Lyric Punks it up on stage and screen…


Punk music and teenage kicks will take centre stage at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast next week when it presents a double bill of film and theatre inspired by the punk era of the late seventies/early eighties.

For the first time ever, the Lyric’s Naughton Studio will be transformed into a cinema marking the start of a season of FREE film screenings in association with BBC Northern Ireland and Belfast Film Festival.

Celluloid City is a series of dramas and documentaries from the BBC’s archive which focus on Belfast and complements the Lyric’s season of dramas, Tales of the City, celebrating the 400th birthday of the city.

The first film in the series, Something Else, a view of early 1980s Belfast featuring the punk music scene, is being shown this Tuesday, 19 February at 6pm.

Taken from the BBC’s community archive, the 45-minute flick includes a mix of interviews and comedy sketches about politics, unemployment and society from the perspective of young adults. There are specially recorded studio performances by Rudi and The Undertones and footage from live music events in Belfast.

The majority of films are being shown during the Belfast Film Festival in April and include a rare chance to see the first three ‘Billy’ plays back to back on 20 April to whet your appetite for Graham Reid’s new play for the Lyric – Love, Billy which runs in May.

Mark Adair, Head of BBC Northern Ireland Corporate and Community Affairs said: “Celluloid City: BBC Northern Ireland at the Lyric is a great opportunity not only to mark Belfast 400 but to make our rich archive more widely accessible to audiences. Our first film, Something Else gives way to a more gentle and lyrical evocation of Belfast’s recent history and heritage in a series of nostalgic, beautifully crafted films and documentaries before ending with the much talked about Billy-play trilogy.”

The punk theme continues in the Naughton Studio with Maggie Cronin’s one-woman play, Greenstick Boy which runs from 21 to 24 February.

To quote The Buzzcocks: “Ever fallen in love with someone you shouldnt’ve have fallen in love with?” This is a bittersweet story of a woman looking back with nostalgia and a lot of laughs on her teenage years and the life of her best friend whom she has lost.

Set against a backdrop of Punk Rock, Irish Dancing, Irish mammies and Dagenham in east London, it is a one-hour play about growing older but not completely growing up.

Belfast actress, Maggie Cronin, who starred in last year’s Oscar-winning short film, The Shore, said the play is both sad and funny.

“It is the story of two people who have known each other from their school-days – one chooses drugs and the other chooses theatre!” Maggie explained. “The tragedy is she realises she loved him but it’s too late. There is also a lot of humour in it and a cracking soundtrack including Blondie, The Sex Pistols and even some reggae.”

After its stint at the Lyric Theatre Greenstick Boy is heading to the internationally renowned Bozar Theatre in Brussels as part of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Brussels Platform. Cronin is looking forward to it, and claims that she has a feeling that 2013 is going to be a theatre year for her…

Richard Croxford, Lyric Artistic Director, said: “Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about Belfast, this series of dramas and documentaries will illuminate and entertain even further. We are very excited to use the Naughton Studio to stage both drama and for the first time screen movies and look forward to future collaboration with the BBC and Belfast Film Festival.”

Celluloid City – the film series runs in the Naughton Studio on Tues 19 February and then during the Belfast Film Festival from Mon to Sat 15 – 20 April. 

Greenstick Boy runs in the Naughton Studio from Thurs 21 to Sun 24 February (Thurs to Sat 8pm/ Sun 3pm). Tickets £8/£6 concession.