Everyone at the Lyric Theatre is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Roma Tomelty. While she had many, many television, film and radio credits, Roma always appeared entirely at home on stage in front of a live audience.
She memorably played the role of Rebecca Nurse in the Lyric’s production of The Crucible which opened the new building in May 2011. It was fitting that an actor with such deep roots in the city’s artistic and cultural heritage should, on that occasion, share a stage with so many younger actors.
Roma herself bridged the years with her many credits at the Lyric including Tarry Flynn, Over The Bridge and most recently Sinners.
Her father was playwright and actor Joseph Tomelty, one of the most significant Northern Irish artists of the twentieth century. With significant custody, she directed his extraordinary play All Souls Night at the Lyric Theatre, a relentless tragedy of human greed and repression, a classic Irish drama which reaches its several moments of greatness with deep emotional power. All the time Roma championed youth theatre with her company Centre Stage, investing her time, energy and experience in drama classes for young and emerging actors.
She worked right to the end appearing in the Lyric’s New Playwrights programme in Semana Santa by Breman Rajkumar in Autumn 2018. her sense of humour, her wisdom and her extraordinary talent, she will be hugely missed by all her peers, young and old, and theatre goers everywhere.
On behalf of the Lyric staff and our board, I offer our deepest sympathies to her husband, Colin and her daughters – Ruth, Rachel and Hannah.