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Lyric Hammersmith artistic director Sean Holmes to step down after nine years

Sean Holmes. Photo: Helen Maybanks
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Sean Holmes is to step down as artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith after nine years in the post.

Holmes, who is also joint chief executive, joined the venue in January 2009, but said he was leaving to allow a “new generation to take over the helm”. He will step down in October this year.

During his tenure, Holmes has overseen a major redevelopment of the venue, which re-opened in 2015 with a production of Bugsy Malone.

Productions that have been staged during his time at the theatre include Ghost Stories, which has recently been turned into a film, and Simon Stephens’ Three Kingdoms.

Holmes said: “There have been successes and failures – some glorious – but the Lyric has always remained defiantly itself. A local, London, national, international theatre, proud of its Hammersmith roots and open to all. It has been my privilege in that time to work with a host of committed, passionate and creative collaborators and I want to thank them all – staff and artists, board members and associates, theatres and companies, supporters and funders and most especially the young people whose energy and sense of ownership makes the Lyric what it is – warm, inclusive, welcoming, provocative and messy.”

He added: “I feel it’s time for a new generation to take over the helm and look forward with great anticipation and excitement to seeing a new artistic vision illuminating the theatre I love.”

Executive director Sian Alexander praised Holmes’ “unique spirit and energy”.

“He leaves the Lyric in rude health and I look forward to continuing to build on all we have achieved,” she added.

In June this year, the theatre will begin a three-month refurbishment of its 550-seat auditorium.

The recruitment process to appoint his successor will begin in May.

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