Theatre by the Lake unveils the 2017 programme under new helm

New Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Conrad Lynch, announces the new season for TBTL (Photo: TBTL)

By Ken Powell

The new year brings many changes and for Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake (TBTL) team this means new leadership after Artistic Director, Ian Forrest’s 18-year tenure comes to an end.

New Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Conrad Lynch, announced the new season on Monday 12 December promising bold directions with world and regional premieres, major revivals and new collaborations and writing. If there could be said to be a theme to Lynch’s first season it would be “the great British play”.

The season kicks off in the main house with the world premiere of award-winning playwright Nicholas Pierpan’s ‘William Wordsworth’. This beautiful play reveals the real man behind the poet at the point when stresses of life were reaching their peak. At the same time, the English Touring Theatre will also be co-creating a show for Keswick.

In the Summer the Main House will stage the regional premiere of Moira Buffini’s ‘Handbagged’ – a comedy looking at just what went on behind palace doors when Margaret Thatcher and the Queen met together. The Studio Theatre will begin with ‘Two-Way Mirror’ by Arthur Miller and then ‘How My Light is Spent’ by Alan Harris – an award-winning comedy looking at loneliness, isolation and longing.

Two more world premieres continue the season: Howard Brenton’s ‘Miss Julie’ adapted from Strindberg’s classic will go on to London after Keswick; and ‘Remarkable Invisible’ by award-winning American writer Laura Eason – a family drama exploring themes we are all familiar with in normal life such as love, disappointments and expectations.

The Main House Christmas production will be a new adaptation by Jessica Swale of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic ‘The Secret Garden’.

Conrad Lynch’s producer-led approach will mean that the 2017 season will see a team of directors working on specific productions with three taken on by new Associate Director, Liz Stevenson. Conrad Lynch commented “It has given me great pleasure to plan the year ahead and curate an innovative and accessible mix of work. We hope to build on the wonderful foundations created by my predecessors…by staying loyal to their commitment to produce excellent, accessible and timeless theatre. I am also really excited about developing the theatre’s growing reputation for making work of scale and ambition with artists, collaborators and our Theatre by the Lake team.”

Read E2D’s full interview with Conrad Lynch here!