Words by the Water returns to Theatre by the Lake
Mon 18 Mar

Words by the Water returns to Theatre by the Lake

Return of the much missed Words by the Water Festival of Words and Ideas to Keswick 2024.    

After a challenging period post pandemic festival organisers are excited to return to Theatre by the Lake for a five day festival from Wed 5 – Sun 9 June.

What started life as a short festival in Keswick 23 years ago flourished and brought enormous joy to many people. So when the covid-19 pandemic hit, the loss of Words by the Water was felt by both guests and speakers.

The fallow period of the festival has shown all of us how much we need and value the arts and Words by the Water is delighted to be back in Cumbria in full capacity.

An exciting development in the future of the festival is a new partnership between independent local bookshop Bookends and the festival organiser Leah Varnell. Bookends Director Lucy Matthews explains her enthusiasm for the return of the festival: ‘For over 20 years, selling books at the Words by the Water festival has been an annual highlight for Bookends. We know how much our customers look forward to Words by the Water in Keswick so we are delighted to welcome the festival back to the community. We will have a very different role this year as, not only will we be selling books at the festival, we will also be organising and running the festival alongside Leah. We are thrilled to be working in partnership like this and believe this year will just be the start of a wonderful new era of Words by the Water.’

Leah shares the same excitement as the festival approaches: ‘It has been a really challenging few years in the arts but we are absolutely thrilled to be back in full force to share ideas and bring the Words by the Water festival community back together. I’m looking forward to June and hope to see lots of familiar and new faces at the festival in Keswick.’

Theatre by the Lake is also keen to welcome back the long-established festival. Simon Stephens, Executive Director of Theatre by the Lake, adds: ‘Words by the Water has always been an extremely popular event at the theatre and we know audiences have missed it in recent years. We’re really excited for the return of the festival and to be hosting a truly wonderful celebration of literature once again here at Theatre by the Lake.’

There will be a pre-festival event for fans of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in Botswana and the 44 Scotland Street series, as much-loved author Alexander McCall Smith takes centre stage at the theatre on Fri 10 May. McCall Smith will be discussing his brand new novel series, The Perfect Passion Company, with BBC journalist Helen Millican. Tickets for this event are now on sale.

Tickets for the festival will go on sale on Mon 15 April at 12pm for Best Friends (and above) of Theatre by the Lake and Thu 18 April at 12pm for Friends. Public booking opens on Mon 22 April. Book by phone on 017687 74411 or online at  www.theatrebythelake.com

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