Careless Love is one of the epoch-making Blues-Jazz standards from the early 1920s. It was a hugely popular hit for the Queen of the blues, the extraordinary Bessie Smith who was accompanied on this hit record by the legendary Louis Armstrong. One of Northern Irelands very greatest blues singers Ottilie Patterson, from Comber, Co.Down, recordered a brilliant version of the song in 1959.
Love, oh love, oh careless love
You fly through my head like wine
Our season is called “Careless Love” as themes of thwarted love, twisted love, forbidden love weaves throughout the plays and productions contained within. Whether it be the warring husband-wife at the centre of Cole Porter’s hilarious musical masterpiece Kiss Me Kate our co-production with NI Opera; the search for less careless love that Shirley Valentine pursues; the forbidden, politicised, love between Winston and Julia in George Orwell’s masterpiece 1984, a co-production with Bruiser Theatre. Drama studio gets its teeth into the undead love of Dracula in June.
In the words of Muddy Waters, Blues had a baby, and they called it Rock n ’Roll. When Rock n’Roll got soft they had a revolution and called it Punk — bringing it all back home. In this spirit we are filled with joy to be re-staging our production of Good Vibrations which was such a huge hit last year.
We are engaged in creating a new event called New Speak, where we ask five diverse artists to respond to where we are now politically, socially, economically. These responses will be staged over two nights in April.
There is so much going on in this season, but I’ll only mention three things here.
We have a tribute night to one of the seminal figures in the Lyric’s history, Sam McCready where we host a mini-season of his work including his collaborations with his wife, Joan and the last piece he worked on, Ruby by Michael Cameron and it all comes together in a tribute night to Sam.
Another musical, theatrical event is look out for in March is “Wonders of the Wake” – an evening that explores the oldest rite of humanity but also shows us in this celebration of our dead how to still love and live.
And in the spirit of the blues, we are delighted to welcome back the greatest blues singer Belfast ever produced and one of the enduring musical icons of our age, of any age, the legend that is Van Morrison.
There is more, so much more, to discover in this brochure. I hope you enjoy this season.