posted on June 14th, 2019

Paperboy exhibition calls for public help to celebrate 1970s Belfast

Dr Karen Logan, Curator of History at National Museums NI and Tony Macaulay, the author of Paperboy.

British Youth Music Theatre (BYMT), the team behind the smash-hit musical adaption of Tony Macaulay’s international best seller Paperboy set in 1970s Belfast, will return to the Lyric Theatre Belfast (1 – 4 August) with a very special pop up exhibition. In partnership with National Museums NI, BYMT hope to showcase a range of cultural artefacts celebrating the 1970s and is calling on the public to get involved.

Set in 1975 Paperboy tells the true story of young Tony growing up in West Belfast. The book was adapted for stage by stand-up comedian Andrew Doyle and music for the production was composed by platinum-selling Belfast artist Duke Special. It depicts fondly remembered moments such as the Lord Mayors Parade, The Bay City Rollers gig at The Ulster Hall in 1975 as well as references to popular culture of that time such as Doctor Who.  National Museums NI will help curate the exhibition and will also contribute a range of 1970s artefacts from their collection at Ulster Museum.

BYMT is encouraging residents who lived in Belfast in the 1970s and remember this incredible era, to bring their 1970s artefacts to be considered for the exhibition. Simply bring yourself and your artefact to the Lyric Theatre on 15 June between 10am – 5pm. All contributors to the exhibition will receive 20% off tickets for the show if booked on 15 June, invited to a VIP event at the Lyric Theatre for a sneak peek of the exhibition and meet Tony Macaulay, the author of Paperboy.

Tony Macaulay, the author of Paperboy, said: “I can’t wait to see the treasures from the 1970s that people in Belfast will find in the roof space. I’ll be looking for clackers, space hoppers, Bay City Rollers scarves and perhaps an unopened bottle of Brut aftershave to splash all over!”

Dr Karen Logan, Curator of History at National Museums NI, added:
National Museums NI is delighted to support this exhibition in partnership with the Lyric Theatre and British Youth Music Theatre. We are keen to further interpret the themes of the play using objects and stories contributed by those who experienced them first-hand and would like to encourage anyone with relevant material to come forward.

The British Youth Music Theatre pop up exhibition in partnership with National Museums NI will run at the Lyric Theatre 31 July – 4 August.  Paperboy will be performed at Lyric Theatre Belfast 1-4 August. For further details on BYMT visit www.britishyouthmusictheatre.orgor to book tickets for Paperboy visit

Helping with the call for 1970s artefacts for the Paperboy exhibition at Lyric theatre, and showing off some of Tony’s 1970s artefacts, were, Tony Macaulay, the author of Paperboy and two of the lead cast members from British Youth Music Theatre’s forthcoming production of Paperboy Sam (young Tony) and Erin (Sharon Burgess).