Northern Ireland

Duke Special gets Lyric Theatre artist-in-residence role

Duke Special Image copyright Lyric Theatre
Image caption Duke Special said he was thrilled by the appointment

The Lyric Theatre in Belfast has appointed musician Duke Special as its new artist-in-residence.

As part of his residency he will write a musical adaptation of Huckleberry Finn, which will be performed in the Lyric in spring 2017.

Born Peter Wilson, Duke Special is one of Northern Ireland's best known musicians and a former Irish Meteor music award winner.

The position is worth £15,000 a year.

Previous artists-in-residence at the theatre have included playwrights Owen McCafferty and Abbie Spallen.


Duke Special has released nine albums, and he has previously written music for theatre.

He composed and performed the music for the National Theatre in London's 2009 production of Berthold Brecht's play Mother Courage and Her Children.

Earlier this year, he also wrote the score for Youth Music Theatre's production of Gulliver's Travels, which was performed in the Lyric.

Duke Special said he was "thrilled" to be appointed.

"I hope to learn as much as I can, absorb all that's going on there and to write lots and lots of songs," he said.

Lyric Theatre executive producer Jimmy Fay said his residency would give the theatre "something completely new and different".

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