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YOUR NEWS – Heart of Hammersmith Rehearsals Underway

YOUR NEWS – Heart of Hammersmith Rehearsals Underway

Heart of Hammersmith company members in rehearsals.  Photo: Nahwand Jaff


By Su-Ann Chow-Seegoolam

Heart of Hammersmith is the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre’s first large-scale community play celebrating true stories of West London with a cast of over forty local people, aged from 11–88 years.
Full casting has now been announced with participants from the adult Community Chorus, Young Lyric Partner Chorus and Amici Dance Theatre Company joining the previously announced Lyric Community Company.
The production will be running in the Lyric Theatre’s Main House from Thursday, 12 to Saturday, 14 August.
Heart of Hammersmith is written and created by Nicholai La Barrie with The Lyric Community Company, directed by Eva Sampson with Alex Hurst with set and design by Charlotte Espiner, lighting design by Shaun Parry, sound design by Lorna Munden and choreography by Diane Alison-Mitchell.
The new show celebrates West London stories past and present. The production started rehearsals in January during Lockdown via Zoom with the Lyric Community Company’s 17 young members, aged 18-25. The production has been developed throughout the year and now brings together a cast of over 40 West Londoners, including an Adult Community Chorus, aged 30-88 years; the Amici Dance Theatre Company of disabled and non- disabled performers aged from 20-70 years; and a Young Lyric Partner’s Chorus, aged 11-18 years.
From lives lived to lives lost, lives forced out and lives brought together, Heart of Hammersmith celebrates West London through all of its hardships and triumphs and the vibrant individuals who make it what it is. Inspired by true stories from West London, the play tracks immigrant arrivals, million-pound homes and social housing sitting side by side, the rise of gentrification and the shadows left by the Grenfell tragedy, the changing of attitudes, facing of tragedies and the rallying of a resilient community. Heart of Hammersmith tells the story of Dieppe Street, a street from West London’s past, and a place that today unites us.
The performances will be socially distanced in line with See It Safely industry-approved guidelines and all tickets are £10 available at www.lyric.co.uk .
The adult Community Chorus includes Colm Gallagher, Patricia Mantuano, Denise Clarke-Williams and Nutun Ahmed in speaking roles and Alessio Bagiardi, Francis Cherry, Margaret Cramp, Isobel Leaviss, James Mcauley, Binita Patel, Lizzie Popoff, Priya Narayan, Pauline Singh, Anne-Marie Wedderburn, Jamie Woodard, Donna Wright and Faisal Yusuf.
Amici Dance Theatre Company is a unique dance theatre company integrating non-disabled & disabled artists and performers. The Amici Company includes: John Athnasious, Stuart Cowie, Ekeama Henry-Ferrazzi , Nicolas Serial, Wilma Serial and Delson Weeks.
The children’s Partner Chorus includes: Amaiya Coleman, Luka Jankovick, Nikolas Obradovic, Agnes Suckling, Imiya Summers and Alyssia Tachie-Menson in collaboration with the Young Lyric Partner Organisations Action on Disability, Amici Dance Theatre Company, New English Ballet Theatre, Tri-Borough Music Hub, Turtle Key Arts and Zoo Nation Academy of Dance.
Working together with Nicholai La Barrie (Tina – The Tina Turner Musical Resident Director), the script has been created with The Lyric Community Company, aged 18-25, from West London. 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.

Website: www.lyric.co.uk
Twitter: @LyricHammer
Instagram: /LyricHammersmith
Facebook: /LyricHammersmith

YOUR NEWS – Heart of Hammersmith

YOUR NEWS – Heart of Hammersmith

First ever large-scale community play from Lyric Hammersmith (in its 125-year history) celebrates the stories of West London and will take over the main house this August.


By Su-Ann Chow-Seegoolam

The show brings together a cast of over forty West Londoners, including seventeen 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.
Written and created by Nicholai La Barrie with The Lyric Community Company and directed by Eva Sampson with Alex Hurst, Heart of Hammersmith celebrates West London stories past and present.
The production will also feature a community chorus from Young Lyric partner organisations. The show will run from 12 – 14 August with socially distanced seating. Tickets are £10 and are onsale now at www.lyric.co.uk.
The Lyric Community Company’s members, who started rehearsals online during the pandemic, 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 and Aliyah Yanguba.
The Young Lyric partner organisations, collaborating on the show, are: Action on Disability, Amici Dance Company New English Ballet Theatre, Turtle Key Arts, Tri-Borough Music Hub and Zoo Nation Academy of Dance.
Heart of Hammersmith tells intergenerational stories of the people, places, sights and sounds of the West London area. From lives lived to lives lost, lives forced out and lives brought together, it celebrates the area through all of its hardships and triumphs and the vibrant individuals who make it what it is.
Inspired by true stories, the play tracks immigrant arrivals, million-pound homes and social housing sitting side by side, the rise of gentrification and the shadows left by the Grenfell tragedy, the changing of attitudes, facing of tragedies and the rallying of a resilient community.
The show is set on Dieppe Street, a street from West London’s past that today unites us.
As part of the Lyric Community Company, the Lyric is has cast adults from West London to perform in the August production. The mix of speaking and non-speaking roles means that people with no previous acting experience are featured. Adults aged 25+ who live in West London and are passionate about the community have been chosen to take part in the production.
Also, residents and workers across Hammersmith & Fulham will share their memories of the area in Your Hammersmith Story which will see selected stories featured in a new podcast from the Lyric.
Rob Lehmann, Director of Young Lyric said: “We’ve loved hearing from our community members for Heart of Hammersmith, and now we want to invite residents and workers from Hammersmith & Fulham to share their memories with us as part of Your Hammersmith Story. What does Hammersmith mean to you? It could be a story from your first visit, a special occasion, celebrating a local hero, your favourite places to visit, anecdotes from your time here, you name it.”
It’s not known when the cut-off date might be but, as we went to press, anybody interested in submitting a story could go to: lyric.co.uk/ our-home/your-hammersmith-story and download a form and in person from the box office and from various local businesses in the area.
Selected individuals will be invited to tell their story in the new podcast.

Website: lyric.co.uk
Twitter: @LyricHammer
Instagram: /LyricHammersmith
Facebook: /LyricHammersmith

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