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Lyric Hammersmith announces refurbishment of Main House auditorium and Studio

Lyric Hammersmith

Theatre news

THE Lyric Hammersmith has 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 Fatherland on June 23, 2018 and reopen on October 5, 2018 with the Lyric and HOME co-production, o t h e l l o m a c b e t h.

The Lyric reopened in April 2015 following a highly successful multi-million pound redevelopment that added a major new extension to the west of the main building, the Reuben Foundation Wing, and refurbished the foyer spaces. The refurbishment in 2015 did not include the Lyric’s two performance spaces, which now require work to maintain safety; improve accessibility, audience comfort and experience; and preserve the heritage of the Frank Matcham designed Main House auditorium.

In addition, as the Lyric’s new business model evolves and mindful of the static funding environment, the Lyric has identified a number of smaller investments that will improve organisational sustainability through reducing energy use, maintaining technical standards in support of artistic excellence and enabling additional and essential commercial income generation going forward.

The Main House auditorium refurbishment will include plasterwork and ceiling repairs, and redecoration; replacement of seats with like for like (fully removable in the stalls to increase the number and vary the locations of access positions); replacement of carpets and book rail; new and upgraded lighting positions; new access doors with swipe-card security; and general redecoration.

The Studio will receive a modernisation and complete rewiring for the first time since its initial build in 1979, including installation of a higher capacity retractable seating stand to enable more flexible and intensive use of the space; installation of a low energy lighting grid and fixtures; repairs to floor and redecoration; installation of swipe-card security and remodelling of the existing entrance to add profile to the studio programme.

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. The Lyric are also launching a Name a Seat appeal which offers patrons the opportunity to have their own name on a seat plaque for a donation of £1,000 in the Main House or £500 in The Studio.

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 a strategic investment in the Lyric’s infrastructure looking after the building’s extraordinary heritage, giving our audiences a first class experience and bringing our technical capabilities into the 21st century. It is part of our long-term plan to renew the Lyric for future generations.”

Also at the Lyric Hammersmith: Sean Holmes’ dynamic re-imagining of Sean O’Casey’s revolutionary masterpiece The Plough and the Stars (until April 7) and the Lyric Hammersmith and Filter’s critically acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream ( April 13 and 14, 2018).