A NEW beginning is about to start for a special Cumbrian theatre.

Theatre by the lake is welcoming spring as a new array of programmes have been announced.

The venue had planned to launch live events in the theatre from February half term, but the third lockdown announcement following the Christmas break resulted in the team adapting to deliver a digital-only programme between March and May 2021.

The ever-changing nature of the current environment has led the venue to approach programming flexibly and they are delighted to be able to confirm the initial events from the ‘Spark’ programme are now available to book, with more event announcements due over the coming weeks.

‘Spark’, online, opens on March 5, with a series of Rehearsed Readings. Each month the Theatre’s creative team will work with a different company of writers, directors and actors over an intensive week on an exciting new play which has never been performed before, culminating each week with a ‘script in hand’ performance which audiences can view online.

On Friday March 12 the Theatre will host Open Space. First tested live at the theatre in 2019 and hugely successful, TBTL’s second scratch night goes online. The event will showcase all kinds of untried and untested work, including spoken word, music and theatre, all in a supportive environment for artists to test their ideas and receive immediate audience feedback. The event is part of the theatre’s commitment to offer a platform to help support home grown creative talent and is huge fun for audiences.

Over the last few weeks, The Young Company, young people aged 14-18, have been attending weekly online workshops with TBTL staff and theatre professionals. The outcome, Found Fettle, is an audio journey across the Cumbrian spaces that have motivated and inspired them throughout the last year, featuring illustrations and soundscapes and will ‘go live’ and online in April.

The Theatre had to cancel their family show scheduled for February half term so are instead planning to bring some digital family fun.

Artistic Director, Liz Stevenson said: “I’m really pleased to be able to announce the ‘Spark programme’. Though we were unable to open the building in February as planned, we have been working towards taking our ‘Spark’ programme online.

“In these difficult times it’s been so refreshing to collaborate with a wide range of local and national artists, actors, writers and directors to create this season.”

“We can’t wait to welcome you all back in person until then, keep an eye on our website and social media channels.”