Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith)

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Lyric Theatre
The lyric hammersmith.jpg
Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, 2009
Location Hammersmith
London, W6
United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°29′35″N 0°13′35″W / 51.49306°N 0.22639°W / 51.49306; -0.22639
Public transit London Underground Hammersmith (District/Piccadilly)
London Underground Hammersmith (Circle/Hammersmith & City)
Owner Lyric Theatre Hammersmith Ltd
Capacity 550 (main house)
110 (studio)
Opened 1895; 122 years ago (1895)
Rebuilt 1979
Architect Frank Matcham (original)

The Lyric Theatre, also known as the Lyric Hammersmith, is a theatre in King Street, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, which takes pride in its original, "groundbreaking" productions.[1]

The Lyric Theatre was originally a music hall established in 1888 on Bradmore Grove, Hammersmith. Success as an entertainment venue led it to be rebuilt and enlarged on the same site twice, firstly in 1890 and then in 1895 by the English theatrical architect Frank Matcham. The 1895 re-opening, as The New Lyric Opera House, was accompanied by an opening address by the famous actress Lillie Langtry.[2]In 1966 the theatre was due to be closed and demolished. However, a successful campaign to save it led to the auditorium being dismantled and re-installed piece by piece within a modern shell on its current site on King Street a short distance from the former Bradmore Grove location. The relocated theatre opened in 1979.[3]

It has two main performance areas: the Main House, a 550-seat 19th-century auditorium maintaining the original design which hosts its main productions; and the 120-seat Studio, which houses smaller productions by up-and-coming companies. The Lyric also presents frequent Lyric Children and Lyric Music performances as well as Sunday Night Comedy.[1]

Its current artistic director is Sean Holmes, and its executive director is Sian Alexander.[4]

The Lyric has recently gone through a major re-development project, with new facilities for young people and the local community completed in 2015, designed by Rick Mather Architects[5] and was nominated in the 'community benefit' and 'tourism and leisure' categories at the RICS Awards 2016, London.[6]

In 2011, the Lyric won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for Sean Holmes' production of Sarah Kane's Blasted.[7]

Five strands[edit]

The Lyric’s programme is divided into five strands:

  • Main House
  • Studio
  • Music & Comedy
  • Lyric Children
  • Lyric Young Company[1]

Production history[edit]

(Source: the Lyric official website[8])

Artistic directors of the Lyric Hammersmith[edit]

Name Period
... ...
Neil Bartlett 1994–2004[9]
David Farr 2005–2008[10]
Sean Holmes 2009–present[4]


  1. ^ a b c "About the Lyric", Lyric official website, accessed 9 May 2008.
  2. ^ The Era classified ads July 13th 1895 online accessed 27 Feb 2017
  3. ^ John Earl, "Presidential Address: The Crest of a Wave", Frank Matcham Society Magazine, n.d., accessed 19 January 2011.
  4. ^ a b "About the Lyric: Our Staff", Lyric official website, accessed 19 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Capital Development", Lyric official website, accessed 20 January 2014.
  6. ^ Surveyors, Royal Institution of Chartered. "RICS Awards, London". Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  8. ^ "Lyric website", Lyric official website, accessed 19 January 2011.
  9. ^ Taylor, Paul (26 January 2002). "Neil Bartlett - The Independent". London. 
  10. ^ Christiansen, Rupert (13 November 2002). "Innovator ready for a fight - Telegraph". London: Retrieved 28 January 2011. 

External links[edit]