The Lyric Hammersmith has today announced plans to refurbish the theatre’s 550 seat Victorian auditorium, which has not been fully refurbished since 1979, and to modernise its Studio theatre.
The theatre’s Main House auditorium will temporarily close after upcoming production Fatherland concludes its run on 23 June. It will subsequently reopen on 5 October with the Lyric and HOME co-production, o t h e l l o m a c b e t h.
The Lyric last reopened after redevelopment in April 2015, following a highly successful multi-million pound transformation extension to the west of the main building, the Reuben Foundation Wing. The refurbishment did not, however, include the Lyric’s two performance spaces, which now require work to maintain safety, improve accessibility and audience comfort, and preserve the heritage of the Main House auditorium.
In addition, it is hoped that a number of smaller investments will improve the Lyric’s sustainability through reducing energy use, as well as enable additional commercial income generation going forwards. Seats in the stalls will also be made fully removable, to increase the number of possible access locations.
The Studio will receive a modernisation for the first time since its initial build in 1979, including installation of a higher capacity retractable seating stand; rewiring; installation of new lighting fixtures; repairs; redecoration and remodelling.
The project is estimated to cost a total of £780,000, which has been part funded by Arts Council England, Foyle Foundation, SUEZ Communities Trust, The Wolfson Foundation and the Lyric Hammersmith’s own contribution.
Sian Alexander, Executive Director at the Lyric said, “The Lyric plays a key role in the cultural and educational landscape of West London and beyond. The refurbishment of our performance spaces… is part of our long-term plan to renew the Lyric for future generations.”