The Lyric Theatre has a distinguished reputation and rich heritage of producing outstanding work by leading Irish writers, and is serious in its commitment to providing a platform for new writing. Last year alone saw the premieres of new plays by writers Rosemary Jenkinson, Gary Mitchell, Lucy Caldwell, and Conor McPherson. As Northern Ireland’s only full-time producing theatre, it continues to be the largest employer of local theatre practitioners. Their Writer-In-Residence, Rosemary Jenkinson, shows the Lyric’s commitment towards putting the artist at the very centre of everything they do.
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.
As part of the Playwrights Programme the Lyric hosted a number of public workshops and masterclasses led by key writers and directors, to help aspiring new playwrights develop their skills. Check back soon for more events next year.