Coming Up – Lyric Hammersmith

In the run-up to Christmas Stage Review gives you the 5pm daily lowdown on what’s set to tempt you into the theatres in 2016. Today it is the Lyric Hammersmith.

a midsummer night's dream

The Lyric Hammersmith has a spring 2016 season that will have you hooked – whether it’s with the revival of Simon Stephen’s visceral Herons or the crazy co-production of Filter Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Royal Opera will be presenting two contemporary co-productions, Pleasure by Mark Simpson, featuring British soprano Lesley Garrett and the world premiere of Sarah Kane’s 4:48 Psychosis by Philip Venables.

Sean Holmes, artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith said: “We are delighted to announce a provocative and playful programme of reimagined texts for our 2016 Spring Season.

“The return of Filter’s crazed Dream; a disrespectful revival of Herons – Simon Stephens’ searing examination of pained youth – and the premiere of two radical new operas”.

herons at LYRIC Theatre

Fifteen years after its first production Simon Stephens’ unflinching and incendiary play, Herons, returns to the London stage in January in this new production directed by Holmes.

Herons is the disturbing and moving story of 14-year-old Billy, whose life has been made a misery by a gang. Their brutal campaign of terror finally pushes him towards a terrible and violent act.

The Lyric and Filter’s riotous reinterpretation of one of Shakespeare’s best loved plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, returns to the Lyric in February after its critically acclaimed 2012 run.

Featuring music from members of The London Snorkelling Team, this classic tale of young lovers and warring fairies is given a unique and irreverent twist.

Filter is led by actors Oliver Dimsdale and Ferdy Roberts, and composer Tim Phillips and they have been creating innovative, exciting theatre since 2003.

Mark Simpson’s Pleasure (Libretto by Melanie Challenger) is performed in May.

Val works the toilets in ‘Pleasure’, a hedonistic gay club in the north of England. For years, she has been a shoulder to cry on and a confidante – much loved but viewed as an enigma. Why is she still there? Why does she never leave?

When a young man, both beautiful and unpredictable, arrives from the city and leaves a gift for Val – performed in this premiere production by soprano Lesley Garrett – it marks the start of a passionate and violent night.

Liverpool born Simpson, a former BBC Young Musician of the Year, turns to opera for the first time; his librettist is a long-time collaborator whose poetry and prose have been widely admired. (Contains themes of an adult nature).

A co-commission and co-production with Aldeburgh Music, Opera North and The Royal Opera.

Philip Venables’ 4.48 Psychosis is based on the play by Sarah Kane. It gets its world premiere in May.

This new opera by the British composer Philip Venables is an important adaptation of a radical and much-discussed 20th-century play by British playwright Sarah Kane, who took her own life in 1999 at the age of 28.

Kane felt that 4.48 in the morning was a time of great clarity, when one’s mind could realise its darkest thoughts. This new work is the first time any of Kane’s work has been adapted (Contains themes of an adult nature).

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