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Kenneth Branagh stars in Lyric Belfast’s reopening season

Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon are to star in the reopening season at the Lyric Theatre Belfast in new comedy The Painkiller.

The play, which is by Francis Veber in a new adaptation by Sean Foley, will be produced by Branagh and Foley and will open on September 29, 2011. It is one of the highlights of the Lyric’s first season its new £18.1 million home.

Branagh and Foley first collaborated in 2001, with Hamish McColl, when their production of The Play What I Wrote won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy after its West End run.

Branagh said: “The Painkiller is a remarkable play. Sean Foley, the director, is a fantastic talent, familiar to Belfast audiences. When he showed me his modern adaptation of Francis Veber’s farce, I knew I wanted to be involved. It’s also a particular thrill to partner on stage with the brilliant Rob Brydon.

“I was lucky enough to begin my career with Graham Reid’s ‘Billy’ ,in my home town of Belfast, exactly 30 years ago. I feel equally lucky to be back, and at the Lyric.”