A new portrait of Sir Kenneth Branagh by Bangor artist Colin Davidson has been unveiled at the Lyric.
Twenty-five years ago a budding young artist eagerly queued to get the Belfast-born actor Kenneth Branagh’s autograph.
Colin Davidson was a big fan of the BBC series of Billy plays which he’d watched in school during the 1980s and which immediately shot Branagh into the limelight. The award-winning actor’s stellar career both on stage and film led to a knighthood in 2012.
It was therefore an immense privilege for Colin Davidson to have Sir Kenneth Branagh agree to have his portrait painted by him.
“I had met Sir Kenneth a few times including when he did The Painkiller at the Lyric in 2011,” said Colin. “We just got round to doing the painting last year. I went to see him in Pinewood Studios in London where he was directing Cinderella and working on the Jack Ryan film.”
Colin said he believes this is the first official portrait of Sir Kenneth Branagh which was hung today in the Lyric Theatre foyer alongside his other stunning portraits of actors and artists from Northern Ireland.
“It’s a real pleasure to even get to meet someone of the calibre of Sir Kenneth Branagh, let alone be entrusted with painting him,” said the ever-modest artist.
The portrait of Sir Kenneth Branagh will hang in the Lyric Theatre foyer for several months. The exhibition of Colin Davidson’s paintings is on public display seven days a week, beside the Café bar which is open every day from 9.30am – 5pm.