The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre is delighted to announce its 2022 Season, bringing together a brand new festival celebrating Black excellence and culture, the debut play by new writer Sian Carter in a new partnership with Talawa Theatre Company directed by Michael Buffong, a Mike Bartlett world premiere directed by Rachel O’Riordan, a major London revival of Patrick Marber’s Closer directed by Clare Lizzimore, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s adaptation of Britannicus directed by Atri Banerjee, a radical modern retelling of Hedda Gabler by Roy Williams directed by Ola Ince, and Amici Dance Theatre Company’s 40th anniversary production One World: Wealth of the Common People.
Combining re-lensed classics and cutting-edge contemporary work, the Lyric 2022 season presents exceptional plays examining power, love and loyalty, looking deeper into the themes that permeate today’s society. Tickets go on sale today at www.lyric.co.uk
Rachel O’Riordan, Artistic Director of Lyric Hammersmith Theatre said: “We are so proud and excited to be able to share this season with our audience. This past 18 months has been tough for our industry; theatre has felt vulnerable, as has our society. We are in a period of change and of shift; and at times like this, theatre is vital. The season we shared with you in 2019, my first season as Artistic Director of the Lyric, demonstrated our ambition and our passion. This current season builds on that and also responds to where we are now. The writers and directors whose work will be shared with you in our beautiful auditorium are bold, thrilling, artists. We look forward to welcoming the wider creative teams, actors and audiences to the Lyric, at the heart of West London. It is good to be back.”
For the Culture: Celebrations of Blackness
A festival honouring Blackness through art, performance, conversation, love, and joy
Curated by Dr Peggy Brunache, Tinuke Craig and Nicholai La Barrie
January 2022 (Full dates announced soon)
For the Culture: Celebrations of Blackness is a brand new festival celebrating Black joy, talent, culture and creativity, led and curated by Dr Peggy Brunache, Lecturer in the History of Atlantic Slavery & Director of the Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies at University of Glasgow, Tinuke Craig, Lyric Artistic Associate and Nicholai La Barrie, Lyric Associate Director.
Over the course of three days in January 2022, the Lyric will host a programme of events and performances, which celebrate Black culture, identity and history. The full programme will be announced soon, including theatre performances, music, readings, discussions, talks, films, food, art, beauty and much more.
Dr Peggy Brunache is a lecturer in the history of Atlantic slavery at the University of Glasgow and the first Director of the newly established Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies. Born in Miami to Haitian parents, she trained and worked as a historical archaeologist with a focus on plantation studies, the African diaspora and the transatlantic slave trade, working on archaeological projects in Benin, West Africa, Guadeloupe, and various sites in the United States. She developed a free four-week ongoing online course on British Slavery in the Caribbean with Futurelearn.com, of October 2020. Other projects include working with food, music and science festivals. Food is also central to Peggy's life and work. She acts as culinary consultant for Perth’s Southern Fried music festival. Her media appearances include the US’s Food Network, BBC TV's Black and British documentary series and she is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Scotland’s programmes.
Tinuke Craig trained as a director at LAMDA. She was the Gate’s Associate Director 2015-2016 and in 2014 received the Genesis Future Director Award. She is an Artistic Associate at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, and an Associate of the National Youth Theatre. Upcoming productions include: Jitney (Leeds Playhouse). Previous directing credits include: Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith Theatre), Last Easter (Orange Tree Theatre), Crave, Random/Generations (Chichester Festival Theatre), Vassa (Almeida Theatre), The Color Purple (Leicester Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome), I Call My Brothers (Gate Theatre) Dirty Butterfly (Young Vic).
Nicholai La Barrie is a theatre and film director and has been a MOBO Fellow. His work in theatre includes: Resident Director (Tina -The Tina Turner Musical), Statements After An Arrest Under The Immorality Act (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Grey (Oval House), Liar Heretic Thief (Lyric Hammersmith Theatre), White (Edinburgh Festival), Gob (London International Festival of Theatre), The Book of Disquiet ( Blue Elephant Theatre), I’ll Take You There (Gate), There is Nothing There (Oval House), Chet Baker: Speedball (606 Jazz Club) Portrait For Posterity (Arcola Theatre). Film Credits Include: Hamlet Sort Of (2017), North East South West (Short Film 2016), Aingeal (2012), Dark Stranger (2009 Official selection Caribbean film festival). Dramaturge credits include: Heart of Hammersmith, Feels, The mob reformers (Lyric Hammersmith Theatre).
Running with Lions
A co-production with Talawa Theatre Company.
Written by Sian Carter, Directed by Michael Buffong
Thursday 10 February – Saturday 12 March 2022
Press Night: Tuesday 15 February, 7pm
The Lyric joins forces with Talawa Theatre Company for the first time with Running with Lions, an intergenerational family drama and the debut play from exciting new writing talent Sian Carter, directed by Talawa’s Artistic Director Michael Buffong (A Kind of People, Guys & Dolls, King Lear, All My Sons), in a co-production with Talawa Theatre Company, the UK’s outstanding Black British Theatre Company. Running on the Lyric’s main stage from 10 February – 12 March 2022.
Joshy is gone. No badda bawl an disappear, yuh cyaan bring him back.
Following the death of a loved one, a British-Caribbean family struggles to come to terms with their grief. Isolated by their generational beliefs and challenges to their faith and mental health, they live between the things they do and do not say. Running with Lions explores the journey of one family’s reconciliation after loss and the rediscovery of love and joy.
Sian Carter trained as a playwright with Soho Theatre Writers’ Lab and the Royal Court Playwriting Group and is an Alumna of the Almasi League of Writers. Her work was shortlisted for the 2020 BBC Studios Writers‘ Academy. As an Assistant Director her credits include Human Animals (Royal Court), Fiddler on the Roof (Chichester Festival Theatre), King Lear (Chichester Festival Theatre), Quiz (Noel Coward Theatre, West End). In 2021 her audio drama Running with Lions, co-produced by Talawa Theatre Company and Feral Inc. aired on BBC Radio 4.
Michael Buffong is the Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company. He has previously directed Private Lives, All the Ordinary Angels, Six Degrees of Separation, On My Birthday and the multi-award winning A Raisin in the Sun for the Royal Exchange Theatre. Most recently he has directed A Kind of People (Royal Court), Guys & Dolls, King Lear, and All My Sons (Talawa Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Theatre). Film and television credits include: Tales From The Front Line (Talawa), Holby City, EastEnders, Admin, Placebo, Calais Rules, Doctors, Casualty, Comedy Shuffle, Hollyoaks, Feeling It, Blazed and Simple!.
Talawa Theatre Company is the most prominent Black theatre company in the UK. They have established a track record of producing work which shines a spotlight on Black artists, creating theatre for diverse audiences across the country. Mounting more than fifty productions over their 35-year history, their last co-production, Superhoe by Nicole Lecky, was at the Royal Court. Other recent productions have included collaborations with the Royal Exchange; Guys & Dolls, King Lear (in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre) and All My Sons (Royal Exchange Theatre, UK tour), and new work including Girls by Theresa Ikoko (co-production with Soho Theatre, HighTide) and Half Breed by Natasha Marshall (co-production with Soho Theatre).
A Lyric Hammersmith Theatre production
In association with Fictional Company
Written by Mike Bartlett, Directed by Rachel O’Riordan
Thursday 07 April – Saturday 14 May 2022
Press Night: Wednesday 13 April
Following the success of Love, Love, Love in 2020, Mike Bartlett (King Charles III, Doctor Foster) and Lyric Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan reunite in the world premiere of Bartlett’s new play Scandaltown, from 07 April – 14 May 2022. A troublesome comedy for the new restoration of the theatres set in our contemporary post-pandemic capital, full of illicit sex, political hypocrisy and the machinations of a fame-hungry elite.
When noble heroine Miss Phoebe Virtue receives worrisome news on Instagram that her twin brother Jack may be endangering his reputation in London Town, she decides she must visit herself, and investigate...
Mike Bartlett is a multi-award-winning playwright. Theatre includes: Snowflake (Arts at the Old Fire Station / Kiln Theatre); Albion, Game (Almeida Theatre); Wild (Hampstead Theatre); King Charles III (Almeida Theatre / West End/ Broadway) An Intervention (Paines Plough, Watford Palace Theatre); Bull (Sheffield Theatres/Off Broadway/Young Vic); Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre/Gielgud Theatre); 13 (National Theatre); Earthquakes In London (Headlong, National Theatre); Love, Love, Love (Paines Plough / Plymouth Theatre Royal/Royal Court/Roundabout Theatre Company, New York); Cock ( Royal Court / Broadway) Contractions, Thrown, My Child (Royal Court); Artefacts (Bush Theatre/ Nabokov); Television includes: Doctor Foster, King Charles III, (Drama Republic/BBC); Sticks and Stones, Trauma (Tall Story Pictures/ITV); Press (Lookout Point/BBC) and most recently Life (Drama Republic / BBC). He has also written extensively for radio.
Rachel O’Riordan is Artistic Director and CEO of the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre where she launched her critically acclaimed debut season in Autumn 2019 with a triumphant adaptation of A Doll’s House by Tanika Gupta. She is currently directing Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, and earlier this summer co-directed the Lyric’s reopening production Out West. Previously, Rachel was Artistic Director and CEO of Sherman Theatre, Wales from 2014 and transformed the venue, winning The Stage’s prestigious Regional Theatre of the Year Award in 2018. Directing credits include the Olivier award-winning Killology and Iphigenia in Splott. She was Artistic Director of Perth Theatre, Scotland between 2011 and 2014 and won The Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland for Best Director and Best Ensemble for Macbeth. From 2002 to 2011, Rachel co-founded and ran Ransom Productions in Northern Ireland. She has been named as one of the most influential people in UK Theatre in the Stage 100. Published work includes Women in Irish Theatre.
By Jean Racine. Translated and adapted by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Directed by Atri Banerjee.
Thursday 26 May – Saturday 25 June 2022
Press Night: Wednesday 01 June
Award-winning director Atri Banerjee brings an epic new production of Britannicus by Jean Racine, translated and adapted by Timberlake Wertenbaker, a tour de force of theatre, once described as “’the doyenne of political theatre”. This noble tragedy explores monarchy, dictatorship and depravity. From 26 May – 25 June 2022.
Tyranny always promises good things.
Power and succession are in the very bones of Rome. Agrippina, desperate to cling onto power, has ensured her son, Nero, is the Roman Emperor, in place of his half-brother and the rightful heir. But the corridors of power and Nero’s own obsession turn a once virtuous ruler into an oppressive tyrant.
Atri Banerjee trained at Birkbeck and is a Resident Director at the Almeida Theatre. In 2019, he won The Stage Debut Award for Best Director and was nominated for the UK Theatre Award for Best Director for his production of Hobson’s Choice at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. Other directing credits include Hidden Fires and Name, Place, Animal, Thing (both Almeida Theatre), Harm (Bush Theatre), Europe (LAMDA) and Utopia (Royal Exchange). Film directing credits include Harm for the BBC Lights Up season on BBC Four. He was previously Trainee Director at the Royal Exchange, where he was Assistant/Associate Director on productions including West Side Story, The Mysteries (also tour), Happy Days, The Almighty Sometimes, Jubilee (also Lyric Hammersmith Theatre) and Our Town. Other Assistant/Associate Director credits include The Nico Project (Manchester International Festival/Melbourne International Arts Festival) and The Son (Kiln Theatre).
Timberlake Wertenbaker grew up in the Basque country and lives in London. She is one of the UK’s leading playwrights and her work is performed worldwide. She is the recipient of numerous awards including an Olivier Award and the New York Drama Critics Award for Our Country's Good and a Writers' Guild Award for Three Birds Alighting on a Field. Jefferson’s Garden won the 2016 Writer’s Guild Award for Best Play and opened in Washington in January 2018. Other plays include: Winter Hill, My Father, Odysseus, Magna Carta Plays, We Sell Right, Walking the Tightrope, The Ant and the Cicada, The Love of the Nightingale, Our Ajax, The Line, Galileo's Daughter, Credible Witness, The Break of the Day, Three Birds Alighting On A Field, The Grace Of Mary Traverse, Abel's Sister, Ash Girl and After Darwin. Translations include: Britannicus, Antigone, Elektra, Hecuba, Wild Orchids, Jenufa, The Thebans and Mephisto. Timberlake has undertaken many adaptations for radio including War and Peace and Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan quartet. Timberlake is currently working on new commissions for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Pitlochry Festival Theatre.
One World: Wealth of the Common People
Amici Dance Theatre Company produced by Turtle Key Arts
Wednesday 29 June – Saturday 02 July 2022
Press Night: Wednesday 29 June
The world’s first disability-inclusive professional dance company and Young Lyric Partner, Amici Dance Theatre Company, celebrate their 40th anniversary in the Main House at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre with their biggest production to date, Amici’s One World: Wealth of the Common People. The pioneering dance-theatre company will bring together an 80 strong cast of disabled and non-disabled performers from around the world. From 29 June – 02 July 2022. Tickets go on sale later this year.
Choreographed by the internationally renowned Wolfgang Stange (Tightrope, 35 Amici Drive) and devised by the performers themselves, Amici’s One World is a timely exploration of unity, tolerance and the ongoing refugee crisis told through projection, dance, spoken word and live music. It is part of an Amici celebratory week of workshops, photographic exhibitions and films at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.
Amici will be collaborating with director Michael Vale (Macbeth, RSC; Bent, National Theatre), costume designer Tina Bicat (winner of the Critics Circle Award for Design for Punchdrunk’s Faust), and lighting designer Phil Supple (Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, Tower of London).
Amici Dance Theatre Company is a unique company integrating disabled and non-disabled artists and performers. Founded by Wolfgang Stange in 1980, their productions and workshops have had a major impact world-wide, challenging conventional attitudes about disability and the arts. They are community-artists-in-residence at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre where they run weekly classes, organise open-workshops, residencies and student placements and stage performances throughout the year.
Written by Patrick Marber, Directed by Clare Lizzimore
Thursday 14 July – Saturday 13 August 2022
Press Night: Wednesday 20 July
Closer, the Olivier award-winning play of the hit film, is a funny and uncompromising modern classic which cuts to the quick of human connection and the cost of risking it all for intimacy. Directed by Clare Lizzimore (Bull, One Day When We Were Young) in a radical new staging of Patrick Marber’s (Notes on a Scandal, Dealer’s Choice) iconic play. From 14 July – 13 August 2022.
'I need you. I can’t think, I can’t work, I can’t breathe. We are going to die. Please…save me.'
Dan and Alice. Anna and Dan. Larry and Anna. Alice and Larry.
In the chaos of London; four strangers meet, fall in love and fall apart as desire turns to heartbreak. In a city out of lockdown, the play is as searing today as it ever was in its exploration of love, sex and the fragility of the human heart.
Patrick Marber, a playwright, screenwriter and director was born in London in 1964. Plays: Dealer’s Choice, Closer, Howard Katz, The Red Lion, Three Days in the Country, After Miss Julie, Don Juan in Soho, The Musicians, The School Film, Hoop Lane. Stage adaptations include versions of Hedda Gabler, The Beaux’ Stratagem, Exit The King and Trelawny of the ‘Wells’. Screenplays: Closer, Notes on a Scandal, Old Street and Love You More. He has won Evening Standard, Olivier, Time Out, New York and London Critics’ Circle and Writers’ Guild Awards and received BAFTA, British Comedy and Royal Television Society Awards. His screenplays have been nominated for Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Awards. He received the British Independent Film Award for Notes on a Scandal.
Clare Lizzimore’s directing work includes: Snowflake (Old Fire Station, Oxford and Kiln Theatre); Bull (Young Vic/Sheffield Theatres/59E59 New York - Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in An Affiliate Theatre); One Day When We Were Young (Paines Plough/Sheffield/Shoreditch Town Hall); Lay Down Your Cross, On The Rocks (Hampstead); Pieces of Vincent (Arcola); Faces In The Crowd, The Mother (Royal Court); Fear and Misery, War and Peace (Royal Court/Latitude); The Most Humane Way To Kill a Lobster (Theatre503); Tom Fool (Glasgow Citizens/Bush). Clare has also won a Channel 4 Theatre Directors Award and Arts Foundation Theatre Directing Fellowship for innovation. She was previously resident director at Citizens Theatre, Glasgow and staff director at the National Theatre. Clare has also directed numerous international plays and travelled extensively for the Royal Court's International Programme, developing new plays with artists in Africa and The Middle East. As a playwright Clare has also written plays for the Royal Court, The Studio Theatre Washington DC, and is currently under commission to the Almeida Theatre.
Written by Roy Williams, A new version of Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, Directed by Ola Ince
Thursday 29 September – Saturday 29 October 2022
Press Night: Wednesday 05 October
Following the success of Go, Girl as part of the Lyric’s reopening show Out West, Roy Williams returns to the Lyric with his new play Heather, a radical retelling of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, told through a modern lens of racial identity, class divisions and addiction. Directed by the award-winning Ola Ince (Is God Is, Royal Court). From 29 September – 29 October 2022.
I want this life and more. I want to see you, lady of the house, presiding yourself like Queen Nefertiti, over all of them.
Heather is newly married.
She’s finally living the life she always dreamed of.
She hates it more than she can bear.
Trapped in a conventional life brimming with social expectation and outdated ideals, free spirited Heather is plagued with thoughts of the freedom and passion she once knew. When she sees her life and sanity begin to unravel, she knows she must take control and break free of the box she has been put in.
Roy Williams is one of the UK’s leading dramatists. For the Lyric: Out West, Absolute Beginners. Theatre includes: NW Trilogy (Kiln Theatre); Death of England, Death of England: Delroy, Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads (National Theatre); Sucker Punch, Fallout, Clubland, Lift Off (Royal Court); The Firm, Wildefire (Hampstead Theatre); Soul: The Untold Story of Marvin Gaye (Royal and Derngate/Hackney Empire); Antigone (Pilot Theatre/UK Tour); Kingston '14, The No-Boys Cricket Club (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Category B (Tricycle); Days Of Significance (RSC); Joe Guy (Tiata Fahodzi); The Gift (Birmingham Rep/ Tricycle) and Starstruck (Tricycle). Film includes: Death of England: Face to Face (National Theatre/Sky Arts); Fast Girls (DJ Films). Television includes: Soon Gone, A Windrush Chronicle (BBC4); Fallout (Channel 4); Offside (BBC). Radio includes: A Choice Of Straws, The Midwich Cuckoos, Interrogation (BBC Radio 4).
Ola Ince is a critically acclaimed and award winning Director. In 2015 Ola became a BBC Performing Arts Fellow, Resident Associate Director at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Red Women of the Year nominee. In 2016 she was the Genesis Future Director Award winner and was Artistic Associate at Lyric Hammersmith and Theatre Royal Stratford East. Ola is currently an Artistic Associate at the Royal Court Theatre and one of three recipients of the 2020/2021 National Theatre Sir Peter Hall Bursary. Theatre includes: Is God Is, The Living Newspaper: Edition 1, Poet in da Corner (Royal Court); Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare's Globe); The Knife of Dawn(Royal Opera House); Appropriate (Donmar Warehouse); The Convert, Dutchman (Young Vic); Twilight: Los Angeles 1982 (Gate Theatre); Start Swimming (Young Vic & Summerhall); White Sky (RWCMD & Gate Theatre); Broad Shadow (National Theatre); Rachel, The Soft of Her Palm (Finborough Theatre). Television includes: Viral (Headlong Theatre & Century Films).
Tickets are on sale at www.lyric.co.uk