Centre Stage has been presenting professional theatre in Ulster since 1986. Its stated policy is to present annually at least one of the major plays from the much neglected period when the energy in Irish Theatre came from the North. The Ulster Premiere of Joseph Tomelty's controversial play The End House, written in 1943 in response to the Special Powers Act, has contrasted with the later production of Tomelty's classic Orange/Green comedy Right Again Barnum, which was the Belfast box office hit of 1996; and Sam Thompson's The Evangelist and Jack Loudan's Henry Joy McCracken further typify the scale and style of the productions the Company undertakes.
The Company's wider brief is to celebrate the work of playwrights not often seen in Ulster, hence Noël Coward'sSuite in Three Keys, (his final 'swansong' play), and his Fallen Angels (for his centennial anniversary) and Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers (recently revived for a smash hit tour), both staged in the converted Edinburgh Suite of the Europa Hotel during the Belfast Festival at Queen's. Other productions have ranged from St Patrick's Day by Sheridan to Kennedy's Children by Robert Patrick and E.G.B.D.F. by Tom Stoppard, and most recently the company presented the premiere of Harry Bartons's A Couple for Kipling on tour and in Belfast at the Golden Thread Theatre.
Centre Stage also tours an annual Christmas Show thoughout the Province - it performed Roma Tomelty's The Snow Queen last year, and this year's show is her adaptation of that well-loved fairy-tale Little Red Riding Hood. The company works to commission for organisations such as the National Trust and The Ulster Museum, and provides workshops for the Community Relations in Schools group. The company has performed in The Republic of Ireland, London, Brussels, and at the Edinburgh Festival.