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Lyric Hammersmith
Lyric Square, King Street
W6 0QL
Nearest Tube/Train Station:
Hammersmith tube
Lyric Hammersmith History

How did a beautiful gilt and velvet Victorian theatre come to be housed in a 1970s concrete box above Kings Mall shopping centre?

The Lyric theatre began its extraordinary life in 1895 as an intimate opera house. It was designed by the prolific theatre architect, Frank Matcham, and was originally built on another site a little further down King Street.

During the first 70 years of its life the Lyric fell on good times and bad. In 1966 it was forced to close its doors and scheduled for demolition to make way for a housing and shopping complex. But a public outcry ensued and, instead, the theatre was carefully dismantled piece by piece and rebuilt on the current site along with a contemporary black-box studio space. The new Lyric was re-opened in 1979 by the Queen.

In 2004 the building underwent another major redevelopment led by the internationally acclaimed architect Rick Mather. This reorientated the Lyric's old small entrance on King Street to an impressive new entrance on Lyric Square and also created a new ticket office, street level cafe, rehearsal and workshop spaces.

We have recently started work on the next phase of the Lyric's life. A multi million pound project to expand the current building to create new facilities for training young people to become the theatre-makers of the future, scheduled for completion in 2011.

Over its hundred year history the Lyric has welcomed some of the world's finest writers, directors, actors and theatre companies to its stages. From Harold Pinter to Simon Stephens, Sir John Gielgud to Robert Lepage, Complicite to Frantic Assembly.

Today the Lyric presents 1000 performances a year that bring over 150,000 people through our doors – people of all ages and backgrounds from across London and beyond. We aim to produce work that is provoking, entertaining, popular, eclectic, messy, contradictory and diverse. We want to be at the heart of our community as well as being internationally recognised. We want to celebrate the unique vision of the writer as well as the creative power of collaboration. We want to work with the best theatre artists around as well as encourage the next generation. We want to lurch wildly between high art and populism – hopefully achieving both at the same time.

Beautiful theatre, cheap tickets, great pizza and a rooftop garden.

Hammersmith and proud.


Lyric Hammersmith
Nearest Tube/Train Station:
Hammersmith tube
click here for a big map

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