Lakeland's 2018 theatre attractions

David Upton

Theatre by the Lake’s 2018 season, up in Keswick, reveals homegrown productions over the course of the year, alongside visiting work.

The Spring Season features Olivier-nominated actress Elizabeth Mansfield in the one-woman tour-de-force Hymn to Love, a homage to Edith Piaf, from March 23 to April 10, after which it will embark on a rural tour across Cumbria.

In the Main House, the theatre welcomes A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams produced by English Touring Theatre (April 3 to 7), and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens starring Nichola McAuliffe (April 10 to 14), best known for her role as Sheila Sabatini in the TV sitcom Surgical Spirit.

The summer season of home-produced work runs with a resident company of ten actors from 24 May. The three Main House productions are Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, in which three actors play a multitude of characters in an inventive and totally bonkers send-up of Wodehouse’s iconic double act.

Single Spies by Alan Bennett in which he turns his attention to the Cambridge spy scandal of the '50s, with comic vignettes (An Englishman Abroad and A Question of Attribution) which shed light on Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt.

Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility; the sparkling tale of the Dashwood sisters and affairs of the heart.

The Studio productions are a world première of Rails by Simon Longman. Shortlisted in the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, it tells the story of two bored and lonely teens whose lives collide over the course of a long hot summer.

Bold Girls by Rona Munro who also wrote Iron which was a hit in Theatre by the Lake’s 2016 Season.

The Theatre by the Lake Christmas production for 2018/2019 will be an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast from November 23 to January 12.

In addition, Words by the Water, which runs from March 9 to 18 features guest speakers Vince Cable, Claire Tomalin, Michael Frayn, Terry Waite, Michael Rosen and festival president Melvyn Bragg. Plus speakers on Syria, travel writing, the rainforest, Agatha Christie, the country after Brexit, Theresa May’s year, Pablo Neruda, Lowther Castle Gardens and heart transplants.