Theatre by the Lake certainly lives up to its name. Set amongst the spectacular rolling fells, and located on the shores of Derwentwater, it’s arguably one of the most impressive theatre locations you’re likely to visit. It’s also just a short stroll from the bustling market town of Keswick. And as for the interval, sitting by the lake as you eat your ice cream is something very special.
Since opening in August 1999, it has staged more than 100 plays attracting both locals and visitors from far and wide. The theatre has come along way since it replaced the travelling Century Theatre. Commonly known as the ‘Blue Box’, it took plays to towns and cities without a theatre post World War II. You can actually visit the iconic ‘Blue Box’ at the Snibston Discovery Museum in Coalville, Leicestershire.
Did you know? In 2018, Theatre by the Lake won the ‘Most Welcoming Theatre’ award in the North West for the fifth year running.
Like the setting, the talented resident group are just as impressive. Visitors are treated to a number of productions across the summer with something to suit all theatrical tastes. The theatre uses a repertory system which means one company of actors work across several shows. A popular system with actors we believe. So if watching a couple of peformances during your stay, you may see some familiar faces! The theatre also welcomes a number of visiting productions from dance, drama, comedy, fascinating talks as well as hosting some great festivals. If visiting in September take a look at the The Ocean Film Festival World Tour.
Why not stay for a spot of lunch, afternoon tea or even a delightful dinner by the lakeside before taking your seats for showtime. The Lakeside Cafe Restaurant is open from 9am to 8.30pm (last orders at 8pm) offering a selection of delicious food and drink. Alternatively, located in the theatre itself, The Spotlight Cafe Bar is open from 11am until 4.30pm on non-performance days, and 7pm on performance days (food served from 11.45am). Treat yourself to a tasty cake or snack!
So what’s on? The 2019 summer season includes The Ladykillers, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Dear Uncle all of which can be seen in the 400 seat Main House, while My Mother Said I Never Should, The Children and Guards at the Taj can be seen at the 100 seat Studio. There are also six productions playing in repertory to enjoy. Further information can be found on their website.
Hints and tips: Parking is easy – right next door! However, if this is busy, there are car parks in town. Alternatively, if staying at Keswick Bridge, why not leave the car behind and walk instead. Their Christmas shows are famously good!
Why we love it: The plays are magic and there is something to suit everyone. The location speaks for itself and is simply stunning.
Images credit: Theatre by the Lake