Funding, Organisations

Belfast drag star’s remarkable story set to open at the Lyric Theatre

12th September, 2023

Based on the real-life experiences of Matt Cavan and his drag persona Cherrie Ontop, Mirrorball, a musical production from Replay Theatre Company, will open at the Lyric Theatre this month for a week long run (15th-21st September).

A person, dressed in orange wig and a brightly coloured cloak, sits upon a sparkling silver sequin toilet. They are surrounded by blue feathers on a silver circular backdrop.
Matt Cavan/Cherrie Ontop stars in Mirrorball

Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through National Lottery funding, the emotive and uplifting play will chart some of the highs and lows of Matt’s personal journey, exploring the immense potential of creativity when our worlds are turned upside down by life circumstances.

Written by Patrick J O’Reilly, with original musical compositions by Garth McConaghie, Mirrorball celebrates creativity, authenticity and the power of the imagination to make a better world for ourselves.

Matt Cavan, who will play himself in the show, will perform alongside some of Northern Ireland’s best homegrown talent, including Gerard McCabe, Richard Croxford, Jack Watson, and Colette Lennon, who will take to the stage as Billy Normal, Sasha Supper, Nigel, and Maureen.

The show premiered in March this year at Belfast Children’s Festival. Commenting on the forthcoming run at the Lyric, Mirrorball Director, Janice Kernoghan-Reid said, Replay Theatre Company are thrilled to bring Mirrorball back out to play again, and to share this show with audiences at the Lyric this September. Mirrorball is full of pizzazz, it’s fun and high energy, with a lot of heart and some show-stopping tunes. If just one person leaves the theatre feeling uplifted and maybe even less alone, our work here will be done.”

Show co-creator Matthew Cavan added; “We were blown away with the audience response to Mirrorball at Belfast Children’s Festival earlier this year, so it makes sense to return, and it is so exciting to bring the show to the Lyric again. It feels like we are bringing Cherrie home!

“The blessing of being an artist is being able to take difficult things from your life and create art, hopefully something that will leave a lasting impact. It’s a scary thing to put your life on stage, but I feel we’ve created something very special that I am really excited to share with our audiences at the Lyric again this autumn.”

Caoileann Curry-Thompson, Dance and Drama Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented: “Thanks to the National Lottery and money raised for good causes by National Lottery players, we are delighted to be support the incredible programme of work which Replay Theatre Company produces throughout the year. Matt Cavan’s story is inspirational and its fantastic that audiences will have a chance to hear the true story behind the creation of one of Belfast’s best loved drag queen’s when the show opens this month at the Lyric Theatre.”

Tickets for Mirrorball priced from £15 are available via the Lyric Theatre box office, Mirrorball | Lyric Theatre Belfast. Mirrorball will run from 15-21 September 2023.

About Mirrorball

Cherrie knows they’ve finally come for her at the Club. The Narrow Minders – human machines with a loathing distaste for art (and especially fabulous free-spirited Drag Queens) break into her dressing room to remove Cherrie from the imagination. She has no choice but to smash through the dressing room mirror to escape the grasp of fear and prejudice.

Cherrie suddenly finds herself in a different Universe where she is faced with the ultimate choice – do we confront our fears and fight for what’s right or avoid them and diminish into the ether?


Matt/ Cherrie - Matthew Cavan

Billy - Gerard McCabe

Maureen - Colette Lennon

Nigel - Jack Watson

Sasha Supper - Richard Croxford

Mirrorball, produced by Replay Theatre Company, will open at the Lyric Theatre from 15th-21st September

Three people stand, smiling, against a sparkling silver backdrop, encircled with blue feathers.
Caoileann Curry-Thompson, Drama and Dance Officer at the Arts Council is pictured with Matt Cavan/Cherrie Ontop, Mirrorball and Janice Kernoghan-Reid, Replay Theatre