David Farr to leave Lyric Hammersmith
Story by Lizzie Guilfoyle
DAVID Farr, Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith for the past three years, is stepping down in order to become a fulltime Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The move will come early in 2009.
Rupert Goold and Roxana Silbert will also be joining the Stratford-based company though, unlike Farr, they will continue to work with their current companies – Headlong Theatre and Paines Plough.
Other recruits announced by the RSC’s Artistic Director, Michael Boyd, include playwright/director Anthony Neilson, who joins as Literary Associate, and actress Kathryn Hunter, who becomes an Artistic Associate.
Farr’s work at Hammersmith includes Metamorphosis, Ramayana, Angels in America, The Bacchae, the stage adaptation of Absolute Beginners, the current revival of Pinter’s The Birthday Party and David Rosenberg’s Hitchcock style thriller Contains Violence, which was performed in windows opposite the theatre with audiences using earphones and binoculars.
Speaking about his decision, Farr said: “I am deeply proud of my time at the Lyric. We have become a theatre renowned for taking risks with pioneering artists, creating high quality work and attracting big new audiences who would perhaps be put off by a more conventional theatre-going experience.
The theatre is blessed with a great Board, a great Chairman and in Jessica Hepburn one of the best Executive Directors in the country. I will miss their skill and passion very much. More than anything I will miss the remarkable commitment of the entire Lyric team. I have never felt such a shared sense of mission to make theatre genuinely modern, open and relevant. When in 2009 I leave for the RSC I am confident that that sense of mission will remain long into the future.”
While Boyd said of the new appointments: “The RSC is very fortunate that some of the most inspirational theatre-makers of their generation want to make the RSC their artistic home over the coming years and help to redefine ensemble theatre-making in this country.”