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NYC reviewers in ‘agreement’ over extraordinary Lyric Theatre production

Published on 29 April 2024

The Lyric Theatre is celebrating following a host of critically acclaimed reviews for its political drama Agreement.

The production is currently playing to packed audiences at the Irish Arts Center (IAC) in New York and is running until 12 May 2024. Written by renowned playwright Owen McCafferty, Agreement is a fictional play which examines the negotiations leading up to the Good Friday, revealing the drama behind this complex, pivotal moment for Northern Ireland.

The reviews have been rolling in from some of the top media outlets including the prestigious New York Times:

  • "In Charlotte Westenra’s impeccably acted production…“Agreement,” with its universal title, is a meditation for this moment." (The New York Times)
  • "An extraordinary experience that never falters in its engagement with the outstanding ensemble of actors beautifully executes Charlotte Westenra's direction." (Theater Scene)
  • “Turns ...a protracted political wrangle into the stuff of urgent drama” (Lighting and Sound America)
  • “Like ‘Hamilton’, the play makes high drama out of papers and proposals” (The New York Sun)

Agreement is part of an ongoing partnership between the Lyric and the IAC. This is their second collaboration in less than 12 months following a hugely successful US premiere last summer of the Lyric’s punk rock musical Good Vibrations (the story of Belfast’s godfather of punk Terri Hooley). Earlier this month, the Lyric held a special event in New York to celebrate the very first performance of the Lyric production of Agreement in the US and to say 'Thank You' to the Lyric's American Friends. Guests in attendance included Danny Neeson, actors Geraldine Hughes and Aidan Quinn and director Terry George. Since 2004, The American Friends of the Lyric have been supporting the work of the theatre, raising capital funds for the theatre and supporting projects both at home and away. The American Friends is led by Lyric Patron Liam Neeson and Honorary President Maebeth Fenton Martin.

Agreement won three BroadwayWorld Ireland awards and a PRide Gold Award for its PR campaign in 2023. It is directed by Charlotte Westenra, with set and costume design by Conor Murphy. The cast includes: Andrea Irvine (Mo Mowlam), Chris Corrigan (Gerry Adams), Dan Gordon (John Hume), Martin Huston (Tony Blair), Richard Croxford (George Mitchell), Ronan Leahy (Bertie Ahern) and Ruairi Conaghan (David Trimble).

Jimmy Fay, Executive Producer Lyric Theatre, said:

"We are elated with the fantastic reviews Agreement has received in NYC. It is testament to the immense talent across the whole production team to achieve this acclaim. We are also delighted to continue our partnership with the Irish Arts Center. Their support has been vital in helping us showcase this incredible place and our story to a transatlantic audience, especially in NYC. We are also very grateful to all our funders for their support in helping us get there.”

The Lyric Theatre is supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery funding and Belfast City Council. The Lyric production of Agreement is supported by Tourism Ireland, FinTrU, Queen’s University Belfast and NI Bureau, with additional support by Culture Ireland, The Ireland Funds, The Irish American Partnership, Jerome L. Greene Foundation,  Invest NI, The Howard Gilman Foundation, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and Georganne Aldrich Heller.

Source: The Lyric Theatre (link opens in new window)