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Search begins for next Lyric Hammersmith leaders

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Image captionImage 1: The Lyric’s current artistic director Sean Holmes

Changes are afoot at the Lyric Hammersmith as the vibrant theatre is set to undergo a makeover and recruit a new artistic director and trustees.

The Lyric’s 550-seat Victorian auditorium is being refurbished, and its smaller studio theatre modernised, in a three-month revamp that will see those spaces closed from 25 June to 4 October.

The makeover project is set to be the final scheme for artistic director and joint chief executive Sean Holmes, who is leaving the Lyric in October after almost a decade at the helm.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky over the last nine years to have been the artistic director of the Lyric,” said Sean Holmes, who will go onto a freelance directing career.

“During that time, it has been a home to the weird, the wonderful and the unexpected. There have been successes and failures – some glorious – but the Lyric has always remained defiantly itself.

“A local, London, national, international theatre, proud of its Hammersmith roots and open to all. It has been my privilege in that time to work with a host of committed, passionate and creative collaborators and I want to thank them all.

“I’m going to miss it very much, but I feel it’s time for a new generation to take over the helm and look forward with great anticipation and excitement to seeing a new artistic vision illuminating the theatre I love,” he added.

Changes at the Lyric

This latest project adds to the work already carried out at the Lyric since it launched its capital development project in 2012 – which was financially supported by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

Since then, it has had a revamp of its front of house area, as well as adding the Reuben Foundation Wing, which includes a 50-seat cinema, dance studio, recording studio and sensory space for disabled children.

Apart from the main auditorium and studio, the rest of the building including its bar and rooftop garden, will remain open during the refurb.

Trustees on the hunt

Sian Alexander, Lyric executive director added: “It’s been a joy and a privilege to co-lead the Lyric with Sean in the final three years of his tenure. We will truly miss him and his unique spirit and energy.

“He leaves the Lyric in rude health and I look forward to continuing to build on all we have achieved.”

Meanwhile, the Lyric is on the hunt for new trustees to join its existing board and play a key role in the Lyric’s strategic direction, development and governance.

Around two to three trustees will be appointed in the coming two months, with another group recruited later in the year, and the theatre is particularly interested in hearing from those under 35 or from diverse backgrounds.

Skills that could help boost the board of trustees include finance; fundraising; communications; education, training and skills development; commercial acumen and entrepreneurism; digital strategy; legal skills; and connections with the local community in Hammersmith & Fulham.

The role of trustee is voluntary and likely to take around 4 – 6 days each year and applications close on 29 May.

For more details - including how to apply - please visit the Lyric’s website and download the recruitment pack.

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