Paperboy Cast Announced in Belfast

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Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT) the leading music theatre company for young people, announces the cast for their brand-new musical adaptation of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy, to be performed at Lyric Theatre Belfast 26-29 July. The cast includes 35 talented performers aged 11-19 years, including 19 aspiring performers from the Island of Ireland, 9 from Scotland and 7 from England.

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Paperboy is produced and commissioned by Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT) and presented in association with Lyric Theatre Belfast and commissioned with funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland.

Adapted from Tony Macaulay’s internationally acclaimed memoir, Paperboy tells the story of Tony, a 12-year-old boy, growing up against the gritty backdrop of 1970s Belfast. Creative duo, writer-comedian Andrew Doyle and Belfast singer-songwriter Duke Special, have captured in the making of the musical a vivid tapestry of Belfast and Tony’s world – one full of Rock Music, Doctor Who and youthful energy – recreating the vibrancy, comic timing and sense of discovery that is so enjoyed in the memoir. Directors Steven Dexter and Dean Johnson have been working closely with the cast to develop a feel for the era.

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Rehearsals began on the 9th July and the production will come together in just three weeks. Young people were selected by Youth Music Theatre UK from their national auditions tour earlier this year, where over 1,000 young people auditioned across the UK and Ireland to join the company. Special auditions were held on Shankill Road to draw in young people from the local area where the book is set. Auditions were also held on the Falls Road.

Young Tony (Paperboy) and his girlfriend Sharon are to be played by Sam Gibson from Killinchy, Co. Down and Erin Ryder from Laghey, Co. Donegal.

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Author of paperboy, Tony Macaulay said:

“I’m excited to see Paperboy on stage at the Lyric. I can’t wait to see and hear how Duke Special and Andrew Doyle have adapted the book into a musical. I expect I’ll feel quite emotional the first time I see the talented cast of young people performing my story on stage.”

Jon Bromwich, Executive Producer Youth Music Theatre UK, added:

 “Youth Music Theatre UK has trained and nurtured over 8000 up-and-coming young performers, musicians and creatives, and produced over 80 new musical works of the highest quality. Our prestigious alumni includes Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. Sam took part in our 2007 production in Belfast. This year we are delighted to present the extraordinary new musical production of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy, from a top-flight creative team, as part of our 15th anniversary season.”

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Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added:

The Arts Council is delighted to support this production of Paperboy  at the Lyric Theatre through National Lottery funding.  It is vitally important that young people here are given opportunities to broaden their creative experiences and, to perform on the stage of the Lyric Theatre will be an experience that stays with them throughout their lives.  Youth Music Theatre UK has assembled an impressive creative team and I would encourage everyone to go along and enjoy.”

The YMT Company of 2018 is made up of 300 talented young performers and musicians. YMT offers young people the opportunity to work with exciting composers, established directors and innovative movement specialists, developing the music theatre of the future. YMT’s aim is the personal and creative development of young people through the creation and performance of music theatre. Paperboy continues Youth Music Theatre UK and Lyric Theatre Belfast’s successful partnership.

For booking details visit Lyric Theatre Belfast Ticket Booking Link: https://lyrictheatre.co.uk/event/paperboy  and for details on Youth Music Theatre UK: http://www.youthmusictheatreuk.org

Belfast Author’s Los Angeles Book Tour

This week Belfast author, Tony Macaulay will be in Los Angeles for a series of book readings, signings and talks. Tony will be reading from his coming of age memoirs about growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the Troubles. He will also be speaking at various universities about his work in community based peacebuilding .

The main events are:

  • 11th February 2017: Afternoon Tea at Rancho Chiquita, Malibu, California (sold out)

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  • 12th February 2017: Mediators Beyond Borders, Los Angeles, California

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  • 13th February 2017: Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law,  Malibu, California
  • 14th February 2017: Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California
  • 15th February 2017: University of California, Irvine, California
  • 16th February 2017: California State University, Dominguez Hills, California

As part of the book tour Tony will be launching the new audiobook edition of his first book ‘Paperboy’.

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Author Tony brought to book in braille by Maghaberry prisoners

IMG_0295aPRISONERS at Maghaberry have reproduced in braille a trilogy of books by local author Tony Macaulay for Lisburn Library. Copies of ‘Paperboy’, ‘Breadboy’ and ‘All Growed Up’, which draw on the Belfast author’s experiences growing up in Northern Ireland, were each painstakingly translated into braille by a group of 10 prisoners. And earlier this week, 15 volumes of the specially compiled books were presented to Tony and Lisburn Library to make available to partially sighted and blind people throughout the province.

Mark Mooney, Instructor in the Braille unit at Maghaberry, revealed: “This is the first time we have reproduced anything by a Northern Ireland author. We’ve done Bibles in braille, children’s books, which we sent to Malawi, and even an Irish language text book, but this is quite a new venture. “It took about four months to complete all three of the books. It was a real team effort, but I know, individually, each of the guys involved got a lot out of it – an innovative rehabilitation project which allowed them all to give something back to the community.”

In his books, Author Tony Macaulay, who was raised at the top of the Shankill Road in West Belfast at the start of The Troubles, draws on his experiences growing up with stories which reflect a turbulent social history, with entertaining insights, wit and humour.

Speaking at the presentation of the braille books in Maghaberry, Tony said: “I am delighted to have my books translated into braille for two main reasons. Firstly, it means that blind and visually impaired readers can enjoy the books. Secondly, I believe the Braille Unit at Maghaberry is a brilliant example of prisoners contributing positively to our community.”

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Lisburn Library manager Diane McCready added: “Libraries NI is delighted to offer partially sighted and blind people in Lisburn and beyond the opportunity to enjoy this trilogy of books by renowned Belfast author Tony Macauley. “Tony’s books have proved very popular in our libraries and by offering this range of his books in braille, we are fulfilling our commitment to make our services accessible to customers, including those who are blind or partially sighted.”

The books can be borrowed from Lisburn City Library for free and can be requested through any public library in Northern Ireland.

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Belfast author presents Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards

Tony meets DoETony recently met HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at Hilsborough Castle when he was asked to present the Gold Awards to young people from Northern Ireland on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Tony congratulated the young people on their achievements and shared his experiences of voluntary youth work, the Duke of Edinburgh Award and writing with the award recipients and their parents.

In Tony’s speech he said: “I believe the most important trait today is to be resilient and your achievement today indicates you’re resilient young adults and that will continue into your lives. I think you will remember this day all your lives and I think you deserve to. Congratulations!”

Belfast author shares his stories with international students in Germany

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This weekend Belfast writer Tony Macaulay will be the guest speaker at a workshop for international students in Germany. The author of a series of bestselling memoirs of growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, will read from his books and discuss the role of storytelling in peacebuilding.

Tony will talk about his experiences as a writer and peacebuilder from Northern Ireland and support the students from around the world to consider storytelling as a tool of reconciliation in their home countries.

The workshop entitled ‘Stories in History and Culture’ is being organised by the STUBE Project of the Diakonie Mitteldeutschland in Halle, Germany. The Stube Project offers students from Africa, Asia and Latin America, who are studying in Germany, weekend seminars, workshops, field trips, summer schools, workshops and evening events on development-related topics and intercultural studies.

Tony says, ‘I’m delighted to have been invited to speak at this workshop on storytelling and peacebuilding. I’m really looking forward to visiting Halle and meeting the students from Africa, Asia and Latin America. I’m excited to support the students to write their own unique stories that can contribute to building peace in their home countries.’

Belfast writer Tony Macaulay honoured to be guest author at Milwaukee Irish Fest

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Belfast writer Tony Macaulay returns to the USA this weekend to appear as a guest author at Milwaukee Irish Fest. Tony will be signing copies of his books, ‘Paperboy’, ‘Breadboy’ and ‘All Growed Up’ which tell his story of growing up in Belfast during the Troubles.

Milwaukee Irish Fest is North America’s largest celebration of Irish music and culture. The four-day festival, which occurs every third weekend in August, showcases more than 100 entertainment acts on 16-stages and attracts more than 100,000 people. The 2015 festival takes place August 13-16. Tony will be appearing Literary Corner in the Cultural Village.

Tony Macaulay has enjoyed a series of successful book tours to the USA over the past 5 years. He has been a guest literary speaker at the Celtic Cultural Alliance, Lehigh University and DeSales University in Pennsylvania, University of Denver, Colorado and Notre Dame Bookstore and Goshen College Indiana. He has given book readings in book stores in New Jersey, Colorado, Upstate New York and Indiana.

Paperboy on sale in Barnes & Noble in Fifth Ave, New York

Paperboy on sale in Barnes & Noble in Fifth Ave, New York

In 2012 the W.B. Yeats Society of New York invited Tony to present a reading of Paperboy in the National Arts Club as part of the 1st Irish Festival.  In 2013 and 2014 he performed a series of readings from his books at the New York Irish Center.

Tony reading from 'All Growed Up' at the New York Irish Centre

Tony reading from ‘All Growed Up’ at the New York Irish Center

Commenting on this latest trip Tony says:

‘The interest in my books in the USA has been a surprise and a delight and I feel honoured to have been invited to be a guest author at Milwaukee Irish Fest.’

Paperboy returns to Corrymeela – Tony Macaulay at the Aperture Festival

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On Sunday 2nd August Northern Irish author Tony Macaulay will be appearing at the Aperture Festival as part of Corrymeela’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.  Tony will be reading from his books including a hilarious story from ‘Paperboy’ recounting his first visit to Corrymeela as a 12 year old boy.

Corrymeela is Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organisation. The reconciliation community began before “The Troubles” and continues on in Northern Ireland’s changing post–conflict society. The organisation grew organically from the original Community members, and today almost 40 full–time staff and dozens of volunteers work alongside the eleven thousand people every year who spend time in the residential centre on the North Coast of Northern Ireland.

Tony says, ‘I’m delighted to be a part of the Aperture Festival and the 50th anniversary celebrations at Corrymeela. I remember visiting Corrymeela with other children in the 1970s to get away from the tensions and violence in Belfast at that time. It was a place of safety and respite at the height of the Troubles and has led the way in peace and reconciliation for many years.’

Tony Macaulay interviews Pulitzer prize winning poet Paul Muldoon 

Tony Macaulay, the Belfast author of the ‘Paperboy’ trilogy, continues his series of interviews with Irish writers for NvTv, Belfast’s Community  Television station, with an interview with the Pullitzer prize winning poet, Paul Muldoon. Click here to watch the interview

Paul Muldoon’s first poetry collection, New Weather, was published in 1973, when he was just 20. At the time, Seamus Heaney taught Muldoon at Queen’s University Belfast, and called him “the most promising poet to appear in Ireland for years”.In the intervening decades, as Muldoon became one of the world’s most revered poets, Heaney remained his guide and champion. Muldoon’s 12th collection, his first since Heaney’s death in 2013, opens with Cuthbert and the Otters, a long, pain-flecked and glitteringly varied elegy to his mentor.Born in 1951 in Armagh, Muldoon has won the TS Eliot Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. He was the Oxford Professor of Poetry until 2004, is the current president of the Poetry Society and lives in the United States, where he is poetry editor of The New Yorker.

Tony says ‘It’s a privilege to meet Paul Muldoon and to discuss his writing. I’m enjoying interviewing different writers for ‘Novel Ideas’ in NvTv. I hope the programmes are making literature more accessible to people from all backgrounds in Belfast.’