Skip to content

Lyric life

Just Announced: June reopening with triple bill of new plays

We’re delighted to announce that we will be reopening in June with the world premiere of Out West, a triple bill production of plays by Tanika Gupta, Simon Stephens and Roy Williams and co-directed by our Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan and Diane Page.

The plays explore themes of race, identity, place and purpose and bring together an exciting creative team with Set and Costume Design by Soutra Gilmour, Lighting Design by Jessica Hung Han Yun and Composition and Sound Design by Simon Slater.

Out West will run from from 18 June to 24 July and will operate with socially distanced seating. Tickets are on sale now here. Out West will also be available for online streaming from 12 to 17 July. Keep an eye out for casting details which will be announced soon.

Rachel O’Riordan said: “Out West is the production that reopens our doors after the enforced closure due to the pandemic. The three writers, Tanika Gupta, Simon Stephens and Roy Williams, are some of the most exciting voices in British theatre and I am so proud that they are sharing our stage and bringing the Lyric back to life. All three plays speak to our current moment; questions of race, geography, identity, belonging and hope run through all three. Theatre has the power to move, to challenge and to entertain. It is also the medium through which, for centuries, human beings have attempted to understand each other and the world around us. I cannot think of a more necessary moment for theatre than now. I look forward, with co-director Diane Page, to sharing Out West with you. We are back. We are here.”

Diane Page said: Out West explores what it really means to belong in a shifting world. At a time when we have had cause to reflect on and analyse our values, beliefs and ideals – sometimes in uncomfortable and revealing conversations – each of these incredible plays proves to be ever more poignant.”

 The Overseas Student by Tanika Gupta.

London. 1888. 18-year old Mohandas K Gandhi is sent to the UK from India to study Law.  He must navigate a time of uncertainty, growth and opportunity as he builds a new life far from his home and family. In Gupta’s sharp, witty, political play we see a teenage Ghandi struggle against class and imperialism yet delight in the joys of money, food and women as he attempts to fit into English society. A unique insight into the experiences which will go on to shape the moral and political beliefs of one of the most significant figures in history.

Tanika Gupta’s critically acclaimed adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House set in Colonial Calcutta, launched Rachel O’Riordan’s acclaimed first season as Artistic Director of the Lyric. Tanika has written over 20 stage plays that have been produced to critical acclaim in major theatres across the UK.

Blue water and cold and fresh by Simon Stephens

London, 2020. We follow one man’s journey as he is forced to confront his late father’s racism and his own white privilege. In the wake of city lockdown living and Black Lives Matter protests, as he explores the places his father once lived, his mourning is filled with difficult truths. Simon Stephens’ latest play is a heartfelt exploration that questions what it means to be a father, husband and son.

Simon Stephens is an Artistic Associate of the Lyric and multi-award winning playwright. His many plays for the Lyric and other leading theatres include Punk RockThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThree Kingdoms and Sea Wall.

Go, Girl by Roy Williams

London, 2020. Once the schoolgirl chosen to sing for the First Lady Michelle Obama, Donna is now a security guard patrolling the grounds of Westfield shopping centre. The hope and excitement she once felt has now become isolation and judgement of the choices she has made. Yet when Donna and her teenage daughter find themselves in a situation that tests their bravery and humanity, she realises just how truly remarkable they are. Roy Williams’ new play holds a lens up to female resilience and celebrates Black women and everyday heroism in the face of adversity.

Roy Williams is one of the UK’s leading dramatists. His most recent stage play Death of England: Delroy with Clint Dyer reopened the National Theatre. In 2020, he received an RTS nomination for Best Writer for Drama and BAFTA nomination for best short form Drama, both for Soon Gone, A Windrush Chronicle.

Alongside our production of Out West, West London writer and poet Zia Ahmed will lead a playwriting partnership to create new stories that are rooted in West London with students across six secondary schools in Hammersmith & Fulham. A selection of work will be filmed and presented in our Cinema, running in parallel with Out West during the summer.