

Candida

Film strips for the production shots of Candida by George Bernard Shaw. Produced by the Lyric in ...

1970

Over The Bridge

Sam Thompson, a Northern Irish playwright best known for documenting sectarian violence in his works, penned the cont...

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1970

Peer Gynt Programme

One of Ibsen's most widely produced plays. The programme contains a quote from the playwright, "Ever

1970

Lovers

Lovers was the first of Brian Friel's plays to be produced in the new theatre on Ridgeway St. in June 1970. This play...

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1971

The Flats

The Flats by John Boyd, was written in 1969 and produced by the Lyric in 1971. The play follows the Catholic...

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1971

The Silver Tassie

Written by Sean O'Casey in 1928 and set during the First World War, The Silver Tassie follows youn...

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1972

The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui

This production of the classic political play by Bertolt Brecht boasted another huge cast of 24 actors and was
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1973

A Swan Song & A Dream Play

Demonstrating a commitment to the giants of modern theatre, the Lyric launched a double bill of work by Chekhov and S...

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1974

My first visit to the Lyric back in the day (around 1974/5) was to see my P7 teacher Alex McClay play Henry VIII in ‘A Man for all Seasons...

My first visit to the Lyric back in the day (around 1974/5) was to see my P7 teacher Alex McClay play Henry VIII in ‘A Man for all Seasons’

Suzanne

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1974

Jesus Christ Superstar

Three years after its Broadway debut, Jesus Christ Superstar made it’s way onto the Lyric stage. The controversial ...

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1975

I was lucky to have known Mary personally, she took me under her wing back in the seventies when......

I was lucky to have known Mary personally, she took me under her wing back in the seventies when I had just lost my dad in the Troubles. My dad an I were regular visitors to the Lyric and I also attended the Lyrics drama school. She picked me to play a part in a production called 'We do it for Love' knowing it was going on tour, just to take me away from a very sad situation. Her kindness didnt stop when the show ended. I went on to act in many other productions and she also invited me to her home in Co Wicklow to spend my summer holidays. A very kind and generous lady.

Sharon

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1975

The Beaux Strategem

This comedy from George Farquhar follows Aimwell and Archer, two fashionable beauxs, who have fallen on hard times an...

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1975

Coming up for an audition for Mary O'Malley in 1975, and being strangely taken with the newness of the building. These wonderful bricks. I t...

Coming up for an audition for Mary O'Malley in 1975, and being strangely taken with the newness of the building. These wonderful bricks. I thought 'wow, what a new, modern theatre". And I ultimately got accepted into the theatre. (from Lyric First Memories 1968-2008)

Liam Neeson

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1977

The Rise & Fall of Barney Kerrigan

The Lyric produced the World Premiere of this play by Frank Dunne in which young Irish actor, Barney Kerrigan makes a...

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1980

Dark Rosaleen & Not I

This double bill of performances boasted Dark Rosaleen, the award-winning play for the Lyric Drama Competiti...

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1982

When “The Interrogation of Ambrose Fogarty” by Martin Lynch was showing at the Lyric, my mother took my granny to see the show because t...

When “The Interrogation of Ambrose Fogarty” by Martin Lynch was showing at the Lyric, my mother took my granny to see the show because they had heard great reviews. My granny kept remarking that the actor playing Ambrose reminded her of one of her sons, and so her empathy built intensely! During the interval my mum and granny had a sweet sherry each, and returned to the seats. My granny never had a tipple but since this was a special occasion she enjoyed it.  As the play progressed, my granny became more agitated at the RUC treatment of Ambrose. He was being viscously beaten and suddenly my grandmother stood up in her seat and screamed, “Leave him alone, yas bastards!”  I think the atmosphere could be cut with a knife- my mother sunk into her seat and pulled my granny back down, and the actors continued on, eventually acknowledging my granny during the curtain call! This has become a family legend, and sadly my granny is no longer with us, but we laugh at this and many other memories when the family get together! Hope this made you laugh!

Sarah

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1983

Around Christmas (either 1982 or ’83) myself and my classmates (P6/P7) from Clough Primary, Co Antrim made the very long - but very exciti...

Around Christmas (either 1982 or ’83) myself and my classmates (P6/P7) from Clough Primary, Co Antrim made the very long - but very exciting journey - up to ‘the Big Smoke’ of Belfast to attend ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Lyric Theatre. I’d never heard of the Lyric Theatre before this, but I had hears of A Christmas Carol, as this had been our school musical production that year, so we knew the story inside out after our months of rehearsal. I’ve never forgotten the Lyric – my first theatre experience – and the most stand out memory of that show was The Ghost of Christmas Present who was this 7ft larger than life character with a huge beard, surrounded by fruit and food, and a bit booming voice. That was 35 yrs ago & I was only 10, but that memory has never left me and has given me a fondness for the Lyric I’ve never forgotten

Jane

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1983

Indian Summer - Designer's Model Box

A model box from the 1983 Lyric production of Indian Summer, featuring the designer Hildegard Bec...

Indian Summer - Designer's Model Box

1983

Educating Rita Set

The set for the 1983 production of Educating Rita, designed by Philip McConnell alongside the set...

Educating Rita Set - 1983 Educating Rita Set - 2016

1983

Indian Summer

1983 boasts two of the great women playwrights whom the Lyric has championed over the years - Jennifer Johnston and C...

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1983

Tea In A China Cup

The Lyric premiered Tea In A China Cup in which three generations of Protestant Belf...

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1986

Threshold John Hewitt Edition

The Winter 1986/87 edition of Lyric publication Threshold was dedicated to the late...

Threshold John Hewitt Edition Threshold John Hewitt Edition Threshold John Hewitt Edition

1989

Little Shop of Horrors

This tongue-in-cheek comedy about a meek mannered florist and his talking, blood thirsty plant, was produced by the L...

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1990

The Iceman Cometh

A letter of praise from Limerick for The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill.

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The Iceman Cometh

1990

The Importance of being Earnest

Conleth Hill in The Importance of being Earnest, 1990.

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The Importance of being Earnest

1990

Observe the Sons of Ulster

Belfast actor Patrick O’Kane made his Lyric debut in Frank McGuinness’s acclaimed drama about...

Observe the Sons of Ulster - 1990

1991

All Souls Night

Opening the 1991/92 season at the Lyric, All Souls Night was performed in Octo...

All Souls Night - 1991

1991

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

This celebrated Tennessee Williams play (famously turned into a film starring Elizabeth Taylor an...

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

1992

I first became involved with the Lyric in the early nineties as a young teenager when I came for drama classes and my school work experience...

I first became involved with the Lyric in the early nineties as a young teenager when I came for drama classes and my school work experience! By the late nineties, I was a performing arts student and visited the theatre often as an audience member, on backstage tours and was delighted to work on college assignments with the production team of the time. I couldn’t wait to see what would be on the stage next and remember clearly Brian Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come! A Mid-Summer Nights Dream, the Drama Studio’s production of Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss and excitedly pushing past the picketers on Ridgeway Street to see a controversial version of Miss Julie. The programming inspired my love of theatre further and I gained a place at Drama School - Rose Bruford College to study Stage Management. Degree complete and with a few years’ experience under my belt I decided to return home for a while. It wasn’t long after that when I landed my first job at the Lyric as Deputy Stage Manager for the Christmas show Merry Christmas Betty Ford. So lucky to be working alongside a talented cast which included Ian McElhinney, Mark Dugdale and Rachel Tucker. I worked in various roles in the Stage Management team until the old building closed and we watched on the street as the bulldozers moved in and it was taken down. We didn’t stop for long though – straight to work on the Parker Plays Pentecost and Spokesong staged in an old bank building in the city centre. I happily stayed on the team, touring productions around the country until the new building opened in 2011. An opportunity then arose to work in the Creative Learning Department, I jumped at the chance – I had always wanted to work with young people and in TIE. I haven’t looked back and my role now includes helping run Theatre School (our weekly drama classes for young people), our work experience programme and encouraging young people to train professionally in Drama Schools.

Pauline

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1992

The Gigli Concert

Lyric production of Galway playwright Tom Murphy’s masterpiece. Two more great plays by Tom, wh...

The Gigli Concert

1994

The Hidden Curriculum

A flyer for the Lyric’s 1994 production of The Hidden Curriculum with original artwork illustra...

1994

Volunteers

Volunteers by Brian Friel was produced by the Lyric in June 1994 directed by Robin Midgley.

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1995

Lengthening Shadows

Graham Reid's Lengthening Shadows produced by the Lyric in 1995, directed by Robin Midgley.<...

Lengthening Shadows

1996

Dancing at Lughnasa

Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnana was directed by Conall Morrison. The play has been produce...

Dancing at Lughnasa

1997

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Featuring a stellar cast of local actors including Conleth Hill, Dan Gordon, Maggie Cronin, John ...

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

1999

Waiting for Godot

Lyric dream-team duo Conleth Hill and Sean Campion appear onstage again as the iconic Irish theat...

Waiting for Godot

2002

My brother Daniel had cerebral palsy and was part of a drama group called the Mixed Peppers. One summer (I think in 2002) they did a product...

My brother Daniel had cerebral palsy and was part of a drama group called the Mixed Peppers. One summer (I think in 2002) they did a production in the Lyric - we rehearsed for several weeks and then did a few shows. The show was called Aloysius Tosh and was based in the shipyard. There were lots of young people with disabilities involved and everyone at the Lyric was so helpful and accommodating. Daniel and I had a brilliant time. Sadly we lost Daniel 4 years ago but I will never forget how much fun we had that summer.

Rachel

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2002

From a GCSE drama class visit to see 'Conversations on a Homecoming' to my first professional job here in 2011 (The Crucible) to my most rec...

From a GCSE drama class visit to see 'Conversations on a Homecoming' to my first professional job here in 2011 (The Crucible) to my most recent job now (Double Cross), @LyricBelfast has always been a cherished & very special place to me. #Lyric50 #HappyBirthdayLyric

Charlotte McCurry

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2002

A Night in November

Marie Jones' A Night in November, directed by Stephen Wright in 2002.

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A Night in November

2003

The Blind Fiddler

Featuring some of the Lyric’s - and Ireland’s! - best loved actors, Julie Dreardon, Dan Gordo...

The Blind Fiddler

2005

Shadow of a Gunman

Sean O'Casey's Shadow of a Gunman was directed by Fiona Buffini. Shadow of a Gunman has been...

Shadow of a Gunman

2006

Arms and the Man

Nobel Laureate Shaw is a stalwart of the Lyric repertoire; he is the third most produced playwright from the South of...

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2008

2008

The Last Audience in the old Ridgeway St theatre

The last audience in the old Lyric Theatre on Ridgeway St in 2008. The Lyric went out in style wi...

2008

2010

2010

Under Construction

The final stages of construction for the current Lyric Theatre in July 2010. Photo credit: Steffa...

2011

The Crucible

Arthur Miller’s compelling dramatisation of the hellish Salem witchcraft trials, quickly became a central and revol...

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2011

2012

In 2012 my mum had booked us two tickets to a show at the Lyric. Her colleague had recommended a show that her......

In 2012 my mum had booked us two tickets to a show at the Lyric. Her colleague had recommended a show that her seven year old nephew was in. We got to the Lyric and watched Melmoth the Wonderer – the cast featured no children. We quickly realised that we had booked to see the wrong show but Melmoth the Wonderer was brilliant and we weren’t at all disappointed that we’d ended up seeing the wrong thing!

Katie

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2013

2013

Snow Patrol stops by

Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol visits the Lyric for the unveiling of his portrait by Colin Davidso...

2013

2013

2014

I just wanted to say how much the Lyric means to me. From first entering the doors 4 years ago for my work experience when I was only 16 yea...

I just wanted to say how much the Lyric means to me. From first entering the doors four years ago for my work experience when I was only 16 years old, to gaining a place in the Lyric Drama Studio and go on to do their production of the Heresy of love. I have really grew up with the lyric and I definitely wouldn’t have the confidence to want to train as a professional actor if it wasn’t for the Lyric.

Emma

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2014

Punk Rock

Simon Stephens' critically acclaimed, award winning play was produced by the Lyric in 2014. Director Selina Cartmell ...

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2014

2015

Creative Learning Introduce Blackout

In 2015 our Creative Learning Department produced the first tour of Blackout in partnership with ...

2015

The Night Alive

Award winning The Night Alive hit the Lyric stage in October 2015.  Written...

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2015

I've lived 15min from @LyricBelfast all my life, seen countless plays, my mum & aunties all used to work box office, I got my first prof...

I've lived 15min from @LyricBelfast all my life, seen countless plays, my mum & aunties all used to work box office, I got my first professional gig there with Blackout. Now very proud to be part of its 50th birthday party tonight.

Michael Patrick

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2016

Educating Rita

Educating Rita was the opening production of the Lyric's 2016 season, directed by Emma Jordan and starr...

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2016

2017

2017

The Ladykillers

Originally a screenplay written in 1955, The Ladykillers tells the story of sweet, old Mrs Wilberf...

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2018

2018

Good Vibrations

“New York has the haircuts, London has the trousers, but Belfast has the reason!” Good Vibrations was produc...

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