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Lyric Hammersmith and Digital Theatre+ announce a new pioneering digital partnership

The Company in rehearsal for The Seagull. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

Theatre news

THE Lyric Hammersmith and Digital Theatre+ have announced an innovative new partnership which will see the creative process of theatre-making brought vividly to life on film and widen access to the secrets of creativity – as leading practitioners reveal their craft through conversation, discussion, workshops and unique behind-the-scenes footage of life in one of the UK’s leading producing theatres.

The newly formed partnership between the Lyric Hammersmith and Digital Theatre+ is focused on the creation of new digital learning resources, which will be available to schools and students nationally and internationally through the DT+ education platform, and the promotion of creative education in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham where the Lyric is based.

In its first year, the partnership will encompass a range of initiatives, including the creation of a number of short digital films and documentaries that illuminate the life of a leading UK producing theatre. The first of these will focus on the making of The Seagull, the Lyric’s major new Autumn production, which opens on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 and will follow the creation of the show from the earliest days through to opening night.

The films will include interviews with theatre-makers and theatre staff from across the Lyric and highlight the Lyric’s extensive programmes for young people.

Over time, it is intended that Digital Theatre will also digitally capture a selection of Lyric Hammersmith productions. The films will be publicly available for a limited release through the Lyric’s website, following which they will be available to schools through the DT+ website as part of a new resource called ‘Lyric 360’ which will bring together these in-depth materials and resources to form a unique insight into a working theatre.

The partners will also create DT+ Studio, a series of filmed masterclasses in different areas of theatre practice, working with leading theatre artists and Young Lyric participants.

Schools in Hammersmith & Fulham will benefit from unique access to the new resources and Digital Theatre’s website. All local state secondary schools will have the opportunity to attend screenings of Digital Theatre films in the Lyric’s cinema accompanied by an insight talk from one of Digital Theatre’s film-makers. In addition, these schools will benefit from discounted access to Digital Theatre’s subscription services to support drama teaching for their students.

The Lyric will programme a number of Digital Theatre+ captured theatre productions on the Big Screen in Lyric Square as part of the HammersmithLondon Summer Festival, a free public festival that takes place each summer.

Digital Theatre + will also make use of the Lyric’s state of the art facilities, including its film studio, edit suite and cinema during the partnership and both partners are committed to working together to identify further opportunities to provide digital skills development for young people as part of the Lyric’s extensive Young Lyric programme and its work to provide pathways into creative careers for young people from all backgrounds.

Sian Alexander, Executive Director for the Lyric Hammersmith said: “This innovative new partnership combines the work of a leading UK producing theatre, the Lyric Hammersmith, with the digital expertise and reach of Digital Theatre to create a range of insightful new digital learning resources for young people and to enable a greater number of people to enjoy and access the Lyric’s work. We are excited for the potential of this creative collaboration which is enabled by the fantastic new facilities in our recently extended and refurbished building and we look forward to continuing to develop this partnership over a number of years.”

Fiona Lindsay, Digital Theatre’s Creative Producer added: “Our partnership with the Lyric Hammersmith will demonstrate how to maximize the potential of live work so that it has reach that extends beyond boundaries and constraints. Together, we will forge a global strategic creative, digital and cultural learning partnership that will ensure that students and teachers have access to content that motivates, inspires and that is relevant to them. We share the Lyric’s commitment to young people and emerging artists and will endeavor to harness their pioneering spirit with our digital expertise to develop a new form of digital cultural learning.

“Theatre has always been a fusion of the arts and technology. In the twenty-first century this can be truly transformative. With the accelerating role of broadcast theatre plus live performance in today’s creative and educational landscape, it is vital for arts organisations to initiate new ways of collaborating and this ambitious new partnership does that.”

Image: The Company in rehearsal for The Seagull. Photo by Tristram Kenton.