The Lyric Theatre in Belfast is celebrating after winning two awards in Dublin topping a fantastic first year in its stunning new building. The awards celebrated the success of the Lyric's first production in the new theatre - Arthur Miller's The Crucible - one of the most praised productions in the awards.
Conall Morrison won Best Director for The Crucible - the Lyric's first production in its new theatre which opened last May. He was joined by Aoife Duffin who won Best Supporting Actress for the same production in which she played Abigail Williams.
In total, the Lyric Theatre was nominated for six awards at The Irish Times annual event which took place at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, in Dublin on Sunday night. At the glittering show, the Lyric fought off stiff competition from theatres around the island of Ireland.
The three judges, Jack Gilligan, Seona Mac Réamoinn and Christine Monk, saw 150 shows up and down the island, then had to narrow them down to a shortlist.
Speaking from Dublin, Lyric Theatre Artistic Director Richard Croxford said: “When we opened the building there was huge anticipation, not just about the theatre but what we would be doing on stage. We wanted to open with a show with a massive cast that showed off our local talent to wonderful effect and these awards are a testament to our renewed theatre.”
Richard Croxford accepted the award on behalf of the winning director as he is currently directing a play in Palestine.
Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “Congratulations to the Lyric on what has been another momentous year for local theatre. These latest two awards are further confirmation of the Lyric’s enviable reputation as one of Ireland’s leading producing theatre companies.”
The Lyric Theatre was short-listed in an unprecedented 6 out of the 13 categories, which was a significant coup for the newly-opened theatre.
The categories included:-
Best Actor for Patrick O’Kane in The Crucible on the Northern Bank Stage
Best Director for Conall Morrison for The Crucible on the Northern Bank Stage
Best Set Design for Sabine Dargent for The Crucible on the Northern Bank Stage
Best Production for The Crucible on the Northern Bank Stage
Best Supporting Actress for Aoife Duffin for The Crucible on the Northern Bank Stage
Judges Special Award for the new Lyric Theatre.
In their shortlisting comments, the judges stated: “The reopening of the Lyric is one of the most important things in theatre this year” it demonstrates the significant impact the new Lyric is having on the cultural landscape of the island.