Marie Jones' new Christmas play Mistletoe & Crime at Lyric

Olivier Award-winning playwright Marie Jones has turned her attention and sharp wit to Christmas again with a brand new seasonal treat set for the Danske Bank Stage.

Tara-Lynne O'Neill and Katie Tumelty

Mistletoe & Crime is a laugh-out-loud comedy about two WPCs working the Christmas Eve shift in Belfast where the usual suspects are up to mischief and the SOS bus finds itself busier than usual.

Katie Tumelty (Cabaret; Weddins, Weeins & Wakes) is Constable Aileen Quinn, a rookie officer on her first night who finds herself teamed up with Constable Sue Patterson, played by Tara-Lynne O’Neill (The Hypochondriac, The Fall) who is on her last night on the beat. The ‘Cagney & Lacey’ of Belfast try to keep order amongst the mayhem, while their own personal lives encroach on their work.

Directed by the ever-exuberant Dan Gordon, they are joined by a terrific local cast who began rehearsals today (27 October): Christina Nelson (Pride & Prejudice: the Musical); Ciaran Nolan (Man in the Moon; Love, Billy) Gerard Jordan (Mixed Marriage; Game of Thrones); Matthew McElhinney (Weddins, Weeins & Wakes) and Louise Parker (Dracula Untold).

Director Dan Gordon, who brought the satirical festive treat Forget Turkey to the Lyric, said: “Christmas is my favourite time of year because people are looking to kick back and have fun and theatres are just bursting at the seams with punters. But if you’re looking for the perfect night out, forget panto, Marie Jones’ brand new play Mistletoe & Crime is the Christmas cracker.

“Marie has penned a wacky, witty, wonderful show about a city she knows inside out, set in the season of goodwill. We’ve cast a fantastic bunch of actors led by the very talented Katie Tumelty and Tara-Lynne O’Neill whose antics as two female cops will have you roaring in your seats. So drape yourself in tinsel, take a taxi (so you don’t have to deal with any real-life cops!) and enjoy a night of laughter at the Lyric.” 

Prolific actress and playwright, Marie Jones, who wrote the acclaimed Stones in His Pockets and Xmas Eve Can Kill You, said she wanted to write about the real Christmas people experience in Belfast and elsewhere and inject it with a generous dose of humour. 

“Let’s face it at Christmas we are all under pressure to have such a good time that we all go a bit crazy! The police are probably under the most pressure at this time of year, so I thought I’d poke a bit of fun at the many farcical scenarios they have to deal with.

"Aileen and Sue are like the much-loved detective combo Cagney & Lacey who have to deal with a lovers’ tiff, broken probation and raving pensioners, to name but a few – all on Christmas Eve. I’m delighted the Lyric is staging this, my World Premiere, and with a six-week run you’ve plenty of time to get the Christmas shappin’ and see my show!” 

Mistletoe & Crime runs on the Danske Bank Stage from 28 November 2014 to 11 January 2015, Tues to Sun 7.45pm. Weekend matinees at 2.30pm on Sun 23rd Nov, Sat 10 Jan & Sun 11 Jan. Previews are Sat 22nd, Sun 23rd, Tues 25th, Wed 26th, Thurs 27th Nov. Preview prices are just £14. Tickets range from just £10 for students and unwaged to £22.50 peak performance times (Thurs – Sat). 

To book contact the Lyric box office on 028 9038 1081 or online at the What's On page.

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