Lyric: New Season Announced

The Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith have announced their new 2008/09 season.

The big news is confirmation that the Broadway musical Spring Awakening will receive its UK premiere at the venue in early 2009, with previews due to start on the 23 January.

Based on Frank Wedekind’s 1891 play, this alt-rock musical has developed a considerable following in the US, picking up Best Musical at last year’s Tony Awards. Directed by Michael Mayer and choreographed by Bill T Jones, Spring Awakening premiered at New York’s Atlantic Theater Company in May 2006 before transferring to Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre. The production won eight Tonys in total and will be staged at the Lyric by the same creative team with a new, young British cast.

The unlikely musical tells the story of a friendship between German schoolboys, a tale of adolescent angst and sexual discovery. The New York Times described it as ‘exhilarating – something unusual and aspiring, something vital and new.’

Other season highlights include 365 by the National Theatre of Scotland. Written by David Harrower and directed by Vicky Featherstone, it follows the lives of a group of young people brought up in the care system who are given one night in a ‘practice flat’ to prepare them for adulthood.

Melly Still, the acclaimed director of Coram Boy and Watership Down is set to direct a version of Cinderella, based on the original story by The Brothers Grimm. And following the west-end success of their version of The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Peepolykus return to the Lyric with their new production Spyski! (Or The Importance of Being Honest), the ‘completely fabricated’ story of the poisoning of a Russian dissident in London. This production will be directed by David Farr, the Lyric’s Artistic Director.

There will also be new work by physical theatre company Frantic Assembly whose acclaimed Stockholm is currently playing at Hampstead Theatre. Their new adaptation of Othello is an exciting prospect, relocating Shakespeare’s tragedy to a pub in a modern housing estate.

This coming season will be Farr’s last at the Lyric. Following the production of Spring Awakening he will be moving on to a position as Associate Director at the RSC.

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