A Lyrical Bonanza

27th June 2007 by Maura McHugh

The Stage reports that Belfast’s Lyric Theatre has received a £1 million donation by Dr Martin Naughton and Mrs Carmel Naughton, a local couple. Naughton founded the Glen Dimplex company in Newry in 1973.

The Lyric is in the middle of fund-raising £16 million necessary to build a new state of the art home on the site of its existing premises. The generous donation brings the company to within £2 million of its target.

The Lyric is expected to close its doors at the end of 2007 with its new two-auditorium theatre, designed by Dublin-based architects O’Donnell & Tuomey, scheduled to open in 2010. It will house a 400-seat main stage and a flexible 150-seat space that will now be called the Naughton Studio.

Welcoming the donation, Lyric chairman Mark Carruthers said the theatre was “overwhelmed by the support and encouragement we have received from the Naughtons” and hoped that “other local business leaders and philanthropists will take inspiration from the Naughtons’ lead to help us create a lasting legacy for future generations”.

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