Lekan Lawal has joined multi-arts venue HOME, in Manchester, as Associate Creative Director.
Lekan has previously worked at the Derby Theatre (Regional Theatre Young Director’s Scheme) Old Vic (Old Vic 12), and the Young Vic, and has held positions including Resident Director on Hamilton and Co-Artistic Director (Up Next) at Battersea Arts Centre.
He won Best Director at the inaugural Stage Debut Awards in 2017, and the Genesis Future Directors Award at the Young Vic in 2019.
His first production for HOME will be a new production of Alice in Wonderland, a brand-new family show written by Stockroom. The show opens on Friday, 16 July at HOME’s outdoor Summer venue, Homeground, and runs until Saturday, 7 August.
Lekan said: ‘Having worked with the team since November, it’s really exciting to see the building opening up, Homeground in action and work towards bringing this production to life.’
Lekan started his career as an actor before moving into directing. He has a particular interest in storytelling as a means to connect with new audiences and effect change.
He said: ‘What attracted me to HOME was its identity as an arts centre (a cinema, theatre and art gallery) – I’m inspired by many art-forms, so I was interested by the interdisciplinary nature of HOME and the ways I might work across diverse mediums with a wide range of artists, audiences and communities.’
He added: ‘I’d like to see our work at HOME truly engaging and representing people that have been historically underserved in our sector.’
He is also interested in continuing the digital work that HOME has produced during the period when theatres were closed.
He said: ‘The expanding liminal space between live theatre and digital work has been a vital evolution of the sector – providing ways for contemporary theatre makers to speak authentically to audiences on their terms outside traditional spaces, and breaking down barriers to access, which I’m eager to explore further.’
Dave Moutrey, Director and CEO of HOME, said: ‘It’s my pleasure to welcome Lekan to the team at HOME. Lekan is a brilliant storyteller and I know he will bring an extraordinary amount of creativity, collaboration and experience to our programme.’
Lekan will also be sharing his expertise with students at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Manchester School of Theatre, as part of HOME’s ongoing relationship with the university.
Michael Pinchbeck, Reader in Theatre at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: ‘Manchester School of Theatre at Manchester Metropolitan University are delighted to welcome Lekan Lawal to HOME and look forward to working with him on our BA and MA programmes. Our students will be very excited to have the opportunity to work with a director of Lekan’s calibre, vision and experience. We are very pleased to be strengthening our relationship with HOME and planning future collaborations with this vital venue which enable our staff and students to engage with Manchester’s vibrant theatre industry.’
Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland runs from Friday, 16 July to Saturday, 7 August. For more information visit homemcr.org/alice.