The Lyric Hammersmith has announced a long-term partnership with Headlong to develop large-scale work by female playwrights, as new artistic director Rachel O’Riordan sets out her priorities for the theatre.
The Lyric has also unveiled a new ticketing strategy and the introduction of e-tickets for the first time.
As part of O’Riordan’s first season announcement, she said the Lyric would be working with Headlong over a sustained period of time to commission and produce large-scale work by female playwrights for production at the Lyric and on tour.
O’Riordan described collaborations such as this production partnership with Headlong as “a vital part of the Lyric’s work” under her leadership, and also announced a co-production with the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne and the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh.
The first Headlong co-production has not yet been announced but will take place in January 2020.
Among the other plans unveiled by O’Riordan and executive director Sian Alexander are the introduction of 30,000 tickets for the season’s productions, which will be priced at £15 or less. Of these, 5,000 will be given away free through the theatre’s community ticket programmes for people who live, work or go to school in Hammersmith.
The theatre will also offer e-tickets for all main stage productions from this year, meaning audiences will have the option to receive their tickets on a mobile device rather than picking up paper tickets.
Alexander described the move to e-tickets as part of its “fight against the climate emergency”. The theatre won the sustainability prize at The Stage Awards 2019 for its ongoing work to reduce its environmental impact.
A new group of artistic associates has also been announced. They will be playwright Simon Stephens, director Tinuke Craig, casting director Stuart Burt, playwright and director Phillip McMahon and dramaturg Nina Steiger.