The Lyric Theatre and First Trust Bank joined forces last night at the Merchant Hotel to host a special fundraising evening celebrating the Lyric theatre’s rich literary legacy over the past 50 years at Ridgeway Street.
Guests enjoyed an evening featuring poetry readings and music performed by special VIP guests including Ian McElhinney, Duke Special and Stella McCusker. The cast of the Lyric’s family Christmas show, Alice: the Musical, also entertained with an exclusive performance prior to the show’s opening next Friday, 30 November.
Proceeds from the fundraising event, which was attended by a number of key local businesses and supporters, will be used to develop further the creative talents of the young people who are engaged with the Lyric theatre in acting, producing, writing and directing exciting and innovative theatre through the Creative Learning Department and New Writing Programme.
Over the past 50 years the Lyric has made an indelible impression on the culture of Northern Ireland and beyond. By supporting a wealth of local literary talent, the Lyric has made a significant contribution to the worlds of theatre and poetry. The Lyric has an impressive history of commissioning and premiering new work by local writers, supporting established writers through its renowned literary journal Threshold and currently through the New Writing Programme, and delivering an extensive programme of outreach work and training through the Creative Learning department.
Brian Gillan, Head of Business and Corporate Banking, First Trust Bank, said,
“We are delighted to be part of the Lyric’s 50th Anniversary festivities, supporting the vitally important arts sector here in Northern Ireland. Since opening its door on the banks of the Lagan in 1968, the theatre has been one of Northern Ireland’s most important resources for the professional development of young and aspiring artists. Over the last 50 years, many young people have fulfilled their creative potential with the support of the Creative Learning Department and today the theatre is the largest employer of actors in the region. Congratulations to all at the Lyric, we look forward to another 50 years of homegrown talent and unforgettable performances!”
Claire Murray, Head of Development and Marketing at the Lyric said, “The Lyric Theatre’s mission is to use the power of live theatre to empower artists, inspire audiences, engage communities and educate our wider society. We are passionate about supporting and developing emerging talent, and we are very grateful to First Trust Bank and all our corporate partners for supporting the Lyric’s work both on stage and off through events like these.”