With a new artistic director at the helm, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre has announced its 2019/2020 season of shows. Running between 6 September 2019 – 16 May 2020, the productions include a new version of a classic play, returns of award-winning shows and of course, their annual panto.
So what can you expect from this new season?
The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Headlining Rachel O’Riordan’s first season as artistic director is a revival of the award-winning play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which she will also direct.
Written by Martin McDonagh, (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; The Lieutenant of Inishmore) this darkly comic play is the story of Maureen Folan, a lonely woman in her early forties, and Mag, her manipulative ageing mother. Set in the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, the narrative centres on what happens when Mag interferes with Maureen’s first (and possibly last) chance of a romantic relationship, and the consequences of those actions.
A Doll’s House
06 September ‐ 05 October 2019
This will be a new, unique reimagining of the classic Ibsen play, A Doll’s House.
In this production, Nora becomes Niru (played by Anjana Vasan from Summer and Smoke), a young Bengali woman in a mixed-race marriage with an English colonial bureaucrat called Tom. While Tom loves his wife, he purely sees her as something to be admired, like a plaything. But Niru is hiding something from Tom, and just when she thinks she’s got away with it, her world comes crashing down around her, and she must choose between society’s expectations and who she wants to be.
The second show of the season to be directed by Rachel O’Riordan, this modern adaptation is told through the lens of British colonialism in 1870s Calcutta, offering a bold, female perspective exploring themes of ownership and race.
10 Oct ‐ 02 Nov 2019
Adapted from the cult science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem, Solaris is the story of three scientists on an orbiting space station, who come into contact with a new planet.
But when Kris Kelvin is sent from earth to investigate abnormal activity on board their space station, she finds one crew member dead, and two who are seeing unexplainable things. Soon Kris starts seeing strange things of her own, including her dead lover. Is the mysterious new planet doing this to her? Should she go back home? Or take the opportunity to turn back time?
A new play by David Greig, and directed by Matthew Lutton, this psychological thriller asks who we are when we’re forced to confront our deepest fears.
16 Nov 2019 ‐ 05 Jan 2020
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the annual Lyric Hammersmith panto, and this year they’re performing the panto classic, Cinderella.
Written by Jude Christian, directed by Tinuke Craig, and featuring the Lyric Ensemble, expect the usual Lyric twist on wicked stepmothers, ugly stepsisters, pumpkins, mice and more.
Love, Love, Love
05 Mar ‐ 04 Apr 2020
Rachel O’Riordan steps into the directing chair for the third time in the season, for Mike Bartlett’s award-winning play, Love, Love, Love.
The show follows Kenneth and Sandra’s romantic relationship together over a 40-year period, from their first meeting in 1967, the era of free love, to the beginning of the 21st Century.
Share their affection, paranoia, good times and bad, as they build a life together, settle down, have a family in a time of increasing national prosperity, and retire. But when the future seems better than the past, why hasn’t everything worked out in the way they’d hoped? And what happens when their children, who they think they’ve done everything for, believe their parents haven’t done enough?
In this story, a family clash over their personal politics in this funny and scathing look at the opposing values of two very different generations.
Sophocles’ Antigone: The Burial at Thebes
18 Apr ‐ 16 May 2020
Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night) directs a new production of Seamus Heaney’s translation of Sophocles’ Antigone: The Burial at Thebes.
The story is set after the war has ended, when Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, learns her brothers are dead after killing each other in battle on opposing sides. When Creon, King of Thebes, will only bury one of her brothers, Antigone and her sister must decide where their loyalties are, and which brother will be honoured with a burial.
This epic tale of humanity versus leadership centres on a young woman with the courage to defend her beliefs – whatever the cost.
This large-scale production will feature the Lyric Ensemble as the chorus parts in the show.
For the little ones, The Little Lyric Autumn Season, for audiences aged under 11 years, will include the return of Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas, regular Saturday performances and a production of Lost and Found, based on the popular book by Oliver Jeffers.
Speaking about her first season at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, new 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.”
In addition to these new shows, the Lyric Hammersmith will also be commissioning and producing works by female playwrights for the Lyric Main House and UK touring, with the first production in January 2020.
In order to make their new season as accessible as possible, 30,000 tickets will cost £15 or under, with 5000 of these being free tickets released through the Lyric’s community ticket schemes to people who live, work or go to school in Hammersmith and Fulham.
Continuing the Lyric’s commitment to reducing its impact on the environment, e-tickets are introduced for all Main House shows too.
Joining Rachel’s first season are a new Artistic Associates team made up of: Stuart Burt (Casting Director); Tinuke Craig (Director); Phillip McMahon (Playwright and Director); Nina Steiger (Dramaturg) and Simon Stephens (Playwright).
Priority booking for this new season for Lyric Friends and Supporters opens today, with public booking opening at 9am on Friday 24 May.