Christmas crackers at the Lyric

20121114-135012.jpgI guess you might have already started planning what you are going to be doing in December, i know our office Christmas dinner is booked and we’re ready to party. But that only sorts out 1 night..what about the rest?
What about some theatre at the Lyric?

The Belfast theatre has two fantastic treats for the Christmas season – a revamped fairy-tale for the kids and a laugh-a-minute review of the year for those too old for a Santa stocking.

Forget Turkey!( We’re going to Phuket this Christmas) is the Lyric Theatre’s hilarious festive review of the year.

Local writers Colin Murphy, Gary Mitchell and Dan Gordon have penned a gloriously funny tribute to 2012, where nothing is sacred. From golfing successes and banking crises to banned bonuses and Olympic triumphs, the Lyric’s review looks back on a memorable year ripe for satire. The story unfolds in an A&E where Anne and Edgar find themselves at Christmas… beside an elderly man on a trolley and aided by not so innocent members of the public.

Directed by Dan Gordon, Forget Turkey! has a supremely talented local cast of Michael Condron (Macbeth), Maria Connolly (Dancing Shoes) Jo Donnelly (The Long Road) and Chris Robinson (Brendan at the Chelsea) – the perfect antidote to the gloom of a double-dip recession.

“How was your year? Titanic? Olympic? Gigantic? Nomadic? Gold Medal-winning or sunk without trace?” said writer and director, Dan Gordon. “Did you celebrate or commemorate did you march or spectate – come and relive or revile it with us. Laugh at the past and grit your teeth at the future and wonder why it always happens to us. Or if you’ve been in a bubble for the past twelve months then come and see what you’ve missed.”

For groups of between 10 and 80 people, make a night of it and arrive an hour before the performance for some festive bowl food, mince pie and glass of wine.

Hansel + Grettel is the Lyric’s fairy tale magic musical for the younger and less cynical theatre goers. The Lyric has brought back the magical, musical adventure, which puts traditional pantomimes in the shade.

Paul Boyd’s much-loved musical broke box office records when it was last staged at the Lyric in 1999. Harry Potter fans will be enchanted by the fantastic stage wizardry and eye-popping digital projections that bring this popular fairy-tale to life.

Hansel + Grettel tells the story of two clever children, two desperate parents, and an ill-advised trip into the woods where the children meet a bird, a frog and a witch with a most unusual taste in home décor.

The show features the songs “A World Without Children” and “The Wish Song” as well as Hansel + Grettel’s ballad “Lost and Alone”, Fats the Frog’s “The Greens”, and the Witch’s hysterical show-stopper “Children’s Portions” – all rounded off with an exciting mega-mix finale!

Writer and director Paul Boyd has once again assembled a sterling cast of Ciara Louise Baxter, Patrick Corey, Christopher Finn, Jane Milligan, Christina Nelson and Tommy Wallace.

“I’m delighted to be bringing Hansel & Grettel back to the Lyric where it was such a big hit in the nineties,” he said. “Of course, since that time the show has been produced all over the world, and the theatre itself has been completely rebuilt, so it’s wonderful to be working on a spell-binding production of Hansel & Grettel that uses all of the magic that the new building has to offer, and to be staging this classic story for a younger generation brought up on the tales of the witches and wizards in the Harry Potter books. It really is a magical, musical adventure for all ages.”

Gilly Campbell, Drama and Dance Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“The Lyric has provided an outstanding cultural programme over the past 40 years and has continued to generate some of the most groundbreaking and innovative theatre in its new state-of-the-art home. The trend is set to continue through Autumn–Winter 2012 with a diverse programme of performances that will appeal to all, from ardent theatre goers to young families alike. The Arts Council enjoys a strong partnership with the Lyric Theatre and we look forward to another exciting year ahead.”

Forget Turkey! (We’re going to Phuket this Christmas) runs on the Danske Bank Stage from 13 December 2012 to 13 January 2013 (previews 9, 11 & 12 December). Tickets from £10 – £18.

Hansel + Grettel runs on the Danske Bank Stage from 2 December 2012 to 13 January 2013. Tickets are £17.50 for adults and £12 for children or buy a Family Ticket for less than £13 per person! £51.50 (1 adult and 3 children or 2 adults and 2 children).

To book contact the Lyric box office on 028 9038 1081 or online at


Post Author: Belfast Times