Holmes is currently directing Treasure Island, which will open at the Haymarket in November and a new production of Joe Orton's Loot, which begins performances at the Tricycle Theatre Dec. 11.
In a press statement, Holmes said, "The first time I saw a show at the Lyric Hammersmith I fell in love with the space. Now as artistic director I am deeply excited at the prospect of running a theatre with such a rich and varied history and I look forward to building on the strong foundations left by David Farr during his tenure. The Lyric has always been a place where you expect the unexpected and I intend to continue this tradition with a wide ranging body of work which will engage, surprise and delight our audience."
Chairman of the Board Sandy Orr added, "We are delighted and fortunate that Sean Holmes has accepted our invitation to become the artistic director. Everyone knows that Sean is one of today's outstanding theatre directors. His contribution to all aspects of the theatre's activities, including the Lyric's groundbreaking work with young people will be significant."
Executive director and joint chief executive Jessica Hepburn commented, "I'm thrilled that Sean had been appointed. Throughout the process he demonstrated an understanding and love of the Lyric's history as well as an inspirational vision for the future. It's the start of a new chapter for the Lyric and I'm looking forward to working with him!"
Holmes previously directed Filter's Twelfth Night and Moonlight and Magnolias earlier this year at the Tricycle, as well as revivals of Singer and The Price, the latter of which subsequently toured and had a West End season at the Apollo Theatre. Other credits include The Man Who Had All the Luck (Donmar Warehouse), The Entertainer (Old Vic), Translations, The Mentalists, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Caucasian Chalk Circle for the National Theatre, Julius Caesar, Richard III and The Roman Actor for the RSC. Other productions include Simon Stephens' hit Edinburgh play Pornography, Incomplete and Random Acts of Kindness for the Royal Court and Cleansed and Home for Oxford Stage Company (now Headlong), where he is an associate director, and for whom he has also directed Richard Bean's The English Game.