Calling all scriptwriters

Are you an aspiring playwright? The Lyric Theatre’s Write Night offers six writers the chance to produce short satirical and comic sketches to be performed by actors from the Lyric’s Drama Studio this May.

The closing date for applications is this Friday, 23 March. To find out more email

My name is David Ireland and I’ve been Playwright in Residence at the Lyric for 2011/12. My main duty is to write a new play for the main stage. The play is called Can’t Forget About You.  The response from the Lyric has been positive and I’m looking forward to staging it on Saturday 5 May.

It’s a romantic comedy, heavily influenced by Neil Simon and Woody Allen, both heroes of mine.  If you don’t know Neil Simon, stop reading this and go and read all of his plays right now.  Simon is one the great geniuses of twentieth century theatre but is rarely acknowledged as such because he wrote commercially successful comedies.  And if you want to be taken seriously in the theatre, you shouldn’t write commercially successful comedies.  The Sunshine Boys, Lost in Yonkers, Brighton Beach Memoirs.  All great plays – hilarious, compelling, heartbreaking.  If Can’t Forget About You is half as good as any of these plays, I’ll be happy.

Simon, like the equally great Woody Allen, writes about neurotic New York Jews experiencing relationship difficulties, whereas my play deals with neurotic East Belfast Protestants experiencing relationship difficulties.  Both these ethnic groups, I find, are remarkably similar when it comes to romance.

Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig is a big influence as well – a terrific, funny, devastating play about a guy who can’t admit to his mates that he’s in love with a fat girl.  And David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago.  If you’re a young, aspiring playwright, go and read some David Mamet and then crawl into a corner and die of jealousy and self-loathing.

So get crackin’ with those scripts and look out on this website for future opportunities for young writers at the Lyric.