Belfast Telegraph

Theatre tribute paid to Soft Border Patrol actress Julie Maxwell Lewis

Caroline Curran with her co-star and co-writer Julie Maxwell Lewis, who died in August
Caroline Curran with her co-star and co-writer Julie Maxwell Lewis, who died in August

Comedy actress Caroline Curran has paid a special tribute to her best friend and writing partner Julie Maxwell Lewis, who died suddenly earlier this year.

The Soft Border Patrol actress (36) had been enjoying a night out with friends in the Sunflower pub on Union Street, Belfast when she fell unconscious.

Julie, from north Belfast, was transferred to hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.

The pair had finished an update of their annual Christmas show script six days before Julie’s tragic and untimely death in August.

It is the fifth year in a row that Caroline and Julie have written a comedy festive show for the theatre - and each Christmas season it is eagerly awaited by audiences.

In an effort to keep both Julie's memory and the tradition alive, Caroline arranged an emotional tribute to the actress.

Following a a special family and VIP showing of My Big Fat Belfast Christmas at Theatre at The Mill in Newtownabbey, a large video screen displayed photos from her life and her previous shows at the Theatre at The Mill, the Lyric Theatre and the Grand Opera House to the strains of The Corrs' evocative Queen of Hollywood.

Rhodri Lewis (top left), husband of Julie Maxwell Lewis, and her father Jim McCann (second top left) with the cast of My Big Fat Belfast Christmas: Caroline Curran, Matthew Sharpe, Bernadette Brown, Abby McGibbon, Jimmy Doran and director Finn Kennedy (bottom left).
Rhodri Lewis (top left), husband of Julie Maxwell Lewis, and her father Jim McCann (second top left) with the cast of My Big Fat Belfast Christmas: Caroline Curran, Matthew Sharpe, Bernadette Brown, Abby McGibbon, Jimmy Doran and director Finn Kennedy (bottom left).

In true theatrical tradition, the audience, which included Julie’s dad Jim McCann, husband Rhodri Lewis and gran Anne Byatt, gave a standing ovation following the montage.

Caroline, best known for her portrayal of the beloved Maggie Muff in the Fifty Shades of Red, White and Blue series, said: “I wanted the audience to see photos of different stages of her fantastic career and with friends and family including her wedding day.

"It was to show how amazing she was. I’d like to give a big thank-you to everyone who came last night. It was such an emotional night, and everyone was in it together.”

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