Ireland

Lyric Theatre Belfast dominates UK Theatre awards

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Frazer speaking at the UK Theatre Awards at the Guildhall, in the City of London (Aaron Chown/PA)
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Frazer speaking at the UK Theatre Awards at the Guildhall, in the City of London (Aaron Chown/PA) Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Frazer speaking at the UK Theatre Awards at the Guildhall, in the City of London (Aaron Chown/PA)

The Lyric Theatre in Belfast scooped two major prizes at the UK Theatre Awards on Saturday.

The ceremony, hosted by musical theatre star Zoe Birkett at London’s Guildhall, saw the Northern Irish theatre win best play revival for its performance of The Beauty Queen Of Leenane with Belfast-based Prime Cut productions.

The play from Oscar-winning filmmaker Martin McDonagh first premiered in Galway in 1966.

Meanwhile, Tony award-winning Irish star Garry Hynes won best director for the Druid Theatre production of DruidO’Casey at Lyric Theatre Belfast, a trilogy of stories written by Irish dramatist Sean O’Casey.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, who spoke at the event, said: “The UK Theatre Awards are a fantastic opportunity to come together and celebrate the incredible creative and technical talent that we have here in the UK.

“We are proudly home to world-renowned actors, visionary directors, breath-taking sets, wonderful theatres and a mission to entertain, educate and challenge through performance art.

“The Government will continue to back theatre through tax reliefs to maximise the potential of theatre across the country.”

The ceremony also saw best musical production awarded to The Mill at Sonning for their revival of Gypsy, adapted from the book by Arthur Laurents, with lyrics by the late Stephen Sondheim.

Meanwhile English actor, director and writer Mark Gatiss was honoured with the outstanding contribution to British theatre award, recognising his contribution to regional theatre throughout his career.

Presenting the award, artistic director of the Nottingham Playhouse Adam Penford said: “Mark excels at everything that he turns his hand to.

“I’ve worked with Mark five times, and his love of theatre is infectious. Whether that’s in London, or out of London, in the West End, or on the Fringe.”