AWARD-WINNING THEATREclub PRODUCTION KICKS OFF TOUR AT THE LYRIC
for just one night in the Naughton Studio here at the Lyric, Friday 30 January @ 8PM.
THEATREclub’s Heroin is setting out on a tour around Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland this January and February starting at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. The show charts the social history of the drug in Dublin from the 1960s to the present day. It shows how heroin came into Dublin and details the three heroin epidemics that unfolded in the capital, while successive governments claimed it wasn’t happening.
This is a performance which traces a history of heroin, but crucially what is really at the heart of this story is value. How we as humans value each other. The play touches on issues of housing, society, mental health, economy and citizenship, and asks an audience to really consider what makes people take drugs in the first instance as well as what should be done about it.
The play, which was made in 2010 and has been touring Ireland & Europe since, was written by Grace Dyas, an artist & activist from inner city Dublin – the epicentre of Ireland’s heroin epidemic. Grace’s early experiences formed the inspiration for the play, which was developed over two years in conjunction with the Rialto Drugs Team in Dublin; “I wanted to make a piece that provoked a dialogue about the current status of heroin users in our society, particularly the social norm that had developed of an accepted otherness of drug users.” says Grace. “I was shocked to hear how many people used the term ‘junkies’ and how little understanding there was about the complexities of addiction. I wanted to make a piece that created empathy in a way that stopped people from using those terms without even knowing it. I wanted to make something engaging, that wouldn’t feel like a news report or a history lesson. Heroin is a felt experience. It helps you to feel it – which is different to just knowing it.”
Lyric Theatre Executive Producer Jimmy Fay explained his motivations behind bringing the production to Belfast; “writer and director Grace Dyas is one of the best new theatre practitioners out there, and certainly one of the bravest and most innovative. Heroin is a completely unique theatre experience. I believe theatre can and should deal with uncomfortable truths in a way that is fresh, and non-judgemental. Heroin does exactly that.”
Grace is particularly excited about the Belfast leg of the tour and reaching a new audience; “Each time we tour the work to a new city or context, I run a parallel programme of activity to ‘design the audience’ for the production. I go and spend time in the new city. I learn the history of the drug in that city. I visit those who may be interested and do everything possible to enable them to access the theatre.”