As ambassadors for the Theatre by the Lake, we regularly suggest going to see a performance as something for our guests to do in the evening. The theatre supports a repertory company performing six main shows in rotation from May to November, and from our experience, the results are excellent – the productions are always high quality and very professional, and the acting generally top notch. Fortunately for us as ambassadors, we are offered complimentary tickets to the main summer shows, so we are able to see pretty much everything!
For summer 2016, the following productions are being performed split between the larger Main House and the Studio, where productions are much smaller and more intimate:
In the Main House:
Watch It, Sailor! – generally, one of the productions is a farce or comedy, and this year it is Watch It, Sailor!, written by Philip King and Falkland Cary. Set somewhere in northern England in 1955, the story is set on the morning of a wedding between a sailor on leave and a local girl. When the groom receives a mysterious telegram before the wedding, mix ups and misunderstandings are sure to follow, particularly with a battleaxe mother of the bride, who was never too keen on the match to start with!
Dial M for Murder – originally written by Frederick Knott, but famously brought to the big screen by Alfred Hitchcock, this is the story of what happens when ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice discovers his wealthy wife is having an affair. Driven by greed and revenge, can Tony commit the perfect murder?
The Rivals – another comedy, but this time written by celebrated Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan and first performed in 1775. Set in fashionable Georgian Bath, rich heiress Lydia Languish has three lovers fighting for her hand in marriage. But hopeless romantic Lydia has set her heart on penniless cavalry officer Ensign Beverley, much to the disapproval of her formidable aunt, Mrs Malaprop. What follows is a whirlwind of deception, romance and intrigue.
In the Studio:
The Vertical Hour – written by acclaimed play write David Hare and set in the present day, the story is based around the clash of opinions that happens when Nadia, ex-war reporter now Yale professor and supporter of American intervention in Iraq, meets her boyfriend’s father, Oliver, a British GP and self-confessed liberal. An intelligent, cleverly written and thought provoking play that really makes you question why you hold the opinions you do (whichever side of the fence you are on!)
Elektra – undoubtedly the oldest play on this year’s programme, probably written approaching 400 years BC by Greek playwright Sophocles. Elektra is the daughter of King Agamemnon, who seeks revenge after her father is murdered in a coup by the queen and her new lover. A modern and bold take on a very old myth!
Iron – a psychological drama set in prison where lifer Fay hasn’t had a visitor in 15 years. Without warning her daughter Josie turns up looking for answers. But can they both cope with what happened in the past?
If you are planning to visit Keswick, we would thoroughly recommend you give the Theatre by the Lake a visit. And don’t forget that as guests of Grassmoor Guest House, you will be entitled to a discount from the cost of your tickets. We look forward to seeing you this summer!