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LYRIC HAMMERSMITH THEATRE ANNOUNCES RACHEL O’RIORDAN’S FIRST SEASON AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre today announces its 2019/2020 programme of work, Rachel O’Riordan’s inaugural season as Artistic Director:

  • A Doll’s HouseA new version of Ibsen’s play by Tanika Gupta and directed by Rachel O’Riordan – her first show as the Lyric’s Artistic Director, with Niru – Nora in the original– played by Anjana Vasan (Summer and Smoke).
  • Solaris: co-produced with Malthouse Theatre Melbourne and The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburghthe Lyric presents a new play by David Greig, adapted from the cult science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem.
  • Cinderella: Panto returns for 2019, written by Jude Christian and directed by Tinuke Craig. Featuring the Lyric Ensemble.
  • Love, Love, Love: Rachel O’Riordan directs Mike Bartlett’s award-winning play.
  • Sophocles’ Antigone: The Burial at ThebesRoy Alexander Weise (Nine Night) directs a new production of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney’s translation. The Chorus will be played by the Lyric Ensemble.
  • The Beauty Queen of Leenane: Headlining the Autumn 2020 season, Rachel O’Riordan directs Martin McDonagh’s darkly comic play.
  • In collaboration with Headlong, the Lyric announces a long-term aspiration to commission and produce work of scale by women playwrights for the Lyric Main House and UK touring, with the first production in January 2020.
  • The Lyric announces new Artistic Associates team: Stuart Burt (Casting Director); Tinuke Craig (Director); Phillip McMahon (Playwright and Director); Nina Steiger (Dramaturg) and Simon Stephens (Playwright).
  • 30,000 tickets in the season are £15 or under, with 5000 of these completely through the Lyric’s community ticket schemes such as Free First Night.
  • Continuing the Lyric’s commitment to reducing its impact on the environment, e-tickets are introduced for all Main House shows.
  • The Little Lyric Autumn Season, for audiences aged under 11 years, is announced, including the return of Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas, along with the new sponsor of Little Lyric shows and classes, The Collective.
  • The Lyric continues its commitment to nurturing the next generation of artists with the Lyric Ensemble and Evolution Festival.
  • Priority booking for Lyric Friends and Supporters opens today, 21 May 2019, with public booking opening at 9am on Friday 24 May.

Speaking about her first season at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan said:

I’m delighted to be announcing my inaugural season as Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre. I am very proud to be here. We have a stunning 590 seat Frank Matcham designed Main House and will produce plays that celebrate our unique theatre in the heart of Hammersmith. Today we announce seven new productions by exceptional playwrights including reimagined classics, contemporary plays and bold new work; these plays are as dynamic and varied as our audience.

My first play as director is a bold new version of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House by the award-winning West-London born Tanika Gupta. Tanika sets the play in Calcutta, 1879, using the themes of the play to explore British colonialism, in a radical reframing of this classic text. Playing the lead role of Niru, Nora in the original, will be Anjana Vasan, who was compelling in Summer and Smoke. I’m really looking forward to working with her, Tanika, and designer Lily Arnold, to bring a new perspective to this iconic play. An element of my vision for the Lyric is rooted in reimagining classic texts; putting the interpretation of them in the hands of artists (writers and directors) whose voice brings new perspective.