The Crilly Trilogy book launch

Friends and family of the late Joe Crilly will gather at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast on Friday evening to launch The Crilly Trilogy.

The book features three of Crilly’s greatest plays, Second-Hand Thunder, On McQuillan’s Hill and Kitty & Damnation.

Second-Hand Thunder was first staged at the Playhouse Theatre in Derry in 1999 and won the Stewart Parker New Playwright Bursary in 1999. It was followed by On McQuillan’s Hill which was first staged at the Lyric Theatre in 2000 before doing a success tour of Britain and Ireland.

Kitty & Damnation was first staged in London’s Lion and Unicorn Theatre in 2009.

Joe was originally from Derrymacash, Co Armagh, but spent his adult life in London where he first emigrated to join the National Youth Theatre in 1982.

He died tragically by suicide in May last year in Perpignan in France and the book is a tribute in his honour.

The Crilly Trilogy features reflections on his plays by Queens University Belfast lecturer in drama Dr Mark Phelan, the successful television producer Stephen Wright, who was also Joe’s first theatre producer, and the actor Ruaíri Conaghan.

It also includes introductions by his son Redmond Crilly and by the well-known actor Hugh Bonneville who said of Joe: “I was blown away by the tumbling lyrical flow of language and the relish of telling a tale.”

The book is edited by his friend Ronan McGreevy who is a journalist with The Irish Times and also an author.

He hopes The Crilly Trilogy will reintroduce Joe’s work to a new generation of theatre-goers. He said: “Joe is a playwright of the first rank in the North of Ireland. We, his friends and family, hope this book will spark a re-interest in his book which was really well received at the time and has stood the test of time.”

The launch of The Crilly Trilogy takes place at the Lyric Theatre at 5pm on Friday, November 9th with a reception afterwards. All are welcome.

The Crilly Trilogy can be bought here.