The opening of the Lyric Theatre’s new facilities is approaching, with the scaffolding down on the building in King Street renovation is progressing and preparations are being made for the unveiling in spring next year.
More than £16million has been spent on the project, which includes the creation of the new Reuben Foundation wing, a two-storey extension allowing the theatre to expand its work with young people, and provide more community facilities.
The Lyric’s first major facelift in 30 years includes new drama and TV studios, a cinema, recording studio and other creative facilities.
Speaking about the opening plans, chief executive Jessica Hepburn said: “This is a thrilling moment for us. We’re nearly ready to unveil our new building to the world and we’re inviting the most enthusiastic, creative and talented young people to be a part of a grand opening event – greater than Hammersmith has ever seen.”
The expansion scheme will turn the Lyric into a ‘teaching theatre for the arts’. Funding has come from public donations, the Arts Council, government sources as well as Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
The key to the project has been development of west London’s young people via drama and arts, with an estimated 7,000 students expected to use the new facilities every year.
Constructed next to the existing theatre the development doubles the Lyric’s existing space and includes a 60-seat preview cinema for film-making students, a dance studio with a sprung floor, an artists’ greenroom and sound-proof rehearsal and practice rooms.
The design was created by Rick Mather Architects.
“We’re committed to the work we do with children and young people,” Hepburn said.
“This is a special place where they feel welcome and inspired, becoming motivated, confident, giving and skilled individuals.
“Together we’re about to change the landscape of Hammersmith, and the lives of thousands of people.”