Playwright calls into rehearsals as Double Cross takes to the Lyric stage

editorial image

One of Ireland’s greatest living playwrights, Thomas Kilroy, has attended rehearsals at the Lyric Theatre for a new co-production of his play, Double Cross, which runs at the theatre until October 27.

This is one of the most fascinating and searing Irish plays ever written and the Lyric is delighted to partner with the Abbey on this first major production of it since Field Day’s in 1986.

Having written over 15 plays, Thomas Kilroy was a Board member of Field Day Theatre Company and is a member of the Irish Academy of Letters, the Royal Society of Literature and Aosdana.

His one novel, The Big Chapel, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Guardian Fiction Prize. At the 2004 Irish Times Theatre Awards, he received a Special Tribute Award for his contribution to theatre and in 2008 he was presented with the PEN Ireland Cross Award for his contribution to literature.

Double Cross tells the true story of how fake news won the Battle for Britain, pitching World War II’s two masterminds of propaganda against each other in a battle for the hearts and minds of nations. It’s also a story about two Irish men who re-invented themselves as English nationalists: Brendan Bracken the British Minister for Information, and Nazi broadcaster William Joyce, better known as Lord Haw-Haw.

Executive Producer of the Lyric and Director of Double Cross, Jimmy Fay, has attracted local and international critical acclaim and toured successfully to New York, Dublin, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Letterkenny, Cork, Perth and Wales.

He commented: “Tom Kilroy’s story of fake news and the triumph of artifice has particular resonance in today’s world of Brexit and Trump, and challenges us to examine the power of rhetoric and how performance and theatricality can affect the truth. Stephen Rea led the original cast in 1986 and for this production we are working with three exceptional Irish actors Sean Kearns, Charlotte McCurry and Ian Toner. We are delighted to be partnering with the Abbey Theatre to present Double Cross as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival.”

Double Cross stars Ian Toner, nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Irish Times Theatre Awards for Punk Rock, and Charlotte McCurry, who played leads in the Lyric’s Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood and The Crucible.

The Lyric is also thrilled to welcome back Sean Kearns from recent West End productions such as The Lost Ship, Wicked, The Commitments and Billy Elliot, and who is currently receiving outstanding reviews for his role as Terri Hooley’s father in the Lyric’s Good Vibrations.

Thomas Kilroy said: “Double Cross was written out of a kind of rage. A rage against the whole nature of fascism. A rage against the power residing in role-playing, in costuming, in uniforms, a rage against militarism and I was writing about two characters, two figures, that really came out of anger in me. But I had to find within myself a lot of empathy for these two individuals, or at least an understanding … kind of forcing the audience to cut loose from easy solutions.”

Tickets are on sale from the Lyric Theatre Box Office on 028 9038 1081 or online at www.lyricbelfast.co.uk.