Theatre By The Lake Opens Booking For An Exciting 2018


With an acclaimed season already under his belt, Artistic Director Conrad Lynch opened public booking of his second year at Cumbria’s largest producing and most idyllically situated theatre today.

He said “After an exhilarating 2017 we are thrilled to be producing a fantastic combination of work for our audiences this coming year with vintage comedy, acclaimed adaptations and new work as well hosting some great visiting work, local artists and a mix of festivals.”

 Nina – A Story about Me and Nina Simone

Theatregoers can book by phone, online or in person at the Box Office for the new season which includes musical tribute performances as well as opera, touring drama, dance, family friendly events and film. Highlights this spring include Nina – A Story about Me and Nina Simone, starring Olivier Award-nominated actress Josette Bushell-Mingo. Backed by a live band, Josette reveals the extraordinary career of the renowned singer-songwriter in a powerful and searing show that has garnered rave reviews across the country. It plays in the Main House from 27 February to 3 March.

Hymn to Love – Homage to Piaf

The theatre’s Spring Season of home produced work begins in the Studio with an extraordinary one-woman tour-de-force performance, starring Olivier Award-nominated actress Elizabeth Mansfield withHymn to Love – Homage to Piaf, from 23 March – 10 April. Co-produced with York Theatre Royal and in association with Ensemble, Hymn to Love will then embark on a rural tour across Cumbria, County Durham and Northumberland and play at York Theatre Royal between 17 – 21 April.

A Streetcar Named Desire 

In the Main House, the theatre is proud to present not one but two classic dramas, with A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, produced by English Touring Theatre (3 – 7 April), and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens in an adaptation by Ken Bentley and starring Nichola McAuliffe (10 – 14 April), best known for her role as Sheila Sabatini in the ITV sitcom Surgical Spirit.

Great Expectations

Also programmed are family friendly events with February half-term packed full of shows suitable for children aged 2+. Including skillful puppetry, cheery singing and live music – plus interactive games to fire the imagination – there’s an explosion of varied acts such as The Chit Chat Chalk Show for chalky adventurers or A Tiger’s Tale following a travelling tiger cub. The fun doesn’t stop when Little Mermaid – The Circus Sensation based on the well-known fairy tale, storms the theatre with daring acrobatics and spellbinding songs in mid-March.

The Chit Chat Chalk Show

As always there is the familiar line-up of festivals taking us into spring beginning with Keswick Film Festival and the Keswick Jazz & Blues Festival. Literary lovers are spoilt for choice in early March with this year’s speakers at Words by the Water Festival and Keswick Mountain Festival returns to Crow Park in June for more outdoor sports activities, live music and inspirational speakers.

Keswick Film Festival

Theatre by the Lake’s Summer Season opens on 24 May and includes the following productions:

Main House

Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, a play from the works of P.G. Wodehouse by The Goodale Brothers. Iconic double act Bertie Wooster and his dutiful valet Jeeves play matchmakers during a weekend away in this totally bonkers and inventive comedy. A recent hit in the West End, it won an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2014 and features three actors playing a multitude of characters.

Single Spies, by Alan Bennett. This Olivier Award-winning double bill explores one of Britain’s most fascinating stories of espionage. Set in the 1950s during the Cambridge spy scandal, it follows the characters of Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt; their secret identities, forgeries, fraud and a rather unexpected interrogation by the Queen! A comic masterpiece.

Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen, a sparkling tale of affairs of the heart adapted by Jessica Swale (who also adapted TBTL’s 2017 Christmas show, The Secret Garden). At present the Dashwood sisters’ circumstances look bleak, cheated of their inheritance and banished to a Devonshire cottage, their dreams of true love and circumstance are a distant memory. But events look set to improve upon the arrival of a handsome stranger.


Rails by Simon Longman. A world premiere and shortlisted for the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for playwriting,Rails tells the story of two bored teenagers Mike and Sarah whose lives collide one hot summer in a blur of hormones, loneliness and dreaming. Funny, poignant and sometimes painful, they discover growing up is just as confusing as they say.

Bold Girls by Rona MunroSet in Belfast in the early 90s, Bold Girls explores female friendship against the backdrop of a city in upheaval. Rona Munro is one of Scotland’s finest playwrights; she also wroteIron which was a hit in Theatre by the Lake’s 2016 Season.

Christmas 2018

Beauty & the Beast, by Laurence Boswell, based on the classic fairy tale. When bright, beautiful Belle is taken prisoner by a fearsome beast, she discovers there is much more to her captor than appearances first suggest. An enchanting and inventive adaptation.

TBTL is putting on sale today seven of their own plays which will run between March 2018 and early 2019. Once again the theatre offers fantastic savings to those locals or regular visitors who book to see the whole season of work. The I LOVE THEATRE package lets patrons watch nine shows on weekdays saving them up to 58% on the full price of the tickets* – at just £13 per show it’s a true bargain. Other smaller ticket offers similarly allow considerable savings with a six show I LOVE SUMMER ticket deal priced at just £80.

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