New artistic director at Lyric Hammersmith9:59, 7th September 2018
Today, the Lyric Hammersmith announced its new artistic director. Rachel O’Riordan joins the theatre from Sherman Theatre, where she has been artistic director and CEO since 2014. Under her leadership, the Sherman won The Stage’s Regional Theatre of the Year award this year.
The Stage has also named O’Riordan as one of the most influential people in UK Theatre in their most recent Stage 100. She is also a Council Member of Art Council Wales and a participant in the British Council’s Take the Stage initiative. Before her tenure at the Sherman, she served as the Artistic Director of Perth Theatre in Scotland between 2011 and 2014 and between 2002 and 2011 she ran Ransom Productions, which she also co-founded.
In a press release O’Riordan says: ‘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, the Lyric Hammermith’s chair, adds: ‘I’m thrilled that Rachel will be joining the Lyric as our new artistic director. I’m a great admirer of her work at the Sherman in Cardiff and look forward to her bringing her passion for theatre and commitment to excellence, generosity and ambition to Hammersmith.’
Outgoing artistic director Sean Holmes will step down in October 2018, with his final programme of shows starting in January 2019. O’Riordan is expected to take up the position in February 2019, with her first programmed season to take place in the autumn.
Of the appointment, the Lyric’s executive director Sian Alexander, says: ‘I am very much looking forward to working with Rachel. She brings with her a wealth of brilliant experience as a leader and a director. She is an inspiring creative producer. She shares our values and passion for developing talent, creating opportunities for young people and working to ensure the theatre is at the heart of its local community. I’m hugely excited for the future of the Lyric under our joint leadership.’