The new play is the theatre’s first large-scale community play in its 125-year history.
Written and created by Nicholai La Barrie (Tina – The Tina Turner Musical Resident Director), Heart of Hammersmith tells intergenerational stories of the people, places, sights and sounds of Hammersmith past and present.
The intergenerational play brings together a cast of over 40 West Londoners, including 17 young members, aged 18-25, made up of first time actors, a secondary school teacher, drag artist, call centre worker, students, new graduates and community volunteers.
Directed by Eva Sampson (Decades) with Alex Hurst (Lyric Resident Assistant Director, Birkbeck Placement), the production is also set to feature a community chorus from Young Lyric partner organisations, with the Lyric is now inviting applicants to sign up for adult cast roles.
Working alongside Nicholai La Barrie, the script has been created with the help of the Lyric Community Company’s 17 young members who started rehearsals online during the pandemic. They are: Gehna Badhwar, Eva Bate, Wes Bozonga, Ömer Cem Çoltu, Tom Claxton, Kitty Cockram, James Douglas-Quarcoopome, Harry Drane, Harri-Rose Hudson, Lex MacQuire, Ella McCallum, Ele McKenzie, Alfie Neill, Priyanka Patel, Danielle Tama, Wilf Walsworth, Aliyah Yanguba.
Talking about the news of the production, Nicholai La Barrie, Creator/Writer, said: “Working with this group of 17 young performers has been a revelation, their stories and the stories of their communities have broken my heart and built it back up again. We didn’t know what we were going to make when we started off, so we just talked and what started to emerge was this sense of family, and friends that become family, of lives that crash into each other and become ever changed as a result. The question of what it means to live and grow up with people, the question of how my endz informs the rest of my life, the question of who is my family. This is where we ended up with a deeply personal play about the beautiful lives of our neighbours and friends that hold us, and define us and teach us how to be more human.”
Heart of Hammersmith will play at the Lyric Hammersmith from the 12th to the 14th August. Tickets are on sale now.