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Media Traverse Theatre and Lyric Theatre Belfast Announce New Co-production, DENOUEMENT By John Morton

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It will be available to listen to from 10am on Monday 7 September as part of the Traverse Festival programme.​​​​​​​

Media Traverse Theatre and Lyric Theatre Belfast Announce New Co-production, DENOUEMENT By John Morton

The Traverse Theatre and Lyric Theatre Belfast have announced a new co-production, following their successful collaboration on 2019 audience favourite, Crocodile Fever.

Denouement by John Morton, commissioned by the Lyric Theatre, is presented in a work-in-progress audio recording and features performances from acclaimed actors of stage and screen - and real life couple - Ian McElhinney (the inimitable Granda Joe in Derry Girls , Game of Thrones) and Marie Jones (In the Name of the Father) in the lead roles of Liam and Edel. It was rehearsed and recorded in just two days in person, under social distancing conditions, at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast - the first activity to happen in the building in five months.

It will be available to listen to from 10am on Monday 7 September as part of the Traverse Festival programme.

Set in an apocalyptic Ireland in 2048, Denouement follows Edel (Marie Jones) and Liam (Ian McElhinney), a couple in their 60s who are facing the literal end of the world.

They've been up all night trying to get their chaotic affairs into some kind of order, surrounded by dozens of empties from last night's raging party. They feel rough, they're on edge, and they're blasting music to drown out the cataclysmic noise outside as cities start to disappear and the world's animals go haywire.

Liam is hammering furiously at his typewriter, finishing the memoirs that no-one will ever read. Edel is wrangling with her laptop, desperately trying to say a final goodbye to their beloved kids. And they're both reflecting on past regrets - and trying to put them right in sometimes bloody, messy, outrageous ways.

As tempers fray, family secrets are outed and their behaviour becomes ever more questionable, Liam and Edel try to work out what really matters as they career towards a bickering end - while the world literally falls apart around them.

Directed by the Traverse's Co-Artistic Director Gareth Nicholls, Denouement also features performances from Patrick McBrearty, Nicky Harley and Leah McGregor. Sound design and composition is by Michael John McCarthy.

The play has already been shortlisted for the 2020 Popcorn Award for new writing, along with 7 other plays (shortlisted from 133 eligible plays) that were due to premiere at this year's Edinburgh Fringe festival. This new award recognises the best writing which seeks to question and address current affairs, societal trends and contributes positively to public debate, and the winner will be announced on 24 Aug 2020.

John Morton, writer of Denouement, said: "In the space of the last few months the play went from being an imagined glimpse into a dystopian future to a depiction of a reality not dissimilar from the one so many of us inhabit now. What remains the same is the will to keep moving forward and making the best of the constraints we live within. It is a tremendous honour to see this version of Denouement being realised by such an incredibly talented team. It speaks to the perseverance and ingenuity of people in theatre to keep finding a way to create despite the challenging period we're in. I am very grateful to everyone at Lyric Theatre and Traverse Theatre for supporting the play and working so hard to make this happen."

Gareth Nicholls, Co-Artistic Director Traverse Theatre, commented: "When we first started working with the Lyric Theatre on Denouement at the end of 2019, we never could have imagined that the real world would have become, in some ways, not dissimilar to the landscape of catastrophe in which Liam and Edel find themselves. But the heart of John's story has remained constant and true, and more important than ever - it's about how we put aside differences and regrets to come together and find what matters the most in times of uncertainty. It's a joy to be working with Ian McElhinney and Marie Jones on this audio recorded reading of the play, and explore the lives of characters at a stage of their lives which isn't often depicted in stories. We hope this shows that even in the face of chaos there can be hilarity, misbehaviour, reconciliation - and hope."

Jimmy Fay, Executive Producer at Lyric Theatre, said: "Whilst we were devastated to postpone an entire season dedicated to staging new work, we are delighted to open our doors and welcome the cast and creative team of Denouement for their rehearsal and audio recording for the Traverse Festival. It is wonderful to be working on this co-production with Traverse Theatre - a fantastic relationship that began with last year's monster Fringe hit Crocodile Fever by Meghan Tyler - and we very much congratulate John on reaching the Popcorn Award for new writing shortlist - a tremendous accolade. There is no doubt the past few months has been a challenge to everybody in the industry. However, we have been working hard and tirelessly behind the scenes to, not only keep the spirit of Lyric Theatre alive, but explore how we can remain accessible throughout these challenging times, adapt and evolve to ensure that, when we are ready to open our doors to all our audiences, that we can do so in a safe capacity."


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