Leftfield theatre remains at the heart of this striking Hammersmith arts hub
Emerging in 2015 from a multimillion pound makeover, the Lyric Hammersmith is less a simple theatre, more a multipurpose community hub that includes everything from recording studios to digital development rooms.
But plays remain at the heart of it all, thanks to the singular artistic directorship of Sean Holmes, who has turned the Lyric Hammersmith into a venue both avant-garde and accessible, marking it with his own, very European directorial style. He's leaving in 2019, to be replaced by incoming artistic director Rachel O'Riordan, who's had an impressive run of success at the helm of Cardiff's Sherman Theatre.
Exploring the Lyric's interior is a play of two halves; the front of house areas are all shiny concrete-floored modernity. But step inside the theatre's auditorium and you're suddenly transported into a carefully preserved 1895 Frank Matcham-designed roccoco interior of rare splendour, complete with an unusual, curved proscenium arch. That's because when the original Lyric Theatre was demolished in 1969, its auditorium was painstakingly removed and carefully preserved in a new theatre down the road, which opened in 1979, before being thoroughly revamped and expanded in the 21st century.
The Lyric Hammersmith's tickets are cheaply priced, with many major shows staging a free preview for local residents. It's never fuller than at panto season, when the auditorium is packed out with families, and its regular Little Lyric strand of programming lures in kids during the school holidays.
It's also arguably one of the best spots in central Hammersmith to grab a pint and a bite to eat, not least on its first floor roof terrace, which is a green and pleasant oasis in the middle of gritty W6.
|Venue name:||Lyric Hammersmith|
Lyric Square, King St
|Opening hours:||Check website for show times|
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‘Ghost Stories’ review
Having seen ‘Ghost Stories’ during its West End run, I happily agreed to watch it again as it returns to its original home of Hammersmith. If you’ve got a friend whose head you’d really like to fuck with, and you know what’s coming, it’s worth the journey...Drama Until Saturday May 18 2019
Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs)
This review is from December 2015. ‘Dead Dog in a Suitcase’ returns for 2019. A new review will follow in May. Nope, National Theatre smash ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ doesn’t have a monopoly on decomposing family pets. Kneehigh’s...Musicals Tuesday May 21 2019 - Saturday June 15 2019
In what appears to be a bit of a bridging production between Sean Holmes’s final season at the Lyric Hammersmith and Rachel O'Riordon’s first, Jeremy Herrin will direct a revival of Michael Frayn’s deathlessly brilliant backstage comedy about a group...Comedy Thursday June 27 2019 - Saturday July 27 2019
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
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Seen some fantastic shows here. They're not afraid to take chances with off-beat and quirky productions. A local gem.
I was a local of Hammersmith for some years and over the years had cause to visit this Theatre and roof terrace quite a few times. As has been said the childrens activities are varied and numerous. The roof terrace itself, when I lived there in the 80s and 90s was a laid back place where it was nice to go after a hectic shop on the High Street, and just relax for a few moments! I liked it because it was unpretentious and though you were still in central Hammersmith there was a little peace and quiet and its quite large so you can have some privacy!!
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