General, Organisations

Lyric Theatre wins prestigious ‘Theatre of the Year’ at UK Theatre Industry Awards

31st January, 2023

The Lyric Theatre has won ‘Theatre of the Year’ at The Stage Awards 2023, which celebrates the best of the UK theatre industry, held in London’s West End (30th Jan 2023).

Julie McKegney and Morag Keating from the Lyric Theatre Belfast at the Stage Awards 2023 holding the 'Theatre of the Year' award.
Stage Awards 2023 winner of Theatre of the Year. Left - Julie McKegney & Morag Keating from Lyric Theatre. (Photo credit Alex Brenner)

Sharing the award alongside London’s Bush Theatre, the Lyric Theatre was recognised for its programme, which featured eight-full scale productions, seven of which were new works, as well as for its online festival of skills development sessions, called Play/Write, and its open call for new work. It also received recognition for their work to attract under-represented audiences through LGBT+ productions, and for their extensive education and outreach programme.

Lyric Executive producer Jimmy Fay said the Lyric Theatre was 

"about the people who make the work" and dedicated the award to the venue’s staff, audiences, actors and writers.

Jimmy also added it was "vital" that an active producing theatre remained at the heart of our creative arts and industry in Northern Ireland.

The Stage editor Alistair Smith said: 

"At a time when new writing in the UK is facing damaging cuts, we are delighted to be able to celebrate two wonderful producing theatres who are staging some of the most exciting new work around, while also maintaining and extending their support to playwrights.”

Lyric Patron Liam Neeson who sent his congratulations said: 

“Many, many congratulations to Jimmy, his superb staff and of course the audiences: we couldn’t make theatre without them and their loyal and constant support over the past 70 years. I, personally couldn’t be more proud of you all!”

Arts Council Chief Executive Roisín McDonough added her congratulations, saying, 

“As Northern Ireland’s leading producing theatre, the Lyric Theatre occupies a very special place in our creative and cultural landscape. The Arts Council is proud to be the Lyric’s principal funder, supporting outstanding productions at a truly outstanding theatre.”