Hollywood star Liam Neeson has begged politicians to save one of Belfast, Ireland's oldest theatres.

The Gangs of New York actor, 52, is imploring local councilors to keep the Group Theatre open, arguing such organisations are the "lifeblood of any community".

Neeson has reportedly written in an email, "I grew up hearing about the Group Theatre.

"Theatre has the capacity to touch our lives in extraordinary ways and for over 70 years the Group has been an indispensable part of Northern Ireland's cultural life, inspiring, engaging and entertaining.

"I implore you to keep the Group open and help it prosper. We must nurture these theatres, I believe they are the lifeblood of any community."

30/09/2004 09:24