Lyric Hammersmith Theatre reopens for shows in January 2021
Today we have announced a season of work including projects in the community for Autumn 2020 and two one person shows presented to a socially distanced audience from early 2021, both on sale from today with all tickets £15-£23.
- The critically acclaimed Iphigenia in Splott written by Gary Owen, directed by Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan and starring Sophie Melville opens the Main House.
- Paterson Joseph makes his Lyric debut in Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, telling the extraordinary story of Charles Ignatius Sancho, the first Black person of African origin to vote in Britain.
- Work begins on the Lyric’s first community play Heart of Hammersmith, seeing the theatre work with young people from West London to create a new large-scale intergenerational production co-directed by Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan and resident Assistant Director Alex Hurst.
- Artistic Associates Tinuke Craig and Simon Stephens lead two new digital school projects with schools across Hammersmith & Fulham. One with primary schools on the climate emergency and one for secondary schools on identity and race.
- The Lyric’s Crowdfunder campaign continues to support the theatre in being able to reopen, currently at 57% towards the target of £50,000.
Artistic Director, Rachel O’Riordan said: “I am delighted that we can today announce shows for our audiences, returning to do what we do best, producing great work with great artists, in our beautiful theatre. Iphigenia in Splott and Sancho tell the stories of two vastly different people from very different times, circumstances and places. Both protagonists make life-changing choices. They both, within the structure of the society they live in, make extraordinary decisions. Sophie Melville and Paterson Joseph are two of the UK’s most exhilarating actors, and I am thrilled they are performing at the Lyric for the first time.
I am pleased to also be announcing the start of our first large-scale community production Heart of Hammersmith. The Lyric belongs to the people of Hammersmith, and we are here for them – this production will be led by a group of young people from West London, making space for them to tell their story with and about their community, in their theatre.”
Executive Director, Sian Alexander said: “I’m thrilled that after 10 long months of closure we will be able to welcome audiences back to the Lyric in the New Year. Ensuring the safety of our artists, audience and team is our number one priority and our new socially distanced seating and industry standard ‘See It Safely’ cleaning and Covid-safety measures mean that everyone can experience the joy of live theatre again at the Lyric. We have long been committed to ensuring access to world-class theatre for everyone and I’m delighted that all seats will be priced at just £15 or £23 this season. In 2021 we will celebrate 25 years of our Free First Night scheme, through which we’ve given over 100,000 free tickets to people who live or work in Hammersmith & Fulham. The Lyric is so many people’s local theatre, just a short walk away from home or work, and it seems fitting that our local community will be the first people through our doors to celebrate our reopening.
Throughout our closure we have continued our vital work with young people in our community ensuring creative opportunities for all and we are excited to launch two new projects in local schools focused on the key issues of our times.
The pandemic has had a devastating financial impact on our theatre, and we are only able to reopen the theatre because of the phenomenal and heart-warming support of our key stakeholders, trusts and individuals – and in particular our local community who are supporting our ongoing crowdfunder campaign with such warmth and passion. We are so grateful to