New Playwrights Programme 2017

In January 2017, alongside its new productions, the Lyric launched its commitment to bring exciting new work to the stage.  A six month New Playwrights Programme of development support, in partnership with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, was set up to encourage and inspire emerging playwrights.

The Lyric had an overwhelming response to the call for scripts from emerging writers, and the selection panel were impressed by the quality, ambition and originality of submitted work. It was announced that the four successful playwrights were Seamus Collins, Erica Murray, Vittoria Cafolla and Andy Doherty.

The four receive intensive support over six months to facilitate them in developing their new work. This culminated in a brilliant showcase of new work in the Naughton Studio in October 2017.  The programme also included a public masterclass series with established writers and directors, benefitting all local writers.


“Being part of the Lyric’s New Playwrights Programme not only gave me the chance to meet and learn from some of the best writers, directors and producers working in theatre, it also gave me the opportunity to develop my craft in a more practical sense. Developing the play over a series of drafts with Rebecca and having it staged in the Naughton by a great team was one of the most valuable and rewarding writing experiences I’ve ever had. I now write with more confidence and belief as a result.”

Find out more about Seamus and his play Away With the Fairies.



The New Playwrights Programme was a great experience. Not only because we had exposure to great theatre -makers, but also because with Rebecca, you knew your script was in good hands. She was excellent at  providing support, great advice and best of all, skilfully guided me towards making my play the best that it could be for the reading.”

Find out more about Vittoria and her play Bloodlines.




The New Playwrights Programme felt like the ideal next step for me in my writing career and working closely with the Lyric has made me feel much more confident about my writing.  Having the resources the Lyric provided us with; professional actors to read your first draft, guidance from sought after directors and the endless support of Rebecca Mairs was invaluable in the process of writing this play. I wouldn’t have the script I am so proud of now without the Lyric’s guidance and dedication.”

Find out more about Erica and her play All Mod Cons.



“The New Playwrights Programme has been a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop my skills headed by an exceptional curator.”


Find out more about Andy Doherty and his play Closed Shutters.

Andy Doherty