The Lyric Hammersmith’s Secret Theatre season will be given a fittingly unique grand finale next month when the company performs every show that has played as part of the project over the past two years in just one weekend.
The final two weeks of the innovative and often controversial project will begin on 12 February with the premiere of the final seventh show in its repertoire, Joel Horwood’s A Stab In The Dark.
Described as a “classic British farce set in Afghanistan”, Horwood’s play will run for a fortnight alongside a line-up of free events, discussions and masterclasses to complement the production.
The experimental season will then present its ambitious grand finale weekend on 28 February and 1 March, in which all seven productions produced by the Secret Theatre Company – from a new thriller by acclaimed playwright Mark Ravenhill to an original take on Tennesee Williams’ classic A Streetcar Named Desire – will play for the final time.
Secret Theatre was conceived by the Lyric Hammersmith’s Artistic Director Sean Holmes in 2013 as a way to both keep the theatre active during a major refurbishment, and as a way of challenging how theatre is created and presented by a repertory theatre company.
More than 20 actors, writers, designers, dramaturgs and directors have collaborated on the project and together have challenged theatregoers with the resulting set of six – soon to be seven – provocative productions that have both reinvented classic texts and pushed the boundaries of new writing.
Speaking about the success of Secret Theatre and its artistic outcomes, Holmes commented: “When we launched Secret Theatre I said: I’ve realised how much I’ve hidden behind the literal demands of the text and avoided the really difficult questions about representations of gender and race and disability. Secret Theatre is an attempt to challenge every aspect of how we make work at the Lyric, building new structures that could lead to a new type of theatre.”
It is only now at the end of an extraordinary two years that I’ve discovered the central purpose of Secret Theatre. To show how the true potential of actors both individually and collectively can be released by the creation of a committed ensemble.”
For full listings of the grand finale weekend visit the Lyric Hammersmith’s website. Following the conclusion of Holmes’ Secret Theatre, the director will reopen the theatre’s Main House following its refurbishment with a revival of the iconic musical Bugsy Malone.