Spark programme takes Cumbrian theatre online


Paul Genty

18 Feb 2021

Digital programme is the start of something new for Theatre by the Lake

Theatre by The Lake in Keswick has become the latest regional theatre to announce a series of online activities, under the Spark banner.

Cumbria’s only year-round producing theatre is to offer a lively online programme to begin 12 months of experimentation, new ideas, new partnerships and investment in new work.

The  theatre had planned to launch live events in the theatre from February half-term, but the third lockdown forced plans to move online between March and May instead.

Initial events from the Spark programme are now available to book, with more announcements to come over the next few weeks.

Spark opens on March 5 with a series of rehearsed readings, for which a varying company of writers will work with TBTL’s creative team each month, to  present a new, otherwise unperformed play with script in hand.

The first of these, on March 5, features The Climbers by Carmen Nasr, a play originally  intended for the theatre’s main auditorium in 2020. Then on April 9 comes Wings by Cumbrian writer Nina Berry. The third and final play will be announced shortly.

As well as these, TBTL will play host to Open Space (Mar 12), an evening of  untried, untested work, including spoken word, music and theatre.

Over the last few weeks the theatre’s young people’s company has been involved in weekly online workshops to create Found Fettle, an audio journey across the Cumbrian spaces that have motivated and inspired them.

The Theatre had to cancel its family show planned for February half term so is instead bringing some digital family fun, including free story readings. TBTL’s galleries haven’t been forgotten either, a community exhibition, Life after Lockdown, has been installed and is being digitised for audiences to experience online from mid-March.

Artistic director Liz Stevenson said:"I'm really pleased to announce Spark; In these difficult times it’s been refreshing to collaborate with a wide range of local and national artists, actors, writers and directors to create this season.”

The newly-announced Spark events are the first of what is expected to be a series of new works over the next few months. Check the theatre website here for full information.