During the theatre's extensive £16.5 million rebuilding program that includes the addition of the Reuben Foundation Wing (a two-story extension to provide additional facilities for its work with young people and the community) and the theatre's first major facelift to the existing building in 30 years, the theatre will continue its work by establishing a resident company of 20 actors, directors, designers and writers. According to press materials, they will "interrogate and challenge the way in which British theatre is made" as part of a "Secret Theatre" at the heart of a building site.
The company hopes to combine the best elements of the European model of a permanent ensemble with the traditional strengths of British theatre. The productions, a mixture of classics, new writing and adaptations, will open throughout the season, and each new show will contribute to the growing repertory of plays, with audiences offered the chance once a month to see several of the productions in one day. In the spirit of secrecy no titles will be announced.
In a press statement, artistic director Sean Holmes commented, "Secret Theatre is an attempt to challenge every aspect of how we make work at the Lyric, building new structures that could lead to a new type of theatre."
The company includes ten actors, comprising Nadia Albina, Hammed Animashaun, Leo Bill, Cara Horgan, Charlotte Josephine, Adelle Leonce, Katherine Pearce, Billy Seymour, Sergo Vares and Steven Webb.
They are joined by ten creatives, including artistic director Holmes, director Ellen McDougall; playwrights Carolined Bird, Joel Horwood, Arinze Kene and Hayley Squires; dramaturg Simon Stephens; and designers Hyemi Shin (sets), Lizzi Powell (lighting) and Nick Manning (sound). To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 8741 6850, or visit www.lyric.co.uk for more details.