The Lyric Theatre is in the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast, a young city by European standards, with its foundations laid during the Industrial Revolution. Not unique to its time it took on the strict and structured role of Victorian architecture. The Lyric Theatre has embraced the city’s tradition while simultaneously breaking it. The Dublin based architects at O’Donnell & Tuomey designed and built the theatre using local brick, which allows the structure to resemble the terraced houses that surround it while maintaining its unique modern look.
Winning multiple Irish Times theatre awards, the 389-seat auditorium is constructed with faceted and angular Iroko wood. This design creates optimal acoustics and allows the integration of stage lighting. Like its design, the theater’s role in the community and Irish culture is progressive and modern; the staging of the Lyric’s performance of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1974 was met with protests from the surrounding community. It is the site where bitter enemies Martin McGuiness of the Irish Republican Army and Queen Elizabeth II met to agree to peace, and set aside old conflicts. The Lyric Theatre takes on a modern and progressive role from its construction, to its role in Irish culture.