As Artistic Director at Soho Theatre Lisa was invited by the board to come into the company to ‘shake things up’ and develop a bold artistic strategy. She led on the creation and implementation of a three year plan that Arts Council England deemed ‘outstanding’. In a remarkably short time she created a strong intercultural and international London identity for Soho in terms of programme, company and audience development.
‘Goldman has transformed the venue, making it a home to radical international drama, where exiled Iraqi authors hobnob with the dissenting Belarus Free Theatre (banned in its home country), where a Gen-X Polish wunderkind gets her British premiere and where a troupe of Anglo-German performance artists (Gob Squad), renowned across Europe, is given a rare UK outing. That does not surprise anyone who knows Goldman – who previously ran the politicised Red Room company, and who from 2001 was active in the establishment of Artists Against the War.’ (New Statesman 2009)
In 2009 the Evening Standard listed Lisa as one of the 1000 most influential people in London because of her work with writers and her ambitious programme at Soho Theatre.
‘Soho Theatre nowadays feels like a place that realises completely that’s it’s sittingat the heart of a world city with gateways into all kinds of cultures – and those who gravitate towards it understand as a group the need to grapple with that complexity; not to judge it, not to categorise it – but to be as open as possible to it. To be a theatre that’s plugged into such diversity, without dissipating its personality – that’s quite a difficult mission, but Goldman and her team are carrying it out with real aplomb right now.’ Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph 2009 (citation Peter Brook Award)
During her four year tenure at Soho Theatre, Lisa developed and directed seven full-length plays and one ten-play festival of new writing as one aspect of a ground-breaking programme of new writing. Click on titles below to see photos and read more about this work in her production portfolio.
‘Soho's ambitious artistic director, Lisa Goldman is fast making her theatre the capital's centre for daring international drama, having scored a significant hit with Hassan Abdulrazzak's Baghdad Wedding last year’ (This is London 2008)
Behud by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti (shortlist John Whiting and Index on Censorship Awards 2010)
Shraddha by Natasha Langridge (winner Meyer Whitworth Award 2010)
Everything Must Go a short play festival
'Theatre can respond to contemporary events far more quickly than most art forms.... Nifty Soho has got there first, though, with an appealingly low-budget evening of 10 short pieces... Delightful'
(**** Evening Standard on ‘Everything Must Go’ 2009)
A Couple of Poor Polish Speaking Romanians by Dorota Maslowska
'Hunter S. Thompson meets the Sex Pistols. Wow! Soho Theatre should be congratulated for serving up this dark gem. This is international theatre at its most contemporary and an exciting work that screams of the now.’
(Aleks Sierz 2008 on A Couple of Poor Polish Speaking Romanians co-translated by Paul Sirett and Lisa Goldman)
Baghdad Wedding by Hassan Abdulrazzak (winner of George Devine Award and Meyer Whitworth Award 2008)
“Baghdad Wedding, a first play by Hassan Abdulrazzak, a London based Iraqi is exhilarating. Lisa Goldman, the new artistic head of the theatre directs with flair; it’s a flying start to regime change at Soho.”
(**** Susannah Clapp Observer 2007 )
Leaves of Glass by Philip Ridley
Lisa’s programme (Jan 2007 to May 2010) also included the following critically acclaimed and award-winning premieres:
Being Harold Pinter (Belarus Free Theatre’s first London invitation); Moonwalking in Chinatown by Justin Young; Pure Gold by Michael Bhim (co-pro with Talawa); White Boy by Tanika Gupta (co-pro NTS); Iya Ile by Oladipo Agboluaje (co-pro Tiata Fahodzi runner up Olivier Award); This Wide Night by Chloe Moss (winner of Susan Smith Blackburn Award); Joe Guy by Roy Williams (co-pro Tiata Fahodzi, winner Alfred Fagon Award); God in Ruins by Anthony Neilson (co-pro RSC) and Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness (Headlong) ; The Kitchen (Gob Squad); An Oak Tree by Tim Crouch; Midsummer by David Greig (co-pro Traverse and Carol Winter); The Long Road by Shelagh Stevenson (co-pro Synergy); Orphans by Dennis Kelly (co-pro Paines Plough); Static by Dan Reballato and Blasted by Sarah Kane (Graeae); Spill Live Art Festival including Forced Ents Void Story; Aalst and Venus as a Boy (co-pros National Theatre Scotland); Kim Noble will Die; War Story (Marisa Carnesky); Roaring Trade by Steve Thompson (Paines Plough); The Diver (co-pro Setagaya Theatre, Japan with Kathryn Hunter and Hideki Noda); Fathers Inside (NYT); Bette Bourne & Mark Ravenhill: A Life in Three Acts; Promises, Promises by Douglas Maxwell
Actors Lisa directed at Soho Theatre included: Jimmy Akingbola, Ishia Bennison, Lucy Briars, Silas Carson, Anna Carteret, Miranda Foster, Tristan Gravelle, Val Lilley, Jennifer Lim (US), John Macmillan, Maxine Peake, Lara Pulver, Matt Rawle, Andrea Riseborough, John Rogan, Sirine Saba, Ruth Sheen, Andy Tiernan, Luke Treadaway, Ben Whishaw, Jade Williams,
“In her first year in charge, Lisa Goldman has re-energised the Soho Theatre. One of the exciting things these days is that you never know what you are going to get.”
(The Evening Standard 2008)