All Change for Artistic Directors of Our Local Theatres

With Rachel O'Riordan coming to The Lyric and Madani Younis leaving The Bush

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Bush Theatre

Lyric Hammersmith

othellomacbeth at The Lyric

Dick Whittington at The Lyric

What's On at the Bush Theatre


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There are big changes in store for our local theatres in the coming months with the arrival of new artistic director, Rachel O'Riordan at the Lyric Hammersmith and the departure of the Bush Theatre's artistic director and chief executive Madani Younis.

Madani, pictured above, has announced he will leave to become creative director of the Southbank Centre in January 2019.

Madani led phase two of the company’s £4.3m capital redevelopment project in 2016 – giving it an overhaul including a flexible 190-seat theatre, a second performance space, a rehearsal studio, a café bar, and a newly developed terrace garden. The Bush Theatre is also financially supported by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

"My time at the Bush Theatre is undoubtedly one of my proudest achievements to date," said Madani. "The Bush invested in a vision that celebrated not just the best of theatre but the best of our country’s inherent culture.

"The result was a more reflective community of artists and a breadth of new audiences that represent the diversity of the city around us. None of what we’ve achieved would have happened without the deep, thoughtful commitment of so many."

Associate director Omar Elerian will also depart the Bush Theatre following his production of Going Through in spring 2019, and a successor is set to be recruited in the new year.

In Hammersmith, The Lyric has announced that Rachel O’Riordan will be the theatre’s new artistic director and joint chief executive from February next year.

Rachel, pictured above, takes over from Sean Holmes, who is stepping down in October after almost a decade leading the vibrant theatre’s programming.

Rachel has been the Artistic Director and CEO of Cardiff's Sherman Theatre since February 2014. During her tenure the theatre has been transformed into a vibrant, exciting and influential producing theatre, winning The Stage Awards’ prestigious Regional Theatre of the Year category in 2018.

She was previously the Artistic Director of Perth Theatre Scotland and Ransom Theatre Company in Northern Ireland. An award-winning director, her recent directing credits include The Cherry Orchard for Sherman Theatre and Come on Home at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

Rachel will join Sian Alexander, the Lyric’s Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive since October 2015, to co-lead the theatre.

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."

The upcoming season has already been planned by Sean and the team following a three-month makeover this summer that has seen the Lyric’s 550-seat Victorian auditorium refurbished, and its smaller studio theatre modernised.

The season begins on 5 October with othellomacbeth, an audacious condensed staging of two of Shakespeare’s most brutal and poetic plays. You can find out more and book tickets here.

It is followed from 17 November by this year's pantomime, Dick Whittington. It runs until 6 January and includes a special 10 Year Celebratory Event at The Lyric on 7 Frirday. Find out more and book tickets here.

At the Bush Theatre in Uxbridge Road, the autumn season in the main theatre has begun with An Adventure, an epic love story spanning seven decades. It continues until 20 October and is followed from 31 October till 24 November by All We Wanted Was Everything, set across three decades, from 1997’s Cool Britannia to today’s Brexit Britain.

In December, the Bush presents Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen, a winter journey about growing up, loyalty, friendship and the dangers of the unknown for six days only, from 3 - 8 December.

Find out more about upcoming productions at the Bush and book tickets here.

September 13, 2018


September 13, 2018