Artistic Director’s News Round up – April/May

To some it was Wyrd and to others, just weird, but we had a huge number of Terry Pratchett fans and others who were being introduced to him for the first time, loving our last production of Wyrd Sisters; many attending multiple times. I think four visits was the record! Enormous thanks to Lorna Middleton and her entire company for an imaginative production of this much loved stage play.  We were also delighted to welcome many new actors to the cast.

Next up is the staging of Consent by Nina Raine. I saw this production at the National Theatre in 2017, starring Anna Maxwell Martin and Ben Chaplin.  It was in the Dorfman and was played in the semi- round, so it was fascinating to clearly see the faces of the audience sitting opposite us and their reactions as the play unfolded. There are few playwrights who write about the law and Nina Raine confronts the difference between law and justice.  It is a play of enormous moral intelligence and will allow you as audience to consider the rights and wrongs of the case presented to you.  

Courtrooms are full of adversarial and contradictory narratives and in this play the playwright shows how these debates are mirrored in the private lives of the characters in the play.  This is a brave and powerful play for today tackling the subject of rape and I left the National convinced this was a play we should bring to the Loft stage.  I hope you will come and see this talented company present this impressive piece of theatre.

Elsewhere in theatre news, we continue to hold readings and auditions of future plays we are staging in our programme and are now fully cast through until November 2023.

We have also added a couple of special events to our main house production programme.  On 20th May we are holding an evening in our Studio Theatre. This will be an evening of sonnets with Paul Curran and friends.  Paul became part of the Loft company of actors last autumn in the cast of Pinter’s The Birthday Party.  He brings to us professional experience from film, TV and theatre and during lockdown, when there was no work, he turned his creative talent to writing poetry. His love of poetry started when he was a student at Oxford and during lockdown he wrote and published several volumes of poetry.  Many associate the sonnet with Shakespeare, but many poets used the sonnet form when writing.  It is our opportunity also to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s first folio. Our evening in the Studio, entitled His Only Sonnet will be a mixture of many famous poets’ outstanding sonnets, including Paul’s. Some sonnets will be moving, some fun and he will aim to tell you about their origins and how the sonnet has been embraced in world poetry. With only a small capacity audience, do book early.

Our second event is a special concert on Sunday 18th June in the main house. Entitled Sublime Sondheim, we shall be paying tribute to the work of the glorious composer Stephen Sondheim with an outstanding cast of 20 singers and a band of musicians under the direction of James Suckling. He is my most favourite musical theatre composer.  The intelligence and complexity of his scores and lyrics have made him a frequent feature of our musical production programme over the last 20 years.  Don’t miss this one evening chance to hear this glorious music. There will also be a taster of some of the songs from Anyone Can Whistle too which is our Sondheim musical scheduled for December this year.

In other news, our Production Manager Kim Green left us, after 11 years at the helm, for pastures new. We had a splendid farewell evening to celebrate her wonderful contribution to us and we wish her every possible happiness for her future career.  Her star will doubtless continue to shine brightly.  We have been lucky to recruit a replacement for Kim and Amy Carroll joined us for a handover just prior to Kim’s departure.  You will no doubt have seen her CV on the website when we announced the appointment, but Amy comes to us with 20 years of professional experience as a freelance Production Manager with many of the major theatre companies in this country. Her skills are awesome and we are thrilled to welcome her to our theatre company and benefit from her talent.  

We hope to see you at Consent. Your support of our work is mightily important to us.  We love to bring intelligent and powerful writing to our stage and particularly to bring contemporary theatre from the hottest playwrights so soon after their staging in London.  We are proud to offer the opportunity to see these plays locally.

We create theatre in the belief that it can enrich communities and change people’s lives for the better for all who engage with it, on stage or off. As a registered charity, never forget that all the money you spend in tickets and in the bar with us is a highly prized donation to the arts, to enable the survival of the only independent live theatre in the town and is always reinvested in our theatre company to help us continue to bring the best of theatre to you. 


April 2023