The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in west London has unveiled its 2022 season plans.
The year will commence with a multi-art festival celebrating Blackness across all forms of artistic expression. The festival is curated by Peggy Brunache, Tinuke Craig and Nicholai La Barrie. Talawa artistic director Michael Buffong will then direct a new piece by Sian Carter titled Running With Lions, in a co-production with the hit company.
A new contemporary play by Mike Bartlett, based on the return of live performance in London in 2021 and titled Scandaltown will premiere in April, directed by the venue's artistic director Rachel O'Riordan. After this, Atri Banerjee will direct Timberlake Wertenbaker's adaptation of Jean Racine's Roman tragedy Britannicus, an epic scale production based on the life of tyrant Nero.
An 80-strong cast on the Lyric main stage at the end of June to mark Amici Dance Theatre Company's 40th anniversary. In the summer, Patrick Marber's award-winning romantic exploration Closer will be revived, directed by Clare Lizzimore.
In the autumn, Roy Williams' new play Heather, based on Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, will play from 29 September 2022, based on questions of racial identity, class divisions and addiction. Casts and creative teams are to be revealed.
O'Riordan 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."