Belfast director nominated for top uk theatre award for Lyric play The Seafarer

Acclaimed theatre director, Rachel O’Riordan, has fought off stiff competition to be nominated for Best Director in the UK Theatre Awards, it has been announced.

Rachel O’Riordan, who has lived most of her life in Belfast, directed the dark comic tale, The Seafarer, at the Lyric Theatre and Perth Theatre in Scotland earlier this year.

The Conor McPherson play was critically acclaimed and has already won a Best Director award for Rachel and Best Ensemble Award for the all-male cast at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) in June.

The Seafarer starred Louis Dempsey, Tony Flynn, Ciaran McIntyre, Sean O’Callaghan and Benny Young.

Rachel is Artistic Director of Perth Theatre and has a PhD from the University of Ulster. She is married to the actor Richard Dormer who recently impressed critics as music producer, Terry Hooley in the hit film, Good Vibrations.

Richard Croxford, Lyric Theatre Artistic Director said: “This is fantastic news and well-deserved recognition of a very talented director. The Seafarer was a wonderful production, impressing audiences in both Belfast and Perth. This nomination is an incredible achievement and richly deserved. We hope Rachel brings home the award next month.”

The UK Theatre Awards are the only nationwide awards to honour creative excellence and the outstanding achievement seen on and off stage throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Awards will be presented on Sunday 20 October at a lunchtime ceremony at London’s historic Guildhall, a magnificent medieval Grade 1 listed landmark building situated in the City of London.

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the TMA and the Society of London Theatre, said: It has been a year of great achievement for theatre throughout the length and breadth of the UK, as demonstrated by the range of nominations celebrating skill and variety, both on and off stage.”

As well as established awards for both performance and management achievement decided by expert panels, this year any professional theatre was eligible to enter for the My Theatre Matters! UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre Award voted for by the public for the first time.

Belfast’s Lyric Theatre is competing with more than 220 professional theatres around the UK for this prestigious accolade.

The Lyric has been a much-loved venue in Belfast since the 1960s and its approval rating has risen further since it reopened its award-winning new building two years ago. Regularly listed ahead of rival venues in the Top 15 attractions in Belfast on Tripadvisor, the Lyric has built a reputation for being a very welcoming theatre.

Among a string of theatre and architectural awards, the Lyric won ‘Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award’ last year for its contribution to tourism and the hospitality industry in Northern Ireland.

Vote for the Lyric Theatre as the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre on the Classic FM website Voting closes at midnight on Monday 30 September.