News & Events

Capital Redevelopment of the Lyric Theatre

The Lyric's original venue opened in 1968 and closed in January 2008 as it was no longer fit for purpose. The physical deterioration of the building had been a cause of concern for some time, presenting numerous health and safety risks which were increasingly difficult to mitigate. The very limited facilities were literally bursting at the seams and could not accommodate growing demand, particularly for youth and education activities. Physical access and front of house amenities were extremely poor. There were no production facilities or administration offices and actors worked in dilapidated trailers. Unions described the backstage working conditions as 'farcical' and 'Dickensian'. Continuing to patch up the venue was simply not a cost-effective, safe or viable option.

Thanks to the generous support of our many supporters including our American Friends, our vision of a new theatre for Belfast and Northern Ireland was realised with the opening of our award winning new Lyric Theatre in May 2011.

Built in a stunning blend of ‘Belfast’ brick, Iroko wood, glass and steel the new theatre is alive and dramatic at all times. Spacious lobbies and bars overlooking the river, combined with a thriving artistic programme make the Lyric a thriving social hub and creative learning space for all our communities.

Almost three times the size of the old theatre, the new building is 5026 m2or 54,164 sq ft and has three distinct areas.

The Danske Bank Stage: The 389 seat auditorium is the main performance area, providing an extra 90 seats in a single steep rake. The intimacy of the old theatre remains as the body of the audience is not broken by balconies or barriers ensuring actors and audience share the same space.

The Naughton Studio: A second performance studio accommodates between 125 and 170 people, can be adapted to suit any performance style and will explore experimental work as well as reimagining classic plays and developing the skills of local artists.

The Rehearsal Room: The third space is a rehearsal room the same size as the main auditorium stage.

Other facilities include:

• Education Suite
• Green Room
• Dressing Rooms
• Board Room
• Back Stage facilities
• Box office
• Café/Bar

The new theatre is accessible for people with disabilities.

Lyric exterior

Lyric distance

lyric Northern Bank Stage

Night in November by Marie Jones