Visit London Blog » lyric hammersmith Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:46:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Where To See Outdoor Theatre and Opera in London Fri, 17 May 2013 09:57:58 +0000 Not only does London boast a world-leading range of theatres and opera houses, but you can also watch many fantastic productions in the great outdoors, at a variety of stunning venues around the city. Some of them are even completely free, but for many events it’s highly recommended that you book in advance.

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

One of London’s most popular outdoor entertainment venues is the enchanting Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. This amphitheatre is completely exposed to the elements, and there are few more atmospheric places to watch theatre than in the dusky confines of the Regent’s Park, with London’s bright lights seemingly a world away. Productions this year include To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice and The Sound of Music, and pre-theatre dining options include pre-packed picnics and a barbecue. Until 8 Sep

The Scoop at More London

Situated just by London Mayor Boris Johnson’s office by Tower Bridge, this sunken theatre is host to a plethora of free entertainment during the summer. From Wednesday to Sunday you can see free open air theatre here in the evenings, and this year there will two short productions based on the ancient Greek city of Thebes. A family production of the Prince of Thebes takes place at 6pm, followed by a more adult staging of Oedipus and Antigone at 8pm. 7 Aug-1 Sep 

Opera Holland Park

Every summer a marquee is erected in front of the glorious Holland House, allowing visitors the chance to watch wonderful operas in the grounds of Holland Park without getting wet! As well as seeing productions such as Madam Butterfly, the Pearl Fishers and new family opera Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, you can also enjoy a pre-prepared picnic in their alfresco dining areas beforehand. 4 Jun -3 Aug

Fitzroy Square Opera

For one night a year, Fitzroy Square Opera brings the magic of traditional country house opera to London. This year, on 27 June, you can sit in this luscious square in Fitzrovia and enjoy a production of Bizet’s Carmen. You can also order a pre-prepared picnic (£22), enjoy freshly cooked paella in the interval or simply avail yourself of the cash bar.

Shakespeare’s Globe, Southbank

At this incredible reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre you can choose whether you have a fully outdoor or partially indoor theatrical experience! The stage is situated under the sky, but there are seats available within the covered theatre section if you don’t feel like standing in the exposed middle with the ‘groundlings’. Scheduled for 2013 are favourites such as King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest, and you can buy standing tickets for just £5. Until 28 Sep

Theatre in the Square with Lyric Hammersmith

Watch live outdoor theatre for free in the Lyric Square, Hammersmith, thanks to a festival staged by five of the country’s most exciting theatre companies. A collaboration between HammersmithLondon, Lyric Hammersmith, Latitude festival, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival and Watford Palace Theatre, this festival is sure to offer innovative, enjoyable and eccentric entertainment. Keep an eye on the theatre’s What’s On section for more details. 12 Jun-5 Jul

BP Summer Screens

The BP Summer Screens bring one of London’s most exclusive indoor venues – Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House – to the great outdoors. Better still – screenings are free! You can see the ballet Mayerling (13 June) or operas La Rondine (11 July) and Tosca (18 July) in outdoor spaces such as Trafalgar Square, Canary Wharf and Woolwich.

Chiswick House and Gardens

You can watch both opera and theatre alfresco at the beautiful Chiswick House and Gardens, which stages a range of both as part of its excellent events programme. During July you can catch productions of Carmen, Gulliver’s Travels and A Little of What You Fancy! on the rear lawn of the House. Tickets are £30 and full details are available on the venue website.

Fulham Palace

On 7 July take the whole family to Fulham Palace for a theatre production of Babe: the Sheep Pig which is sure to delight both adults and children alike. Taking place in the Walled Garden, the production starts at 2pm and tickets cost £8 for children or £12 for adults.

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

London’s biggest festival of outdoor theatre runs from 21 to 29 June and brings performers to the parks and streets of Greenwich and the surrounding area. You can see everything from street dance to aerial theatre at the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival – take a look at our pick of the highlights here.

More London theatre

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London Theatre News: One Man, Two Guvnors; Viva Forever; ZooNation; and The Full Monty Thu, 02 May 2013 10:00:16 +0000

Firstly this week, I have news of two shows closing early, and another extending. So, if you’re eager to see Strictly Come Dancing stars Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor in Burn The Floor at the Shaftesbury Theatre, you’ll need to be quick. The show is now closing on 30 June. The same date will be the final performance of Viva Forever! at the Piccadilly Theatre. The musical based on the songs of the Spice Girls has run for just six months, but producers have blamed poor ticket sales and bad reviews for the early closure. Fans of One Man Two Guvnors are in luck however; the National Theatre’s hit comedy celebrates its third year in London this week by releasing an additional 150,000 tickets for the show at the Theatre Royal Haymarket: it’s now booking until 1 March 2014.

I’ve also got news of two new shows coming to London in the near future. Dance troupe ZooNation bring the world premiere their “unique twist” on The Wizard of Oz, Groove on Down the Road to the Southbank Centre this summer. Featuring music from the original 1978 film The Wiz remixed with current tunes by DJ Walde, Groove on Down the Road runs from 10 August to 1 September at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The acclaimed Sheffield Theatres production of The Full Monty will transfer to the West End next year for a 16-week season. The stage adaptation of the hit film will play at the Noel Coward Theatre from February next year. Following the news of American Psycho and The Commitments last week, it seems we can’t get enough of film adaptations on the London stage at the moment.

Finally, another summer treat to look forward to. The Lyric Hammersmith is running Theatre in the Square again this summer, encouraging visitors to indulge in free theatre from four of the country’s most innovative theatre companies over a four-week season. The shows’ themes range from water to motherhood to ice cream to The Bacchae. Theatre in the Square is part of the ever-brilliant Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.

London Theatre Cast News

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London Theatre News: The Commitments, American Psycho, Horrible Histories and the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse Thu, 25 Apr 2013 13:00:26 +0000 Firstly, news of two hot new musicals: The Commitments comes to the Palace Theatre in September, in a new stage version of Roddy Doyle’s novel directed by Jamie Lloyd. It’s the story of Jimmy Rabitte, a young working-class music fan who shapes an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians into an amazing live act, The Commitments. You might’ve seen the brilliant 1991 film of the novel. All preview tickets for the show will be half-price; after opening night on 8 October, the producers continue their commitment (ahem!) to cut price tickets, offering more than 10,000 seats for just £10 for the show’s first year.

In addition, new musical American Psycho, a co-production with the Headlong theatre company, will play at the Almeida Theatre from December. Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho is the story of Patrick Bateman, a young man publically embracing the high life in 1980s Manhattan while concealing a particularly nasty secret. The new show has a book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik, choreography by Lynne Page and designs by Olivier Award winner Es Devlin. Together, these two shows make for a promising autumn / winter on London’s theatreland…

Good news now for Horrible Histories fans. The family-friendly series returns to London at the Garrick Theatre this autumn with a brand new show. Barmy Britain – Part Two offers a fresh – and no doubt sometimes disgusting – look at Britain’s grisly past. Barmy Britain – Part One will help fans brush up on the series, kicking off the Horrible Histories residency at the theatre from 7 August to 1 September. Part Two then follows from 26 September to 5 January.

Finally, I’m very excited about the news coming from the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the newly built indoor theatre next to Shakespeare’s Globe. The first season, starting in 2014, will feature drama, opera and live music in its candlelit interior. The first shows will be Jacobean tragedy The Duchess of Malfi, Francis Beaumont’s anarchic comedy The Knight Of The Burning Pestle, the satirical The Malcontent, performed by the Globe’s Young Players, and Cavalli’s rarely performed opera L’Ormindo. There’ll also be music from Grammy Award-winning guitarist John Williams.

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Talking about the venue’s first season, Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole says, “We could not be more delighted than to be opening this theatre with three such shining jewels from this time: a macabre tragedy, a riotous comedy and a beautiful philosophical satire. We hope that the Wanamaker Playhouse will afford as many insights, and prove as theatrically rejuvenating, as the Globe has proved over the last 16 years.”

London Theatre Cast News

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London Theatre News: Steptoe and Son; Royal Court; Midnight Tango; plus Tamsin Greig and Roger Lloyd Pack Thu, 08 Nov 2012 17:32:47 +0000

Fans of the Kneehigh Theatre Company are in for a treat as their production of Steptoe and Son comes to London next year. Following a successful run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the two-hander based on scripts from the original TV series will play from 19 March at the Lyric Hammersmith. Kneehigh founding member and joint Artistic Director Mike Shepherd and Dean Nolan will reprise their roles in London.

Dominic Cooke’s last season as Artistic Director of the Royal Court has been announced this week. Following the hugely successful Clybourne Park, Cooke will direct Bruce Norris’ third play The Low Road in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs. Young playwright Polly Stenham will premiere her third Royal Court play No Quarter in the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, while Anthony Neilson will close the season with the intriguingly named A New Play, which he will both write and direct. Visit the Royal Court Theatre’s website to find out more.

Finally, more Strictly Come Dancing news: Russell Grant returns to the West End next year to once again share the stage with his Strictly Come Dancing partner Flavia Cacace in the return of Midnight Tango at the Phoenix Theatre. Grant is taking the role of bar owner Carlos, whose downtown Buenos Aires-establishment becomes the setting for the explosive story.

London Theatre Cast News:

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Thursday Theatre News: Wind in the Willows, One Man Two Guvnors, Jaime Winstone and Kara Tointon Thu, 15 Dec 2011 18:00:17 +0000 Firstly, news of a new musical, which is always, er, music to my ears… The Wind in the Willows is the next project for Julian Fellowes, George Stiles and Anthony Drew, the award-winning team behind Mary Poppins.

Fellowes, now best-known for creating Downton Abbey, (but don’t forget he was also responsible for wonderful work like Gosford Park, The Young Victoria and The Importance of Being Earnest) will write the musical’s book. Writing duo Stiles and Drewe are developing the music and lyrics. The pair have worked together for 28 years, creating successful shows like Betty Blue Eyes, Just So and Peter Pan. I’m looking forward to being able to tell you more about this show; as yet, there are no dates or venues for its London premiere.

Second, details of a transfer. It seems London just can’t get enough of the uber-successful One Man, Two Guvnors. First, it transferred from the National to the West End. Then, rumours the team had booked tickets to Broadway. And today, we have news it’s moving again, this time to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. There’ll be a change of lead as Owain Arthur takes over from James Corden as the One Man of the title. The rest of the casting is yet to be announced.

Finally, the Lyric Hammersmith’s 2012 programme has been announced. Edward Bond returns to the theatre with a trilogy of short plays called The Chair Plays. In addition, there’ll be a collaboration between Spymonkey and Kneehigh Artistic Director Emma Rice, called Oedipussy; Lovesong; Filter’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and Three Kingdoms (part of the London-wide World Stages London festival).

Cast News:

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Thursday Theatre News: Fela!, Ditch, and Broadway Stars in the West End Thu, 15 Apr 2010 18:00:35 +0000 I’ve learnt about two exciting new London shows this week: the Broadway musical Fela! – about Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti – comes to the National Theatre in November this year; and Ditch, which comes to the tunnels under Waterloo Station next month.

The first, Fela!, comes with a pretty impressive pedigree: associate producers on the project include Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Written by Tony Award-winner Bill T Jones it tells the story of the Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the Nigerian-born artist, musician, polygamist, commune founder and political activist, who died in 1997, through a winning blend of jazz, funk and African rhythms, dance, theatre and music.

Ditch is a new play by Beth Steel, and is being co-produced by HighTide in the Old Vic’s  Tunnels 228-332 under Waterloo Station. It tells of a near-future Britain where much of the country is underwater. The government has been reduced to a group of fascist fighters, and dwindling numbers of men patrol the moors for “illegals” in a rural outpost of the state. Ditch is the first of the Old Vic’s tunnel-based plans for 2010, which also include productions, installations, pop-up events and film screenings, with tickets either free or pretty damn cheap.

Americans are celebrating lots of success on the London theatre scene at the moment. After all the top reviews the Broadway revival of Hair got earlier today, it’s more good news from across the pond: an all-American cast for the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Paradise Found. The new musical is based on Joseph Roth’s novel The Tale Of The 1002nd Night, and is about the exploits of the Shah of Persia. The Tony Award-winning Mandy Patinkin is joined by more US names: Kate Baldwin, Shuler Hensley, Judy Kaye, George Lee Andrews (The Phantom Of The Opera, A Little Night Music), Lacey Kohl, John McMartin (Grey Gardens, Into The Woods), and Nancy Opel (Toxic Avenge, Urinetown).

In a more British show, A Thousand Stars Explode In The Sky at the Lyric Hammersmith features three of the UK’s finest writers: David Eldridge, Robert Holman and Simon Stephens. It’s a show about the family secrets that are revealed before the world comes to an end… Cast member Jemma Redgrave has sadly pulled out for personal reasons, but the cast remains strong. I really like Nigel Cooke and Ann Mitchell, and it’ll be good to see Harry McEntire back on the London stage after his appearance in the hit musical, Spring Awakening.

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Thursday Theatre News: TV Stars Swamp London’s Stages! Thu, 10 Dec 2009 12:00:23 +0000 Kerry Ellis as Elphaba in Wicked; she's taking over as Nancy in Oliver! next year. Photo by Tristram KentonFor those of you who like to see your favourite stars of the small screen on stage when you visit London, there’s lots of pleasing cast news for London’s theatres this week.

Romola Garai, who was so fantastic in the BBC’s recent adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, is appearing at the Lyric Hammersmith from January next year. She’ll be playing Masha in a new production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, alongside an exciting-sounding cast including Jim Bywater, Nigel Cooke and Clare Dunne.

If, like me, you’re currently enjoying the BBC’s adaptation of Small Island, you can see the gorgeous Ashley Walters (who plays David in the show) at the Royal Court next year. Walters, who used to be in So Solid Crew, is appearing in Off The Endz, Bola Agbaje’s new play about three 20-somethings growing up on a London estate.

And Toby Stephens, who’s played many memorable characters on TV (Mr Rochester in the 2006 Jane Eyre for one!) is headed to the Old Vic from April next year. Stephens is appearing in a new production of Tom Stoppard’s 1982 play, The Real Thing.

Lastly, one other TV star heading for the London stage is Griff Rhys Jones, who takes over from Omid Djalili as Fagin in Oliver! from Monday night. Break a leg, Griff!

That’s not Oliver’s! only cast change: I’m excited to hear Kerry Ellis is taking over from Jodie Prenger as Nancy next March. Ellis is best known for playing Elphaba in Wicked, for which she won the 2008 Award for Best Takeover in a Role. I think she’s rather ace.

And talking of the Theatregoers’ Choice Awards – have you voted yet? Make sure you have your say before the winners are announced on 14 February next year.

Excited about seeing any of these stars? Do you know about something I’ve missed?! Add your thoughts to the comments below…

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Thursday Theatre News: Hair, Petticoats and Star-Studded Lamps Thu, 19 Nov 2009 19:00:19 +0000 Dreamboats and Petticoats returns to the West End in JanuaryThis week’s news is dominated by the news about Hair coming back to London’s West End!

We’re too young to know anything about the original(!) but we’ve heard our parents talking about it, recognise the songs (Aquarius and Let The Sunshine In) and it all the stories about it from the 60s sound incredible. (Plus, anything starring Elaine Paige, Richard O’Brien, Tim Curry and Paul Nicholas must’ve been amazing!)

It’s also exciting to have the first entire Tony-award-winning Broadway cast opening a musical in London. We’ve got to wait til April, but it’s down in our diaries to get tickets!

In other theatre news, Dreamboats and Petticoats, the musical inspired by an album of 50s songs, is due to reopen in January. From a successful touring show, this musical was so popular at the Savoy this summer, it extended its run by seven weeks!

And now it’s coming back: book your tickets to see it at the Playhouse from 6 January. Anyone out there seen it and want to tell us about it? We’re yet to catch this one.

If you’re looking for a shorter-term theatre fix, Panto season is very nearly upon us! We’ve had news from the Lyric that the rehearsals for Jack and the Beanstalk are well under way. Backstage, the Dame’s seven (count them!) dresses are almost finished, and the 4-metre-tall Giant is getting close to being brought to life…

Over at the New Wimbledon Theatre, we’ve heard news their panto has added another jewel to its star-studded Aladdin’s lamp. Anita Dobson (fresh from baring all in Calendar Girls, but best-known to the world as Angie Watts from EastEnders in the 80s) is the final star to share the role of the Genie of the Lamp alongside Ruby Wax, Pamela Anderson and Paul O’Grady.

Do you have plans to see any of London’s fantastic Pantos? Let us know which baddie you’ll be booing and hissing at over the Christmas season…

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