An enchanting Christmas evening with the Lyric celebrated the past, present and future of the theatre.
Patrons were treated to mulled wine and mince pies in the festive surroundings of the café as Executive Producer of the theatre, Jimmy Fay, took us through the success of 2015. Productions included Owen McCafferty’s Death of a Comedian, Sean O’Casey’s Shadow of a Gunman and the late Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa celebrating the best of Irish playwrights.
We enjoyed short interludes showcasing two of the current Yuletide offerings – Putting it together, an homage to Sondheim’s catalogue of musical greats, and Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, a marvellous take on the family classic.
With over 100,000 people seeing a Lyric production this year and an increase of 40% in ticket sales, next year’s programme kicking off with Educating Rita and what is sure to be a lively comedic production of The 39 Steps from Bruiser Theatre is set to build on this success.
A major role in the future of the theatre will be the new artist in residence, last night revealed as Peter Wilson, perhaps better known under his pseudonym, Duke Special. Peter Wilson has had a varied career across multiple genres and projects. Personally I’m a fan of Peter’s wonderful poetic ability clearly demonstrated in his many music and theatre collaborations. With a Brecht adaptation, concept album, shows celebrating renowned songwriters and even a Gramophone music club which I adore, Duke Special’s repertoire is a deserved addition to the Lyric Theatre. Having penned a musical score for the Youth Music Theatre UK production of Gulliver’s Travels performed at the Lyric, it is perhaps an obvious existential transition into this role. I’m delighted to hear of his appointment and I look forward to seeing his imprint on the theatre in 2016.
by Lyndsay Malone