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Lyric Hammersmith hosts 'secret' resident company from September

The Lyric Hammersmith has announced 'Secret Theatre', a season of work that will be developed over a number of months by a resident company of 20 artists

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Led by artistic director Sean Holmes, Secret Theatre will open at the Lyric Hammersmith in September and is based on a European rep model.

Over the next year, the Lyric will undergo extensive building work as part of its £16.5million capital project – including the addition of a two-story education wing and the first major facelift for the existing building in 30 years.

In order to continue programming while the work is ongoing, the Lyric will create Secret Theatre "at the heart of a building site".

Actors taking part include Hammed Animashaun (Mogadishu), Leo Bill (Posh), Charlotte Josephine (Bitch Boxer), Adelle Leonce (Shameless) and Steven Webb (Cinderella).

The creative team include director Ellen McDougall, playwrights Joel Horwood, Hayley Squires Caroline Bird and Simon Stephens and designer Hyemi Shin (see pictures from the launch below).

According to press material: "The company hopes to combine the best elements of the European model of a permanent ensemble with the traditional strengths of British theatre. The productions, a mixture of classics, new writing and adaptations, will open throughout the season and each new show will contribute to the growing repertory of plays, with audiences offered the chance once a month to see several of the productions in one day. In the spirit of secrecy no titles will be announced."

Commenting on the season, Sean Holmes said: "Secret Theatre is an attempt to challenge every aspect of how we make work at the Lyric, building new structures that could lead to a new type of theatre."

Secret Theatre opens on 9 September 2013.

Read Sean Holmes' full speech from the launch here