Chatting to the director of 1984 ahead of Bruiser Theatre’s coproduction with Lyric Theatre (from 18 April to 16 May)

Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s Olivier Award-nominated stage adaptation of the classic novel is coming to the stage of the Lyric Theatre in April. “Fantastic, bold, immersive and very clever” is how Bruiser Theatre Company’s director Lisa May described the script when I sat down to talk with her last week. “This production really shakes you up, it’s not easy viewing,” says May. “I want the audience to feel that discomfort … This adaptation is so clever that it turns the cameras back on us and suggests we are complacent in this, that we should take responsibility for what we put online and how we choose to live our lives.”

The Alternative – where does the power lie, who knows best, will anyone ask let alone listen? (Fishamble’s A Play For Ireland at Lyric Theatre until Sunday 13 October)

Oisín Kearney and Michael Patrick’s playful counterfactual uses referendum concepts and lexicon – familiar from both Scotland’s indyref and the EU vote – to open up a conversation about who knows what is best for the people of Ireland, whether those who represent us actually listen to our views before making decisions, and ultimately where power lies in a society swayed by soundbite.

The Alternative – what if Ireland was still part of the UK and an in/out referendum was to be held tomorrow? (Lyric Theatre from 8 October)

Speaking to The Alternative’s co-writer Michael Patrick about new counterfactual play The Alternative – Fishamble’s winning A Play For Ireland – which is set in an Ireland that is still part of the United Kingdom, but on the eve of an in/out referendum. Live from the studios of BBC Dublin, it’s the final leaders’ debate the night before the poll … In the Lyric Theatre from 8-13 October.

A Further Shore (Lyric Theatre) #GFA20

A nuanced and at times moving medley of spoken word and song remembrance of past times, incidents and ways of living during the Troubles, gradually working up to the negotiations and the 1998 Agreement. Not so balanced to become boring, but carefully seeded with surprise and honesty in the many perspectives it opened up.

Pentecost at The Lyric Theatre, Belfast

  Unpopular opinion time. I think I might like Stewart Parker’s work more than that of Brian Friel. I know. It’s basically heresy to say that. Here in Belfast where the local theatre-going populace breaks out in a cold sweat if one of the local theatres doesn’t stage Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Dancing at Lughnasa or Translations on an annual basis. Where 1 in 5 adults, having had to study Philadelphia at GCSE some years ago, can still tell you …

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Forget Turkey – sketches, songs, political satire & belly laughs

The Lyric Theatre’s Forget Turkey is packed full of sketches, songs, spoof adverts and a narrative thread about a supermarket that’s closing its shutters. Multimedia rich and packed with more laughs a minute than any show I’ve attended in years, Forget Turkey starts strongly with a musical review of the year that covers local and world events. Images are projected onto the gable wall of a house, with lyrics of some of the songs appearing to tempt the audience to …

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Pending Vote: Democracy 101 in the Lyric as part of #BelFest

Over a hundred people filed into the Lyric’s Naughton Studio clutching their digital binary voting handsets: we used our fingers to press the Yes or No buttons. Seated on three sides of the small theatre facing a large screen with a blinking cursor, the audience quickly got used to answering questions as the timer counted down to zero. For a while Roger Bernat’s Pending Vote felt like the true beginnings of the much lauded seldom found new politics in Northern …

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