Published Monday, 23 April 2012
Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney. (© Getty)
The world-renowned poet unveiled the Threshold stone of the £18.1m building on the banks of the Lagan back in 2009, when he branded the rejuvenation "a reminder of the vital artistic achievement in the past and the promise of ongoing creative vigour in the future".
On Monday, Heaney will make his return to the Lyric to deliver a lecture Speak The Speech, reflecting on the personal importance of lines of poetry and prose committed to memory - in the aptly-named setting of the Lyric.
A host of other performances are planned to celebrate the new Lyric's first birthday - including acclaimed Irish actor Stephen Rea taking to the stage in a special one-off performance of Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman and the opening of new comedy-thriller The Civilisation Game, starring familiar faces Alan McKee and Allie Ford.
The Lyric's artistic director Richard Croxford said it has been a "whirlwind year" for the theatre.
"It's hard to believe a whole year has flown by," he said.
"We've had amazing artists working with us throughout the last year, supported by a fantastic team of staff, and it's been a pleasure to welcome such wonderful audiences to our beautiful building on the banks of the Lagan.
"We are now looking forward to another exciting year."
During its first year in its new landmark building, the Lyric has picked up a string of awards - both for its design and architecture and for the productions it has staged.
"Congratulations to the Lyric on what has been another momentous year for local theatre," Roisin McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said.
"The past 12 months have been a landmark time for the Lyric - an exciting phase in the history of this celebrated theatre."