posted on May 30th, 2024

Lyric Theatre Creates Midsummer Dreams by the Banks of the River Lagan

The Lyric Theatre Belfast has revealed exciting plans for their forthcoming Midsummer at The Lyric Festival as part of Belfast City Council’s Belfast 2024. From Thursday 4th July to  Sunday 7th July 2024, the banks of the River Lagan will be transformed into a magical place with faeries, comedy and mischief including a first-time, outdoor theatre space for the festival’s centrepiece, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s DreamPlus a range of inclusive, accessible community-led artistic collaborations including a community celebration on Sunday 30th June.

The design of the outdoor theatre space for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

Under the expert hands of artistic director Jimmy Fay, set designer Stuart Marshall, costume designer Catherine Kodicek, musical director Conor Pelan and The Lyric’s scenic construction manager Aidan Payne, this unique project will celebrate The Lyric’s relationship with the river, animating the space between King’s Bridge and Governor’s Bridge. It features the first staging The Lyric has undertaken in its outdoor space, where a brand-new ‘Wooden O Stage’ will be created for an immersive experience into Shakespeare’s world-bending comedy.

Beyond Skin Amita Ravikiran, one of the musicians and co-composers who will form part of the 10-piece orchestra.

The Festival also features collaborations with a diverse range of local partner organisations, artists from various disciplines and cultures, who will create work inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Collaborators include Rogue Encounters (formerly Kids in Control), Beyond Skin, ArtsEkta, Chinese Wellfare Association and 5th Element. Each will play a pivotal role in co-designing and co-creating specific sections of the festival, contributing to the overall spectacular experience. This includes 9 mixed ability disability young adults playing the roles of the faeries and 10 world-class musicians, most of whom are asylum seekers and refugees from various nations across the world, including Ukraine, Syria, Brazil and Iran. A Midsummer themed community day for all the family will take place at the Lyric Theatre on Sunday 30th June from 11am – 3pm and is open to all.

The mixed ability disability group from Rogue Encounters who will play the faeries in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

Director of Midsummer at The Lyric, Jimmy Fay, said: “Midsummer at The Lyric is not just a festival; it’s a celebration of unity, creativity and community spirit – a testament to Belfast’s commitment to cultural vibrancy and inclusivity. As the festival unfolds long the picturesque River Lagan, it promises to be a transformative experience not only for The Lyric, as we stage our first outdoor production, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but for all the artists and participants from our community partners. We are making a dream come true in the heart of the city as we celebrate Belfast 2024.”

Artistic director, Jimmy Fay.

Midsummer at The Lyric has been funded and commissioned by Belfast City Council as part of the Belfast2024 programme.

Tickets starts from £15. For further details and bookings, visit: Follow The Lyric on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @LyricBelfast.

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ main image.

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