The Night Alive at The Lyric

Oh, Autumn weekends just have to be my favourite. Lighting candles and crunching leaves, warming recipes and hiding out under blankets. Everything seems to be a little quieter, a little slower…and I love it.

One thing that (thankfully) is doing the opposite of slowing down, however, is The Lyric’s incredible schedule of shows that just keep blowing people’s socks off.

We knew Bono and Richard Branson were fans, so when it was finally our time to see The Night Alive, we expected great things…and we weren’t disappointed.

A co-production between The Lyric Theatre and Dublin Theatre Festival, the Northern Irish premiere also opened the 2015 Ulster Bank International Arts Festival. Conor McPherson’s award-winning masterpiece tells stories of what it is to be human masterfully woven into each other to remind us of the importance of connectedness.

Family breakdown, unemployment, grief, vulnerability, loneliness, abusive relationships – it’s not a happy picture and as a fellow audience member said, “I was struggling to see how it would end well!” But just as we ache for the characters and watch very real things unravel on stage, we see the characters ache for each other as they come together and explore what it really means to be human, together. I have to be honest though: The Night Alive also gives centre-stage to another important part of being human – I haven’t heard laughter at The Lyric like the laughter I heard today. The timing, the repartee, the insider banter…it’s all there. And it’s a rare thing to balance it with emotive and heavy topics so well.

The set is clever and quirky, the story is relatable, and the acting is compelling – how could it not be when Adrian Dunbar, Frank Grimes, Laurence Kinlan, Ian-Lloyd Anderson and Kate Stanley Brennan all find themselves on the same stage?!

The Night Alive will show in Belfast until 31st October.

PS: we stopped off at Indie Spice for a bite to eat just around the corner. Their Sunday lunch menu offers two courses for £5.95 (you read that right!) and includes the best sag aloo in town.

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