The new season at the Lyric theatre launched last week as invited guests were introduced to the 2017 theme and a writer in residence. The theme for 2016 was called Vivid Faces where the Lyric examined how events of a hundred years ago shaped Ireland, both North and South. 2017 sees the theatre looking outward to a global shift in politics.
The last year has seen a big change in the direction of world politics with new faces at the helm forever changing how we will be interacting with the world. The 2017 Lyric season will look at Belfast in a European and global context – including the importance of remembering shared underlying facts, humanity during war, and how the arts and the artist contributes greatly to the way we understand and live in this world. The programme will explore, provoke and inspire new connections and question our own responsibilities.
The new season at the Lyric also welcomes their 2017 Writer-In-Residence, Rosemary Jenkinson. The appointment of Rosemary shows the Lyric’s commitment towards putting the theatre artist at the very centre of everything they do at the Lyric.
SPRING SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
RED by John Logan, starring Patrick O’Kane – co-production with Prime Cut
Set in the 1950s and based on a series of real events, John Logan’s taut, visceral two-hander focuses in on artist Mark Rothko at the height of his career. Viewed through the lens of his youthful new assistant, Ken, we witness Rothko at the pinnacle of his creativity, but struggling through the creation of a largescale commission intended for New York’s brand-new Four Seasons Restaurant. As Ken and Rothko paint, they challenge each other to ask big questions about art: what it takes to create it and what its role should be in the world.
SINNERS by Marie Jones, starring Alan McKee and Christina Nelson
A farming community becomes embroiled in the tangled disputes of local politics, organised religion and personal relationships. They are suddenly offered redemption from a charismatic yet unorthodox preacher. But are they willing to pay the price? A sharp satire on fundamentalist religion and the gullible from the wicked pen of Marie Jones, loosely based on Moliere’s Tartuffe.
NIVELLI’S WAR by Charles Way, starring Dan Gordon – co-production with Cahoots NI
Based on the moving true story of a Holocaust survivor, this is a vivid and moving theatrical account told through magic, illusion and original music. Ernst, a young evacuee from Frankfurt, is all alone and far away from home when he meets and befriends the mysterious Mr. H, a stranger with a trick or two up his sleeve. Together, they set off down a road fraught with danger, hunger and uncertainty to find Ernst’s family in this dramatic story of an incredible journey and an unlikely friendship.
Nivelli’s War will transfer from the Lyric to a two week run on Broadway, on 42nd Street in the iconic Times Square.
THE HERESY OF LOVE, presented by the Lyric Drama Studio – new talent development
The story of Latin America’s great feminist poet. In a convent in 17th century Mexico, Sister Juana strives to reconcile her love for God with her desire for a life of the mind. Her gift for writing plays and poems is celebrated by the Court, but her success creates alarm within the Church. Persecuted by a zealous archbishop, Juana’s world threatens to crumble around her as everything she holds dear is jeopardised by dangerous ambitions and illicit desires.
EDUCATING RITA, by Willy Russell, starring Michael James Ford and Kerri Quinn
Following its record-breaking run in 2016, this reimagined production of Willy Russell’s award-winning comedy returns to the Lyric with its original cast, before embarking on a tour across Ireland, including Dublin’s Gaiety.
The full Spring Season includes 27 productions and full details can be found at www.lyricbelfast.co.uk. Box Office 028 9038 1081.