Set in the stately home of Lord and Lady Massereene in Antrim Castle Gardens in the years prior to and beyond the creation of Northern Ireland in May 1921,
'Carson and the Lady' centres on trailblazing and daring Irish society woman Lady Jean Massereene. This is High Society politics, drama and tragedy in the fight against home rule and is based on real life events.
Our first reaction on entering the Lyric was the great set, a reimagining of Antrim Castle Gardens in the early 1900’s. As the drama unfolds lighting plays a key role in setting the scenes, and the huge projected backdrop changes to suit the location. It is particularly impressive when Carson meets his volunteers and a thin strip of fake grass becomes his stage as he leads his audience with a statesmanlike speech. Later near the end, as tragedy strikes, the set is a sight to behold.
The first half is very much focussed on the local political situation whilst giving you the opportunity to learn about the characters on stage. After the interval there’s a change of gear as we fast forward beyond the First World War and get a glimpse of their lives in 1921, including a fun seance scene. It’s a bit more light hearted, we had a few people around us who were sniggering for most of the second half. I overheard one person describe it as Belfast’s Bridgerton and with love, lust, drama, humour, conflict, politics, disappointment and a period set, it’s a fair comparison.
Carson and the Lady is at the Lyric Theatre Belfast Main Stage until Saturday 6th August.
More info and tickets: https://lyrictheatre.co.uk/whats-on/carson-the-lady