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Rachel O’Riordan named new artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith

Sherman Theatre’s Rachel O’Riordan has been named new artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith.

She replaces Sean Holmes, who leaves in October. O’Riordan becomes joint chief executive, alongside executive director Sian Alexander. She will join the Lyric Hammersmith in early February 2019, with her first full season running in autumn 2019.

O’Riordan has been the artistic director and chief executive of Sherman Theatre since February 2014. Under her tenure, the venue won The Stage Awards’ regional theatre of the year prize in 2018 [1]. She was previously the artistic director of Perth Theatre in Scotland.

She said: ‘The Lyric Hammersmith is one of the most exciting theatres in London. It occupies a special place in the theatre ecology; egalitarian, open and bold. I am looking forward to continuing the theatre’s journey and leading a new phase of artistic evolution, working alongside Sian Alexander and the Lyric team. I am honoured to have been chosen to succeed Sean Holmes, and look forward to getting to know new audiences in West London and beyond.”

Lisa Burger, chair of the board, praised “her passion for theatre and commitment to excellence, generosity and ambition to Hammersmith”.

Holmes’ final season of programmed shows was announced this week and begins in January 2019 [2].

Read our 2016 interview with Rachel O’Riordan here [3]