Splendid Isolation: Lockdown Drama, short five minute dramas developed by BBC Arts, the Lyric Theatre and BBC Northern Ireland, with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland as part of BBC Arts ‘Culture in Quarantine’ back in June 2020 ,has been nominated for a Royal Television Society (RTS) award for Best Drama. The pieces featured some of Northern Ireland’s biggest names in writing and acting: including Lisa McGee (Derry Girls) and Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones).
Splendid Isolation: Lockdown Drama was developed by the Lyric Theatre as an opportunity to expand into film production, while the theatre was forced to close. It meant that Northern Ireland’s premier producing theatre was able to continue to bring culture into the homes of audiences during lockdown. The short films explored the positive and negative aspects of social isolation and lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jimmy Fay, Executive Producer at the Lyric Theatre said:
“I am delighted that ‘Splendid Isolation’ has been nominated for such a prestigious television award. It’s been a really difficult year for the whole industry but it’s also been great to be able to explore innovative new ways for theatre and film production to collaborate and produce high quality work with the best of Northern Irish talent. All of the 22 artists involved in this project had a connection to the Lyric Theatre and responded to our invitation to create for this project with truly excellent and imaginative pieces, which have now been recognised amongst the best drama coming from Northern Ireland. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on theatres across the country, forcing the closure of all of them for the foreseeable future. For over 50 years the Lyric has never closed its doors before now, but as a production company, we have never stopped working and producing digital work for our audiences. We look forward to hearing more about the support package from the Department for Communities that has been announced this week, so we can continue to build on this new digital production as we navigate this new normal and face the ongoing challenges for our theatres.”
Noirin McKinney, Director, Arts Council of Northern Ireland says:
“Huge congratulations to the Lyric Theatre, BBC Arts, BBC Northern Ireland and all the creatives involved in being nominated for this prestigious Royal Television Society award. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is immensely proud to support this work, a brilliant curation of digital arts content produced from these shores and a particular feat indeed as it was achieved under the challenges of social distancing. Due to the movement restrictions of people as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, all theatres, festivals and arts venues are closed to the public, indeed this pandemic has struck the entire arts and cultural sectors very hard. Not only does innovative new work of this kind offer other artists hope, Splendid Isolation is a great example of how the arts can respond and reflect our everyday experiences, through marvellous storytelling, and through the collaboration of talented artists who are, after all, the life blood of our creative industries.”
The winners of the Royal Television Society (RTS) Programme Awards will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony hosted by Patrick Kielty on Thursday 12th November at 8pm.