World-class theatre artists pack a punch in Belfast

Two of the world’s leading figures in voice-coaching and stage combat are in Belfast this weekend to pass on their skills to a new generation of actors.

Internationally-renowned voice coach Professor Judylee Vivier, a Fulbright scholar from Brooklyn New York, will be at the Lyric Theatre this weekend to teach aspiring young actors from the Drama Studio as well as individuals interested in developing their voice.

It is a major coup for the Lyric to attract such a high-calibre coach to conduct the workshops.

Professor Vivier has an exceptional CV, having taught at Rutgers University, New York University, the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and Michael Howard Studios. She is currently on sabbatical at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama which was recently ranked top drama school in the UK.

The Lyric’s Creative Learning Co-ordinator Philip Crawford met the professor in Cardiff and invited her to Belfast.

“Professor Vivier was doing a workshop at the Royal Welsh College and I was so excited and envious that they were getting to experience the American culture of voice teaching,” Philip Crawford said. “I said it would be wonderful to get her to come to Belfast and she said she would be happy to come while she was in Cardiff. We are really looking forward to getting the benefit of her expertise this weekend.”

In a second coup for the Lyric, Stage Combat Master, Kevin McCurdy will also address Drama students on Saturday. At 6 foot 2, Kevin is not someone to be messed with!

“Kevin has worked with top-class actors like Nicholas Cage recently and was fight director for Batman Live,” said Philip.

Kevin is in Belfast to examine an advanced Stage Combat course which is taking place in the Brian Friel Theatre, at Queen’s University. Course participants did a basic level course at the Lyric in July and are now being examined in the use of broadswords.

“A number of people taking part in the exam work on Game of Thrones, as well as people interested in learning the art of stage fighting,” explained Philip.

Kevin is also a teacher at the Royal Welsh College and has an extensive CV working on a huge range of fight scenes in TV, film, theatre, music and video games. He recently directed fight scenes for a number of videos for folk rock band, Mumford & Sons including ‘Lover of The Light’ and ‘Blind Man’.