Mary O'Malley, Founding Director of the Lyric Theatre Belfast. Photo: NUI Galway Digital Archives.
Nov 19 2015 Posted: 12:21 GMT

Collaboration Celebrates The Life And Work of Mary O’Malley And The Work of W.B Yeats in Northern Ireland


In a unique collaboration, two students from the Centre for Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, and two drama students from the Lyric Theatre, Belfast will work together to present a new piece of writing based on the extensive archive of Mary O’Malley and the Lyric Theatre, which is held at the James Hardiman Library at the University.

The initiative is part of the Arts in Action programme at NUI Galway where Martin Kenny and Beau Holland are current students. Both Galway students along with Luke Bannon and Sarah Blair from Lyric Theatre, will work together with NUI graduate Caroline Lynch, Writer, Actress, and Theatre Director at Lyric Theatre Belfast.

By exploring the Lyric Theatre archive at the James Hardiman Library, Archivist Barry Houlihan has discovered the story of Mary O’Malley’s journey and the history of Yeats’ work in Northern Ireland, which will reach new audiences in this the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats.

The Lyric Theatre archive is a detailed record of the growth and development of the theatre and its founding director, Mary O’Malley. This event will mine and explore that archive, share new material and present a live event that will draw the audience into the Yeats-inspired Belfast and world of Mary O’Malley and the birth of a new theatre across a time of immense social, political and artistic change.

Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Irish theatre archives, and it is wonderful to see the Lyric collection inspiring a new play. This Arts in Action event is a fine example of NUI Galway’s commitment to allowing its students to put their learning into practice, and this cross-border project is the first in what we hope will be many future collaborations with colleagues and students in Northern Ireland."

This year will see Northern Ireland students benefiting from a revised CAO points scheme which will make it easier for school leavers to gain entry to NUI Galway. The new scheme will award students with increased CAO points, based on their top three A Levels and may result in a boost in the numbers of Northern Ireland students studying at NUI Galway.

In support of Career Teachers and Careers Advisors in Northern Ireland, NUI Galway are the primary sponsors of the upcoming NISCA Conference, which is taking place in La Mon Hotel & Country Club in Belfast on Thursday 26th November.

ENDS

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