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Rachel O’Riordan appointed the Lyric Hammersmith's new Artistic Director

Rachel O’Riordan. Photo credit: David Tett.

Theatre news

LISA Burger, Chair of the Lyric Hammersmith and Sian Alexander, Executive Director of the Lyric Hammersmith have announced the appointment of Rachel O’Riordan as the theatre’s new Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive.

Rachel O’Riordan has been the Artistic Director and CEO of Sherman Theatre since February 2014. During her tenure the theatre has been transformed into a vibrant, exciting and influential producing theatre, winning The Stage Awards’ prestigious Regional Theatre of the Year category in 2018. She was previously the Artistic Director of Perth Theatre Scotland and Ransom Theatre Company in Northern Ireland.

An award-winning director, her recent directing credits include The Cherry Orchard for Sherman Theatre and Come on Home at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

O’Riordan will join Sian Alexander, the Lyric’s Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive since October 2015, to co-lead the theatre.

Rachel O’Riordan said: “The Lyric Hammersmith is one of the most exciting theatres in London. It occupies a special place in the theatre ecology; egalitarian, open and bold. I am looking forward to continuing the theatre’s journey and leading a new phase of artistic evolution, working alongside Sian Alexander and the Lyric team. I am honoured to have been chosen to succeed Sean Holmes, and look forward to getting to know new audiences in West London and beyond.”

Lisa Burger said: “I’m thrilled that Rachel will be joining the Lyric as our new artistic director. I’m a great admirer of her work at the Sherman in Cardiff and look forward to her bringing her passion for theatre and commitment to excellence, generosity and ambition to Hammersmith.”

Sian Alexander said: “I am very much looking forward to working with Rachel. She brings with her a wealth of brilliant experience as a leader and a director. She is an inspiring creative producer. She shares our values and passion for developing talent, creating opportunities for young people and working to ensure the theatre is at the heart of its local community. I’m hugely excited for the future of the Lyric under our joint leadership.”

Current Artistic Director Sean Holmes will step down as Artistic Director in October 2018. His final season of programmed shows begins in January 2019. Rachel O’Riordan will join the Lyric Hammersmith in early February 2019, with her first full season as Artistic Director opening Autumn 2019.

Image: Rachel O’Riordan. Photo credit: David Tett.