TBTL’s 2022 Season Announced
Mon 17 Jan 2022

TBTL’s 2022 Season Announced


• World Premiere of The Climbers by Carmen Nasr following its 2020 cancellation

• Co-production with Octagon Theatre Bolton of Kes, directed by award-winning Director Atri Banerjee

• Co-production of SWIM with Liz Richardson Productions Ltd, in association with imPOSSIBLE Producing Ltd

• Co-production of Emma Rice’s adaptation of Brief Encounter with Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough and Octagon Theatre Bolton

• Co-production of One Man Two Guvnors with Octagon Theatre Bolton & Liverpool Everyman

• Reprisal of Stockroom’s The Glee Club in association with Theatre by the Lake


Theatre by The Lake (TBTL) – is delighted to announce its eagerly anticipated 2022 season, an ambitious programme of work reprising shows originally planned for 2020’s cancelled season, as well as a whole raft of new collaborationsThe year includes a World Premiere, an emphasis on nature and place, and a record number of collaborations with other leading northern theatres. Once again TBTL is cementing its reputation for excellence, working with the nation’s most exciting artists, celebrating stories relevant to its community through new collaborations and partnerships.

Themes of nature and place feature in the new season, kicking off the Studio in March with SWIM by Liz Richardson. Liz grew up in the Lake District and has written a beautiful ode to the healing power of nature and outdoor swimming after her community was rocked by tragedy.  SWIM is directed by Andy Routledge and will embark on a rural and UK tour following its TBTL run.

The Main House season starts early in late February with TBTL working with Stockroom’s production of The Glee Club by Richard Cameron, before it embarks on a national tour. This is a raucous comedy featuring live music about a bunch of five hard-working, hard-drinking miners and a church organist rehearsing for a local gala.

Swiftly following in April will be a TBTL and Octagon Theatre Bolton co-production of Kes adapted by Robert Alan Evans.  Ken Loach’s acclaimed British drama about a troubled teenager whose discovery of a hawk’s nest leads him down a road to freedom, passion and heartbreak will be brought to the stage in an exciting new imagining from award-winning director Atri Banerjee who promises to weave traditional music through the heart of this production.  Banerjee was recently named one of the top theatre-makers to watch out for in 2022 by The Stage, won The Stage Debut Award in 2019 and was nominated for the UK Theatre Award for Best Director for his production of Hobson’s Choice at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Summer begins in June with the World Premiere of The Climbers by Carmen Nasr and directed by Guy Jones (Creative Associate, Headlong & Literary Associate, Orange Tree). A British-Lebanese writer and winner of Channel 4 Playwrights’ scheme, Carmen has been a member of the Orange Tree’s talent development programme, the Writers Collective, the Royal Court’s Playwright group and is playwright in residence at the Finborough Theatre. The play is a mesmerising exploration of our fascination with the mountains, the drive to conquer and the agony of life or death decisions in extreme situations, fittingly premiering in what is often credited as the adventure capital of England and reputed birthplace of the British rock climbing movement. The play was originally scheduled for Liz Stevenson’s inaugural 2020 season which was later cancelled due to the pandemic.

Next up from July – September TBTL are delighted to stage a Theatre by the Lake, Octagon Theatre Bolton and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse co-production of the smash-hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors. This raucous new production from Lotte Wakeham will introduce Cumbrian audiences to the hapless Francis Henshall, and his increasingly desperate measures to keep his two ‘guvnors’ from discovering one another. It’s sure to be a laugh-out-loud rollercoaster for audiences this Summer.

Autumn will see the theatre flexing their performance space to in-the-round seating again for Emma Rice’s joyous musical adaptation of Brief Encounter.  With glorious musical numbers, physical comedy and maintaining the heady romance of the original, the theatre have teamed up with Stephen Joseph Theatre and Octagon Theatre Bolton to present this show following their successful  collaboration on Home I’m Darling, TBTL’s reopening show of 2021.

Finishing the year is The Borrowers by Mary Norton, adapted for the stage by Theresa Heskins (presented with the permission of the deFaria Company). This production saw soaring sales when it was originally programmed for the 2020 cancelled season and will turn TBTL’s stage into an adventure playground for this tiny cast living beneath the floorboards. A festive choice for young hearts of all sizes.

Theatre by the Lake’s Artistic Director, Liz Stevenson, said of her season: “I’m so thrilled to announce our programme for 2022. It feels a long time in the making and a watershed moment as we look to the future after a challenging time for the theatre and our sector.  I’m absolutely delighted that we’re producing the world premiere of The Climbers, and co-producing SWIM, maintaining our commitment to new writing telling stories that have a connection to our unique landscape and local communities. I’m also proud to be partnering with so many fantastic northern theatres and exciting artists to bring top quality theatre to Keswick.  Our programme of home-produced work will be surrounded by some fantastic visiting productions and special events that celebrate the creativity of our local communities and emerging theatre-makers, and we look forward to revealing more about our plans soon. We hope that the new season will bring audiences flocking back to experience the magic of live theatre once again.”

The theatre will continue to offer some guaranteed socially distanced performances for shows in its Spring Season including The Glee Club and Kes. For up-to-date Covid measures, please visit our Covid page.

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