Everyone finds their place in McCafferty's Big Picture
After a long wait, audiences at the Waterfront Studio in Belfast are finally getting to see what all the fuss has been about.
Owen McCafferty, one of the most successful contemporary playwrights in Ireland, has picked up more awards for his work in recent years than many dramatists win in a lifetime.
His new works all premiere in London and fans of his writing here have often complained that we can only read about his latest successes, instead of seeing them.
Over recent months, however, the balance has been redressed. The Lyric Theatre has already staged a production of McCafferty's Days of Wine and Roses. And Prime Cut is currently performing Scenes from the Big Picture, with its cast of 21 and backdrop of Belfast.
The drama takes place during one day and one night in the city, as a street full of people set about their business.
There's the shopkeeper worrying about the next robbery on his premises, the drug-dealer's girlfriend cowering in the bedroom, the teenagers bragging and bumming on the street below.
Round the corner at the meat plant workers are waiting to be paid. The company secretary is also waiting - for her lost son to come home.
That afternoon there's a funeral, which attracts family and foe alike. When mourners adjourn to the pub, they might see the landlady ringing her lover. Down the road, a woman waits for her niece to deliver the baby she herself so longs for. Almost everyone you've ever met has their own small scene in this big picture.
McCafferty's sharp ear for dialogue and evident love of his home town creates a mural of hope and experience.
There are a few pointers as to where the story is set with a rich seam of sorrow running just under the surface.
As the pieces overlap, lives intertwine and untangle. Themes of loneliness and childlessness rise to the surface in this sea of emotion, which is as funny as it is heart-breaking.
It's as though McCafferty has taken a great big jigsaw of Belfast and chucked it in the air. The pieces fall haphazardly until - finally - the picture is complete.
It's a compelling evening of theatre, featuring some outstanding performances. And the good news is that it runs at the Waterfront until September 29.
There's a different kind of picture of a very different city on offer at the Grand Opera House, which is hosting the world premiere of Sam McCready's new drama, New York State of Mind.
Produced by Martin Lynch and starring Harry Towb, this story of ambition, exile and family chronicles the meteoric rise of Billy McIroy, a struggling Belfast actor who lands himself the lead role in a hit play on Broadway.
Leaving his wife behind, McIroy heads for the bright lights of the Big Apple, only to be faced with a dilemma - to pursue his dreams stateside, or return to Belfast, a city gripped by sectarian tension and senseless killings.
New York State of Mind runs in the Baby Grand until September 29.
Meanwhile, the main auditorium of the Opera House will be filled with a glittering array of stars next week, in Peter Hall's new production of Pygmalion.
When George Bernard Shaw wrote his best-known play, he sharpened his wit on the class divisions which split the country in two.
While there may not be as many flower-sellers today as there were in the days of Eliza Doolittle, there are plenty of others selling their wares on street corners who are looked down on by society.
Tim Piggott-Smith plays the professor in this sumptuous new production, opposite Michelle Dockery, the Cockney Eliza he plucks off the streets with the aim of transforming her into a duchess.
With a supporting cast, which includes Una Stubbs and Barry Stanton, the production promises to be one of the most entertaining of the season. Just you wait!