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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 Thurs 4 July - Sun 7 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 Dream. Plus a range of inclusive, accessible community-led artistic collaborations including a community celebration on Sun 30 June.

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.

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 Welfare 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.

Director of Midsummer at 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 along 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.” 

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

Tickets start from £15. For further details and bookings visit - (Link opens in new window)

Follow the Lyric on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @LyricBelfast.

Media contacts:

Claire Murray, Lyric Theatre,
t: 07525 238241 e:

Rachael Harriott, Harriott Communications,
 t: 07886036782  e:


Notes to editor:

Press night                          Fri 5 July

A Midsummer Night’s Dream creative team

Directed by                         Jimmy Fay

Musical Director               Conor Pelan

Set Designer                       Stuart Marshall

Lighting Designer              Mary Tumelty

Music is co-created composed and performed by

  • Conor Pelan (Ireland)
  • Luigi Cirillo (Italy)
  • Amita Ravikiran (India)
  • Nasim Heidari (Iran)
  • Swar Ahmad (Syria)
  • Omid Asghari (Iran)
  • Henrique Franco (Brazil)
  • Volodymyr Herasymovych (Ukraine)
  • Behnam Ghazanfari Pour (Iran)

Cast details to be announced at a later date.

About Lyric Theatre

The Lyric Theatre is a playhouse for all. We are a shared, open, welcoming place to meet and exchange ideas; changing lives through our commitment to creativity and cultural talent. The beating cultural heart of Northern Ireland for almost 75 years, the Lyric Theatre is the home of world-class theatre, nurturing talent and inspiring the next generation of theatre makers and audiences. Since 1951, this special place has been a springboard for internationally acclaimed playwrights, poets, directors and actors, helping to showcase talent across the world.

As Northern Ireland’s only full-time theatre to produce its own productions from page to stage, we care deeply about maintaining a high-quality and inclusive programme that captures the imaginations of our audiences. We were recently named UK’s Theatre of the Year 2023 in recognition of the impact we make off our stages - supporting hundreds of writers to develop their work; engaging with tens of thousands of children and young people every year in communities and schools; creating pathways to employment; and nurturing and training young actors through our Drama Studio.

About Belfast 2024

Belfast City Council is investing £5.9 million into Belfast 2024, which builds upon the council’s existing support for culture and arts and invites citizens to get creative, through a mix of new commissions and community-led programmes, all reflecting the city’s diversity and vibrancy.

A further £250,000 has also been secured from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for ‘Our Future Heritage’ which will enable people to explore Belfast’s tangible and intangible heritage and its impact on our identity through ten Belfast 2024 projects.

The aim of the Belfast 2024 programme is to support jobs in the creative sector, create new opportunities for residents to enjoy and participate in the arts, and showcase the city as a global destination for culture, through its three key themes of People, Place and Planet.

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