Thanks to the Lyric Theatre, I was invited to their season launch, which was held today in the Rehearsal room. The new season is entitled ‘Northern Soul’, and begins with this summer’s production of Can’t Forget About You, a play by David Ireland which was commissioned by the Lyric when he was the writer in residence last year.
It may have been a while since their last season launch but this was my first, not to mention the Lyric’s Executive Producer, Jimmy Fay’s first season launch too. I was welcomed with an array of drinks and foods including champagne, juice, water, tea, pastries, muffins, breakfast baps, e.t.c. The staff where friendly and everyone was busy networking or catching up with old friends and colleagues while listening to a live band playing jazz.
It wasn’t long before the guests took to the stage to introduce the new summer/winter programme for the Lyric Theatre. Among the guest speakers introducing the season launch was the Lyric’s Executive Producer Jimmy Fay and Chairman Mark Carruthers.
Below is the highlights of the guest talks:
Mark: This rehearsal room, which some of you may know very well have sweated in for long weeks I have no doubt but for some of you it may be your first visit. We chose this room deliberately for this launch as it represents what we are all about and this is where the work gets done.
I think the launch is important today because it is Jimmy’s first opportunity to set out his stall, he will explain why he has done what he’s done. Jimmy feels strongly that the Lyric Theatre has to connect to its audience, which again is what we are all about. The Lyric Theatre aims to keep working on its place in Irish theatre, it is critical and has always been important. We have to be an important beacon for cultural activity on this island. He knows Irish theatre inside out. It is a statement of intent on our part to reclaim our position, our rightful position right at the apex of Irish theatre and Irish cultural activities. There is nobody better to do that for us and with us than Jimmy.
Jimmy: Thank you, I wrote some stuff down because if I didn’t I’d forget my name, so please bear with me. It’s an honour and a privilege to launch the new season of the Lyric. Since I moved here, I’ve met nothing but kindness, good humour and friendship and I’m very grateful to the board for, especially Mark, this wonderful opportunity and for all the advice. I also would like to thank every member of staff at the Lyric who have been extraordinary.
You can achieve anything here, it has a sense of light and air which I have never experienced in any other rehearsal room. The Lyric is always full of creative artists at the centre of its work and I intend to carry on that note and vision. I would like writers to have a more permanent voice on stage. I think every theatre needs to do that, I think we need to take care of our writers.
There is no better feeling of command and comradeship than when you have a happy and hard working theatre. You have actors, stage management crew, technicians, marketing, administration, cafe, cleaners and directors embarking and succeeding in a play that you initiated. There is nothing better than that. Now I’m into classic work as well, I wanted to introduce some of that so you will see it in the programme.
The reason I called this season launch Northern Soul is because the greatest soul singer is from this town, Van Morrison. I also found everything in theatre kind of soulful. We are about moving forward, all theatre should be about that, as well as looking into the past but primarily about looking forward.
Some of the new plays in the season include:
or by calling the Box Office 028 9038 1081