April 2022 News Round Up


Lady Windermere’s Fan fluttered and certainly found favour with our audience. The exit poll from each night was full of praise and it was such a pleasure to witness the audiences first glimpse of the wonderful set. We were able to welcome a number of new people to the Loft company on and off stage and I am delighted that many of them will be involved in future productions with us.

Our thanks to William Wilkinson for guiding this, his 50th production directing with the Loft, safely to its final performance. We celebrated on the last night and hope that, should this be Bill’s final production in the director’s chair, he feels it was a fitting closing of an illustrious chapter.

In a centenary year, there are frequent milestones to be honoured and the first this year was on 24th March, when we marked the date of the first ever performance given by the newly formed Warwick and Leamington Dramatic Study club in 1923 (later to be renamed as the Loft Theatre) by performing the same play, just a short distance from the original location.

The play, The Silver Box by John Galsworthy, was presented in the Studio as a rehearsed reading and after a quite wonderful introduction by Phil Reynolds, revealing much from our history, the cast, directed by Maurice Smith and Michael Seeley reimagined this inaugural production. The enthusiastic audience were fulsome in their praise and it was a fitting tribute to our founders. They would be so thrilled to know that 100 years on, the theatre that started from such small beginnings is not only surviving, but thriving.

Next up in the main house is something of a different flavour of play; the equally world famous masterpiece this time from Edward Albee… ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?‘. Many of you will have seen this before, but for some it will be their first encounter with it. This is a play for the brave and we have a courageous company in the hands of Gordon Vallins who are getting close to being ready with this most daring text. It is a play full of verbal gymnastics as the central characters trade insults and play with their unsuspecting guests. Each time I see it I find something new. It’s exhausting, but uplifting as it finally confronts bitter truths. Certainly not to be missed. Fasten your seat belts and get ready…

As I write we are in a bit of a casting frenzy for four productions coming down the line. We have just completed the casting for ‘Taking The Waters‘ by David Fletcher, our brand new play about Leamington at the heart of our centenary year. We are casting for a ‘blistering’ contemporary play by Nina Raine in the studio and a classic piece of Chekhov, reimagined at the turn of the century in rural England. Our partners Arts Insight, who run their youth theatre at the Loft, are also just about to audition for their end of term production, which will be staged with all the support of the Loft’s resources and team in the main house in August.

After the Albee we shall need some unbridled joy and the cast and crew of Present Laughter by Noel Coward are within days of starting rehearsals. The reimagining of this production by the Old Vic just before the pandemic brought a whole new army of fans to this laugh out loud funny play and we are looking forward to bringing a fresh new look to this play ourselves in June. I’m in the cast and am looking forward to the laughter in rehearsal that awaits. I’ll need to have a quiet word with the lighting designer; I need careful lighting at my advanced years!

I look forward to seeing you at the Albee. We delight in your company and we value your loyalty to us and the much needed funds to enrich our coffers after the long hiatus.

Sue Moore
Artistic Director
April 2022