Sell Out Shows & Excellent Reviews for Paperboy

Paperboy StageThe Paperboy musical has premiered in the Lyric Theatre in Belfast to sell out shows and excellent reviews. Here’s what they said:

‘West End transfer shouldn’t be out of the question for Paperboy’ (Irish News)

‘A lot of plays have been written from the perspective of different sides of the conflict. Few adequately explore people who chose to walk the middle line, discovering and questioning all traditions.’ (Alan in Belfast)

‘Sam Gibson as Paperboy Tony is a revelation. Amazing stage presence, terrific voice – he’s the real deal. Like any good paperboy, he delivers.’ Belfast Telegraph

“Charming and imaginative’ (The Stage)

‘The most moving scene was when the protestant and catholic women embraced each other during the Peace Walk holding white paper doves and standing together. I remember it well and I suddenly realised it hadn’t all been in vain.’ (Anne Hailes in the Belfast Times)

‘There is a line a minute to bring a smile to your face.’ (Culture Hub Magazine)

“Paperboy” Youth MusicTheatre UK, Lyris Theatre Belfast 26.7.18

Paperboy was produced and commissioned by Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT) and presented in association with Lyric Theatre Belfast. It was adapted from Tony Macaulay’s internationally acclaimed memoir, Paperboy which 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,  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 worked closely with a talent youth cast to develop a feel for the era.

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

AGU Launch

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.’

That’s a Wrap!

Tony’s Fall U.S. book tour concluded on Tuesday evening with a reading of “All Growed Up” at the New York Irish Center. Thanks to all who came out along the tour!

Tony will be back in the U.S. next spring, so if you missed him this time, be sure to check back for future tour dates.

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Clockwise from left: Tony with Craig Atwood of the Moravian Seminary, Tony reading from ‘All Growed Up’ at the NYIC, Tony signs a copy of ‘Breadboy’ for a reader at Donegal Square.