The historic Victorian auditorium at The Lyric Hammersmith theatre is to undergo its first refurbishment in the best part of 40 years.

It will result in the temporary closure of the Hammersmith theatre's Main House auditorium from June 23, following the performances of Fatherland.

It is planned to reopen in time for the Lyric and HOME co-production of othellomacbeth on October 5.

Work to be carried out will include plasterwork and ceiling repairs and new seats.

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Waxing Lyric-al over Hammersmith's theatre

The Lyric Hammersmith's Studio theatre will also be revamped as part of the refurbishment.

It is the first major refurbishment of the auditorium, which was designed by famed theatre designer Frank Matcham, since 1979.

The Lyric reopened in April 2015 following a highly successful multi-million pound redevelopment (see video above) that added a major new extension to the west of the main building, the Reuben Foundation Wing, and refurbished the foyer spaces.

But the refurbishment did not include the Lyric’s two performance spaces, which now require work to maintain safety, improve accessibility, audience comfort and experience.

The Lyric's artistic director Sean Holmes inside the Main Auditorium

The Main House auditorium refurbishment will include plasterwork and ceiling repairs and redecoration, replacement of seats which will be fully removable in the stalls to increase the number and vary the locations of access positions, replacement of carpets and book rail, new and upgraded lighting positions, new access doors with swipe-card security and general redecoration.

The Studio will receive a modernisation and complete rewiring for the first time since its initial build in 1979, including installation of a higher capacity retractable seating stand to enable more flexible and intensive use of the space, installation of a low energy lighting grid and fixtures, repairs to floor and redecoration, and remodelling of the existing entrance to add profile to the studio programme.

The Main House auditorium at The Lyric Hammersmith, designed by Frank Matcham, is due for its first refurbishment since 1979

The Lyric has also identified a number of smaller investments that will improve organisational sustainability through reducing energy use, maintaining technical standards in support of artistic excellence and enabling additional and essential commercial income generation going forward.

The project is estimated to cost a total of £780,000 which has been part funded by Arts Council England, Foyle Foundation, SUEZ Communities Trust, The Wolfson Foundation and the Lyric Hammersmith’s own contribution.

The theatre also launching a Name a Seat appeal which offers patrons the opportunity to have their own name on a seat plaque for a donation of £1,000 in the Main House or £500 in The Studio.

Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith

Sian Alexander, executive director at the theatre, said: “The Lyric plays a key role in the cultural and educational landscape of West London and beyond.

"The refurbishment of our performance spaces is a strategic investment in the Lyric’s infrastructure looking after the building’s extraordinary heritage, giving our audiences a first class experience and bringing our technical capabilities into the 21st century.

"It is part of our long-term plan to renew the Lyric for future generations.”

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