<> Boyd086 Boyd Letters Boyd Estate 1977 Dec 10th Linen Hall Library Wednesday, March 16, 2016 TIFF Boyd086 Letter O&#039;Malley, Lyric English https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/boyd086 Linen Hall Library Linen Hall Library Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/sites/default/files/Boyd086_1.jpg LHL Archive 28 Rosetta Avenue Belfast 7, Northern Ireland 10th December 1977 To: The Editor, 'The Listener' BBC Publications, 35 Marylebone High Street, London WIM 4AA For favour of publication Sir, In your issue of 24th November I read with interest - and appreciation Mr. Elsom's article on the Belfast Festival. As a dramatist and ex BBC producer in Northern Ireland for twenty-five years, and as honorary director and literary advisor of the Lyric Theatre, I should likce to comment on two sentences with reference to this theatre. The Lyric theatre (I quote Mr. Elsom) 'has the reputation in some quarters of being orientated towards the Republicans'. 'In some quarters' seems unnecessarily vague. Could Mr. Elsom be more explicit? If he could, I should be most grateful. Again, Mary O'Malley is referred to as 'sometimes regarded as Belfast's Lilian Baylis and sometimes as a confounded nuisance'. As an Irish writer I should prefer to have Mary O'Malley compared with Lady Gregory; but this comparison is fair enough, What is not fair, however, is the 'confounded nuisance'. Does the petulance spring from the same anonymous 'quarters' whose political ineptitude is more than equalled by their artistic turpitude? Once more I seek illumination. However, there should now, at last, be great rejoicing in these 'quarters' that so misrepresent Mary O'Malley's achievement. After a quarter of a century of strenuously idealistic and successful artistic activity in Belfast she has now left this city; and her monument is the Lyric theatre whose achievement, particularly in the last decade, speaks for itself. As for Mary O'Malley herself, may I adapt a sentence of Sam Beckett: 'Adieu Mary, to whom we owe so much, share so much, and care so much'. The 'quarters' which will approve of this judgment are all those who have benefited from the work of the Lyric Theatre. Yours etc. (John Boyd) Text