Lyric Hammersmith Unveils New £2.6m ExtensionDate: 1 April 2004
West London’s Lyric Hammersmith unveils its new £2.6 million extension this weekend, and celebrates with two days of free events (on 3 and 4 April 2004) and the start of the theatre’s annual international season.
The most striking part of the facelift is the new glass entrance, which opens directly onto Lyric Square, adjacent to the current building. Designed by Rick Mather architects, it’s intended to be clearly and distinctively illuminated at night to provide a focal point for the square.
The new entrance foyer houses a café and re-designed box office, in an attempt to make the theatre more welcoming to the public. Other additions included in the extension are a new rehearsal space and an education and training room.
The £2.6 million necessary for the project was raised through multiple sources, including the National Lottery (through Arts Council England), the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, various trusts, companies and individuals and through a programme of private fundraising events.
Besides admiring the fresh façade on the opening weekend, visitors will also be able to enjoy performances from over 30 artists from seven different countries. The new foyer will house puppetry with TOF theatre's Eugene, King of Frites while Oily Cart's Jumpin’ Beans will be in the new education room. Meanwhile, in the new rehearsal space, Teatro Di Piazza O D'Occasione present an interactive multimedia piece around the theme of Japanese gardens.
Over the weekend, there will also be a series of spontaneous theatrical events from Aurelia Thierree, Osadia (the demon barbers of Seville), Les Zanimos, Whalley Range All Stars, Stephen Tiplady, Rebwar and Rosemary Lee and Nic Sandiland. These will appear everywhere from the theatre, the studio, and the terraces to the main café and bar and corridors.
- by Hannah Kennedy