Lyric Theatre teams up with BBC as part of new Culture in Quarantine Season

The Lyric is thrilled to announce an exciting initiative for the spring season.  In partnership with the BBC, the Lyric will present the international premiere of Sadie, a searing new play from its former Artist-in-Residence, David Ireland. In contravention of lockdown rules, sharp-witted cleaner Sadie develops an intense, dysfunctional relationship with a much younger man – triggering a psychological showdown with the remnant demons of her past. Directed by Conleth Hill with award-winning actress Abigail McGibbon, Sadie is a Lyric Theatre Production; in association with Stephen Rea’s Field Day Theatre Company, who originally commissioned the play.  It will be filmed in the Main Stage at the Lyric in February 2021, and broadcast on BBC Four as part of BBC Arts ‘Lights up’ British Theatre for new Culture in Quarantine Season which was announced by the BBC earlier today.

Whilst the doors have remain closed since March, we have continued to innovate and produce work which has helped keep the spirit of the Lyric alive throughout the closure.  Our first theatre-to-TV production, Splendid Isolation: Lockdown Drama, created seven short films for BBC broadcast during the summer and were recently nominated for Best Drama at the Royal Television Society Awards.  And the popular Listen at The Lyric audio series has provided a wonderful way for audiences to get a first-listen to brand new work at home. The Listen at the Lyric series continues with a Christmas special from Conor Grimes and Alan McKee launching on 8th December. The Nativity…What the Donkey Heard is an audio adaption of the hugely popular 2016 show, The Nativity…What the Donkey Saw.

Jimmy Fay, Executive Producer says:

“For as long as social distancing restrictions remain, traditional models of programming and producing need to be re-imagined. Since March 2020, we have been creating new ways of producing art, employing artists and engaging audiences. Through ‘New Speak: Reimagined’, ‘Splendid Isolation: Lockdown Drama’, ‘Listen at the Lyric’ and our Creative Learning programme, we have reacted quickly and creatively to the pandemic’s barriers to live performances with audiences.  Our digital programme throughout lockdown has enabled us to employ almost 200 freelancers and reach a combined online audience of 150,000.  Digital productions have been a game-changer for us in many ways, discovering audiences who might never have engaged with the Lyric in the past, or who would have been unable to attend the theatre.  We are thrilled today to announce that our partnership with the BBC, which began with our production of “Splendid Isolation”, will continue to grow with this very exciting initiative for BBC Arts, BBC NI and BBC Four, working with our friend and former Artist in Residence, David Ireland. We are delighted to be associated with the legendary Field Day company on the production of this important and searching play. It is an extraordinary play and I’m delighted Conleth and Abigail will be working together again. ”

But, he says, this is just the start of things to come. He continued:

“Digital programming is here to stay, but they don’t take the place of the sheer electric energy of the live performance, and our announcements today are just the start of an exciting Spring programme that help to prepare us for the day we can invite audiences back to the theatre.”

Further details of the Lyric’s Spring programme to be announced soon.