BY THOMAS CAMPBELL
There is a buzz about one of the UK’s leading theatre production houses.
The Lyric Hammersmith, West London’s largest creative hub, has started selling homemade honey after its beehives successfully attracted more than 80,000 Buckfast Bees.
The 120-year-old theatre installed the three hives on the ‘green’ rooftop last summer as part of its commitment to cut carbon emissions by 10 per cent every year.
Simon Davis, Head of Building Operations, who has worked at the Lyric for the past nine years, said: “We got something like 360 jars of honey overall.
“We’ve already sold out of honey from last year but we’re hoping for two harvests this year.”
The bees are tended by BeeUrban, a social enterprise based in South London which also takes care of the South Bank Centre and National Theatre’s hives.
The theatre’s Executive Director, Sian Alexander, said: “Our bees help us have a positive impact on the environment.
“The Lyric Hammersmith should do what we can to help these amazing insects continue to do what they do best.”
The Hammersmith theatre has produced some of the country’s most acclaimed shows including Bugsy Malone, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Simon Stephen’s interpretation of Chekhov’s The Seagull starring Lesley Sharp.
New Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan, who took over earlier this month, has just announced this year’s programme.
Mrs O’Riordan said: “We have a stunning 590-seat Frank Matcham-designed Main House and will produce plays that celebrate our unique theatre in the heart of Hammersmith.”
The venue has been recognised for its support of young talent. In the last year it welcomed more than 25,000 children and their families.
“Young people are at the heart of the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and nurturing a new diverse generation of theatre artists is central to our work,”’ said Mrs Alexander.
The theatre’s nine-month Lyric Ensemble programme helps young performers from different backgrounds take their first career steps and has proven to be a great success with more than 90 per cent of members going on to pursue a career in drama.
The Ensemble troupe’s new production, The Mob Reformers, set in 1381, tells the story of a band of West London rebels who set out to burn the houses of wealthy officials and break open the Westminster jail.
Director Holly Race Roughan said: “We have been on radical tours of London, learnt about activism and direct action – and practicing it. We even took over the District line one night. That anything is possible, will underpin the show.
“When I took this job the artistic team at the Lyric said to me ‘make something you wouldn’t dare make anywhere else’…I am thrilled and a little bit terrified.”
The Mob Reformers runs from June 19-29.
For ticket information contact 020 8741 6850 or visit www.lyric.co.uk.