Tue 9 Nov 2021


Theatre by the Lake, Cumbria’s producing theatre is once again staging ANON, their popular anonymous art fundraiser where artists and celebrities are invited to create CD size artworks which then go on sale to the public on Saturday 20 November at 10am.

The twist? None of the 300 artworks are signed on the front so people are buying blind for a fixed price of £50. The theatre team is delighted to confirm contributions from the following luminaries of art, stage and screen: Sir Ian McKellen, Ruby Turner, Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Sir Chris Bonington, Julian Cooper, Alan Stones, Maggie Hamblin, Marj Bond and Karen Wallbank to name just a few, and not one, but four Percy Kelly pieces kindly donated by ANON organiser, Chris Wadsworth.

Former owner of Cockermouth’s Castlegate House Gallery and staunch TBTL supporter, Chris Wadsworth commented: “After the grey days of lockdown we all want a bit of colour and fun. ANON3 gives us that while helping the theatre in Keswick to survive thanks to the generosity and imagination of the artists contributing.”

An exciting addition to this, the theatre’s third Anonymous Art Exhibition, is a generous donation by 92 year old St Ives artist John Emanuel. It is too big for a CD case but John sent it to contribute to the theatre’s funds. This stunning etching will be framed and on display throughout the exhibition and art lovers are invited to submit silent unique bids for this fabulous piece. The highest bidder will be contacted at the end of the exhibition on 12 December.

Theatre by the Lake’s Executive Director, James Cobbold commented:
“In TBTL’s history we’ve collaborated twice before with Chris Wadsworth to run Anon Art Exhibitions – once in 1998 as the first sod was dug for a new theatre in Keswick and again for our ten year anniversary. We’re excited to be teaming up a third time to run Anon3 for 2021 to help us raise vital funds that will enable us to continue to bring the joy of live theatre to our communities in Cumbria.”

The ANON3 Exhibition will have extended opening hours to the public from 10am until 4pm on Saturday and Sunday 21 November. All artists will be clearly credited alongside the exhibition and in associated publicity, wherever possible. The Theatre team anticipate most artworks to sell on this first day (historically there have queues around the block!), however the exhibition will run for a further three weeks with limited opening hours from Mon 22 November until Sunday 12 December 2021. Access to view the artworks for buyers will be restricted to ensure social distancing therefore the theatre ask buyers to be patient as lengthy wait times can be expected. Those who wish to visit the exhibition from Mon 22 are strongly advised to check the exhibition opening times before they travel as opening times are limited. Please visit the exhibition page for opening hours here.