Year 12 pupils captivated with Blackout Drama


On Monday 21st October our Year 12 pupils attended Blackout, a theatre production written by Davey Anderson, about James, a young man with some very serious issues in his life.

Blackout is a performance produced by the Lyric Theatre in association with the Department of Justice, NI Prison Service, Probation Board NI, PSNI & Hydebank Wood College.

The Show’s director, Philip Crawford, explained how the show doesn’t aim to tell pupils what is right and wrong rather it challenges them to imagine if all the events dramatized happened to them- what would they do? He described his delight at seeing our pupils, “Actively engaged with the Lyric production to bring home a very hard- hitting message as they watch James spiral from a lonely and withdrawn teenager into a young man whose personal circumstances and reactions to adversity lead him into drugs and alcohol, resulting in charges of assault, arson and attempted murder. The play ends when James is sentenced to 3 years of probation rather than a 10- year Custodial Sentence. The ending is appropriately ambiguous and designed to initiate further discussion.”

This is the fifth year that the Lyric team have taken the show around NI schools; this month alone they have played to 44 audiences. The pupils watched a 25 Minute performance followed by a Q and A session with two young men with real life experience of custody and coping with life afterwards. The five actors in Blackout were Peter Heenan, Cillian Lenaghan, Kathy McGarry, David Paulin and Anna Warke.

The Dominican show allowed one of the actors, Anna Warke, the chance to return to her old school for the first time. Anna expressed her delight to be able to take part in today’s multi-media production. Since leaving Dominican Anna has completed a degree and graduated from the Arts Educational school, London. Prior to her involvement in Blackout, her professional stage debut, she played the characters of Snide and Lara in Torben Betts’ “It Never Happened”. She can also be seen in “A Slice of Life”, a short film by Michael Gilhooly.

Anna encouraged pupils to watch the video of what happened the night before James was arrested at and to find out the realities of life for a young offender in Hydebank at She explained how one of the key aims of the show was to encourage pupils to start to talk and to challenge young audiences with a strong anti- drugs and alcohol message.

Mrs Heaney, Our Head of Pastoral Care, spoke of her delight at securing the visit of The Lyric Theatre for the first time to Dominican College and she thanked the production team for complementing and reinforcing the school’s pastoral work. She hoped to be able to invite the company back to school and that support from our local council and local PCSP would enable more schools in our area to benefit from this production in future.