posted on April 11th, 2019

David Ireland’s confrontational and brutally funny Ulster American comes to Lyric Theatre


Darrell D’Silva, Robert Jack, Lucianne McEvoy in Ulster American. Photo by Sid Scott

The Lyric Theatre will welcome back 2011 Artist-In-Residence, David Ireland with his award-winning new play Ulster American. One of the most talked about, sell-out shows of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018, Ulster American comes to the Lyric for just 6 performances from 24 – 28 April.

Ireland, whose most recent play Cyprus Avenuewon the James Tait Black Award 2017 and Best Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017, has incited lively debate with Ulster American, which explores abuses of power, the confusion of cultural identity and the silencing of the female voice in a confrontational and brutally funny way. It’s a black comedy that’s definitely – and defiantly – not for the faint of heart.

Jay (Darrell D’Silva) is the Oscar-winning actor taking the lead in a new play that connects with his Irish roots. Leigh (Robert Jack) is the ambitious director who will do anything to get noticed. And Ruth (Lucianne McEvoy) is the Northern Irish playwright whose voice must be heard. The stage is set for great success, but when the three meet to discuss the play’s challenges and provocations a line is crossed, and the heated discussion quickly escalates to a violent climax.

David Ireland became the first Artist-In-Residence of the Lyric Theatre in 2011 and has become renowned for shocking audiences with his explosive storylines.

David  Ireland, writer of Ulster American, said: When I first wrote Ulster American I didn’t think anyone would produce it, let alone come and see it. I’m surprised and delighted that the response to it was so positive at the Traverse Festival 2018. It’s largely thanks to the terrific work done by Director Gareth Nicholls and our fantastic cast, as well as everyone at the Traverse Theatre who had the courage and the foresight to embrace this troubling, unnerving, disgraceful burlesque.

Rebecca Mairs, Literary Manager at the Lyric Theatre, commented: “Ulster American was the most talked about show of the Edinburgh Fringe – and for good reason.  It’s visceral, provocative, and hugely entertaining, and cements David Ireland’s reputation as one of the most exciting and important writers working in theatre today.  David was the very first Artist-in-Residence of our new building, and we’re delighted to welcome him back to the Lyric.”

Performances run from  24 – 28 April, Wed – Sat: 7.45pm. Sat & Sun matinee: 2.30pm Tickets from £12.00 – £24.50 available now at www.lyrictheatre.co.uk or 028 9038 1081.

Lucianne McEvoy, Darrell D’Silva in Ulster American. Photo by Sid Scott