Duo tread the boards

Stefan McCusker
Stefan McCusker

LURGAN duo Brigid Shine and Stefan McCusker are to tread the boards in two of Belfast’s top venues.

Brigid stars in New Lyric’s ‘Calamity Jane ‘in the Grand Opera House while Stefan takes on the role of the bad guy in ‘Our Country’s Good’ in the Lyric.

Brigid said: “I am thrilled to be a part of New Lyric’s Calamity Jane. We have had a ball in rehearsals; between belting out western classics like ‘Windy City’ and delving into a broad range of dance styes from ballroom to can-can to tap.

“I am really looking forward to playing the fun-loving, starry eyed character of Susan Miller, and am counting down the days until opening night of the show. Performing on stage is my favourite thing in the world; performing on the opera house stage is like a dream come true.”

Brigid Shine makes a glad return to the Opera House Stage following a highly enjoyable run as Tzeitel in New Lyric’s Fiddler on the Roof last November.

A teacher in training, Brigid loves to sing, act and dance her spare time away and is no stranger to the local stage, and more recently, the silver screen.

Brigid trained at the Pamela Cassells School of Performance, where she now works as a vocal and acting coach.

With Ashley Fulton’s elite choir Adoro, Brigid has performed at some of Northern Ireland’s most prestigious venues and shared the stage with legends Phil Coulter, Peter Corry and Van Morrison.

Beyond the stage, Brigid’s TV credits include Desperados (ITV), In Cold Blood (BBC) and a nationwide advertising campaign for the NSPCC.

Brigid’s silver screen debut in ‘First Time Loser’ premiered last year at Cannes Film Festival and has been shortlisted in an international category at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Calamity Jane runs until Saturday, March 30 in the Grand Opera House. The show is on at 7.30pm every night with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

To book tickets call 9024 1919 or log on to www.goh.co.uk

Stefan McCusker takes to the stage as Major Robbie Ross, the villain of the piece in ‘Our Country’s Good’.

Stefan told the ‘MAIL’: “I’ve always enjoyed going to the Lyric, but this will be my first time on stage. I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s quite a challenging role which has enabled me to stretch myself as a performer.

“We’ve had weekly classes at the Lyric since September.”

Stefan has been involved with the Rainbow Factory since he was 18.

The former Lurgan College and Armagh Royal student said he knew after leaving school that acting was what he wanted to do for a living.

Having achieved a 2:1 in Drama with Modern History at Queen’s University, Stefan is right where he wants to be - on stage.

A former member of the Helen O’Grady Drama School, Stefan said: “I loved doing plays in primary school but never thought of it as an actual career at the time. I love acting and would love to make a living from it.”

‘Our Country’s Good’ tells the true story of a ragbag cast of convicts, transported to Australia in 1787, whose lives took on a new direction when they auditioned for a part in the antipodean premiere of George Farquhar’s Restoration comedy, The Recruiting Officer.

Our Country’s Good will take place in the Naughton Studio from Thursday, March 28 to Saturday, March 30 at 8pm, with a Saturday matinee at 3pm. Book online at www.lyrictheatre.co.uk or telephone the box office on 9038 1081. Tickets are £9 or £6 concession.