News Article

3rd Aug 2020

Theatre by the Lake reveals impact of Covid and plan for survival

on 3 August 

Theatre by the Lake have confirmed 38 staff will be made redundant following a two month consultation process.  Changes to the Government’s furlough scheme, alongside social distancing restrictions, meant difficult decisions and decisive action to reduce expenditure have been necessary. 

Artistic Director Liz Stevenson and Executive Director James Cobbold said:

"We deeply regret every job loss, but these actions are necessary to ensure TBTL successfully reopens in 2021 and continues to serve its community and audiences.  This has been a very difficult process for everyone involved but a reality of the situation that many theatres currently face.”

The theatre is now looking ahead to the future and its reopening, whereupon it would be able to increase its staffing.  For now, a mobilisation team of twelve will plan for the permanent re-opening of the theatre in 2021, and in the meantime find new ways to entertain their loyal audiences and creatively engage and support local communities.

The theatre also announced that they have so far raised nearly £90,000 towards supporting their reopening, largely raised from one-off donations from supporters, as well as customers with bookings for 2020’s cancelled shows generously converting their tickets to donations. 

Liz Stevenson and James Cobbold commented:

"We’d like to thank everyone who has donated so far. The show of support has been overwhelming and the number of people who have got in touch to offer to help is simply wonderful.”

The theatre has created a JustGiving pagefor the appeal where members of the public can easily donate the cost of a ticket to support the theatre at this time. A major campaign is currently being planned to fund the significant costs required to reopen the theatre and whilst a reopening date is not yet set, it is unlikely to be before 2021.

Theatre by the Lake has recently been awarded a grant from Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund to provide essential support to the charity to withstand the immediate effects of the Covid-19 crisis and ensure its survival.  The theatre team will additionally be submitting an application for the Government’s £1.57bn package of support to the arts, culture and heritage sector to support their reopening opens. 

To find out more about their fundraising appeal and to donate visit


Notes to ed

Ticket holders have now all been contacted by members of TBTL’s Box Office team who were brought back from furlough to process over 2,000 ticket orders for 2020’s cancelled shows.  The team have now successfully processed all outstanding ticket orders and the Box Office phone lines have now closed.  The theatre sincerely thanks customers for their patience while they undertook this considerable task and the many people who have donated the costs of their tickets to the theatre.   

Media interviews are not possible at present 

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