Meet The Team: Sean Holmes

I’m Sean Holmes and I’m the Artistic Director here at the Lyric. i was lucky when i was at school we had a really great drama teacher, Mr. Franz Kovac, and he encouraged us to get our parents to write in to do theatre studies A level which the school hadn’t done before and they actually agreed to do. I think looking back on it now, in a way you don’t quite, you don’t, necessarily know why you want to do something you just
know you do. But looking back at it now I think it was probably something to do with the partly, it’s sitting in the imagination of a writer, I think it’s then the the solving of the problems and puzzles and opportunities and what they’re actually after there’s something about that in your
brain that is a really good way to spend your time most of the time and also I
think theatre, you know it’s sort, of lots of people say, it but I think I it’s
collaborative. It’s a way to make art and be an artist whilst sort of relying on
everybody else and I think I’ll enjoy the kind of team mentality of making
theater is something that obviously I took a lot from I think, still do. Obviously there’s different types of artistic director and I suppose I am one who partly leads through directing so I would direct two, maybe three, shows a
year. I mean obviously one of the things I’m primarily responsible for is the
programming, so deciding which plays to do which teams will do them, who might be in it.
It’s obviously about relationships with other artists and companies and theatres because increasingly we’re, all of us, reliant on
co-production. As well as that you’re obviously responsible for the staff and making sure that the building is as positive and happy as it can be. I think the thing is what people expect from us is we have quite a broad program of work you know, broader than most theatres. From Pantomime to Shopping And F**king,
literally one following the other but there’s something about that,
both of those feel very lyric and I think the thing with The Seagull, and Simon Stephens, who is an associate here, has written and really brilliant, I don’t like to be nice about him, but it’s a really brilliant version. Which feels to me it does two things, it’s completely modern and sayable, and fresh and alive and at the same time it also feels that it retains a sort of truth and classicism that, if that’s the right word, that links you directly back to Chekhov. When I got this job Nick Hytner sent me a card and I I’d worked for him but I didn’t know him very well but he sent me a card, I think it said, there is nothing, underlined, bad about running your own theatre. and I kind of know what he means. Of course from day to day there’s all sorts of disasters and crises and triumphs and all of those things but it is a really exciting job because it allows you to work collaboratively, in the way I said. There’s nothing more exciting than the play you’ve commissioned arriving on your desk or giving a director a job, or an actor a
job, or a writer a job and also having a theater that’s really important to it’s location, to its audience, when those moments all come together it’s a really exciting job. I mean also, you know, you work really long hours and it’s drives you mad but I think I didn’t think it was a job I wanted to do and then ever since I’ve done it I’ve been really glad that I made that decision.

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