Stars of stage and screen join the Lyric for special fundraising evening
Duke Special, Game of Thrones star Ian McElhinney, and playwrights David Ireland and Marie Jones were amongst the distinguished guests at the Merchant Hotel last Wednesday evening at a special fundraising evening celebrating the extensive canon of new work and new writers supported by the Lyric Theatre.
Guests enjoyed an evening featuring music performed by Duke Special and West End singer Fra Fee. The cast of the Lyric’s brand new family Christmas show, Peter Pan: the Musical, also entertained with an exclusive performance prior to the show’s opening on Friday 29 November.
Auction prizes were generously donated by some famous supporters of the Lyric, including a pair of signed golf shoes by world number one golfing sensation Rory McIlroy, a champagne afternoon tea by Bill and Petra Wolsey and a unique experience from www.experiencedays.co.uk.
Proceeds from the fundraising event, which was attended by a number of key local businesses and supporters, will be used to support the Lyric’s New Playwrights Programme which aims to discover, support and nurture the next generation of writing talent in Northern Ireland.
As Northern Ireland’s main producing theatre, the Lyric is committed to new writing and passionate about supporting and developing emerging talent. The Lyric have a distinguished history of premiering new work by Irish playwrights, from Brian Friel, Christina Reid, Stewart Parker and Marie Jones to David Ireland, Conor McPherson, Erica Murray and Meghan Tyler. In the last 3 years, 16 new and emerging playwrights across the UK and Ireland have been supported through the Lyric’s New Playwrights Programme.
Current Artist-in-Residence at the Lyric, Erica Murray said,
“The New Playwrights Programme at the Lyric totally changed my career – taking me seriously as a writer; providing me with a professional network of theatre practitioners; support, encouragement and guidance from the Literary Manager Rebecca; and as a spring board for my first full professional production. I am so grateful to everyone who continues to support the Lyric in this important mission.”
Claire Murray, Head of Development and Marketing at the Lyric said,
“The Lyric is an industrious production house, and commissioning and staging new work alongside established plays is the lifeblood of the theatre. Over the years the Lyric has helped launch the careers of some of our most famous actors, directors and playwrights, and through our New Writing department we will continue to do so. We are very grateful to all our sponsors and corporate partners for supporting this vital aspect of the Lyric’s work through events like these.”