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Lyric Hammersmith Theatre announces plans to reopen with Iphigenia in Splott and Sancho an Act of Remembrance

The west London theatre will be back in action in early 2021

Lyric Hammersmith
© Matt Buck

Lyric Hammersmith Theatre will re-open in early 2021 with two stage shows.

Gary Owen's critically acclaimed Iphigenia in Splott, inspired by the Greek Myth and directed by the venue's artistic director Rachel O'Riordan, will open in in the main house, where it runs from 22 January to 13 February. Sophie Melville will once more star in the piece, which has design by Hayley Grindle, lighting by Rachel Mortimer and sound by Sam Jones.

After that, Paterson Joseph's gripping play Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, co-directed by Simon Godwin with design by Michael Vale, music and sound design by Ben Park and lighting by Lucrecia Briceño, will follow from 25 February to 20 March.

The piece is based on the true story of Charles Ignatius Sancho, who was born on a slave ship in 1729 and educated in secret. Sancho later became a composer, actor, anti-slavery campaigner and the first Black person of African origin to vote in Britain.

All tickets in the season will be priced at either £15 or £23.

The venue has also revealed plans for a large-scale community production – overseen by O'Riordan and assistant director Alex Hurst. The piece will celebrate the stories of the community of Hammersmith, with 15 young people from across the area shaping the project.

Finally, Simon Stephens and Tinuke Craig will work alongside schools in the area to inspire creativity and think about the future, with themes such as race, identity, climate change and more.

Riordan said: "I am delighted that we can today announce shows for our audiences, returning to do what we do best, producing great work with great artists, in our beautiful theatre. Iphigenia in Splott and Sancho tell the stories of two vastly different people from very different times, circumstances and places. They have nothing in common; but both protagonists make life-changing choices.

"They both, within the structure of the society they live in, make decisions that matter. Sophie Melville and Paterson Joseph are two of the UK's most exhilarating actors, and I am thrilled they are performing at the Lyric for the first time."

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