We had a cold start to 2024, but the warmth of the audience response to our January production of Life x 3 took off the chill. The play was positively reviewed and it was good to hear laughter in the auditorium and people chatting about the play afterwards. Enormous thanks to my talented company for delivering my third Yasmina Reza play with such style. I love overlapping dialogue and a natural feel to contemporary plays and their great skill was palpable. The hattrick is done! The cast remarked how engaged the audience were every single night. It certainly caught their imagination.

On the Sunday following the last night we sold out the auditorium for a return visit of the insanely talented Down For the Count jazz band with their concert Legends of Swing. The theatre really rocked with the enveloping sound. This group of musicians and singers were on the 50th night of their tour and congratulated the Loft once again for being a welcoming and special venue. Great thanks to the team for turning around the stage in record time on the day. The get in and get out was professionally slick and they moved onto other great venues, including their forthcoming sell out at Ronnie Scott’s in London. Rest assured we shall get them back when their schedule allows. Thank you also to the audience members who were still coming up to give congratulations and compliments for Life x 3. Brilliant.

Next up is our February production – Translations by Brian Friel. Friel is an astonishing writer and if we could have a whole season of his plays I would be thrilled. My belief at the Loft is to bring to you play writing of the highest calibre – be it classic, contemporary or brand new writing. We start with the finest ingredients and this play falls firmly into that category. The play is emotionally charged, but emotionally satisfying and it shines a light on change, communities and the power of communication. The scene setting that is laid down in the first half comes to fruition in the second half, which contains a series of incredibly powerful and poignant scenes. It is a theatrical treat. With a strong company of actors with more new Loft actors to welcome and Irish musicians who are part of the action and playing live, this is a production which is simply unmissable. Booking is now open.

Following the postponement of Spring Awakening from our Spring production slot this year, I am delighted to tell you that we have rescheduled this now for 2 – 12 April 2025, so you will still be able to see this amazing piece of work. This ground-breaking Tony, Olivier and Grammy award winning musical will also be having its 15th Anniversary Concert this year in London in June. The cast are keen to stay with this production and Chris Gilbey-Smith, the director, will be confirming our 2025 cast later in the summer.

In its place we shall be staging Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas for a slightly shorter run than normal. This was originally commissioned by the BBC as a radio play in 1954 and this year it is the 70th anniversary. We shall be creating a setting reflecting a 1950s BBC radio studio with actors standing at period mics at the front of the stage as if broadcasting live to the nation. Booking is open and more details are on the website.

Reading and auditions for future productions are in full swing and I am delighted to now be able to announce the autumn programme.

In September we shall be staging another Lucy Kirkwood play, Mosquitoes, originally staged at the National Theatre with Olivia Colman in the cast. Those of you who saw our production of Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children will know you are in for a special treat.

In October we shall be staging a brand new adaptation by David Fletcher of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. My absolute favourite Chekhov and highly anticipated within our company, David will direct.

Our last production of the year will be Glorious by Peter Quilter, directed by James Suckling. Glorious is the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York socialite and singer, an eccentric who could not carry a tune, but was convinced she was outstanding. She was universally considered to be “the worst singer in the world”. Nominated for an Olivier award for best new comedy after its premiere, it has since played all over the world. We feel this is a glorious and fitting ending to the year.

Finally, my thanks to you all for your constancy in supporting the work of the Loft. We aim to stage theatre of the highest quality in terms of writing, staging, casts, creatives and crew and to equally provide you with an outstanding experience of being in the theatre as we warmly welcome you front of house. I was delighted to receive an email from an audience member during Life x 3 who said it was their first visit to the Loft and they simply could not believe that this was anything other than a professional theatre. They remarked that we had actors of the highest quality and that it was the first time that they could remember being thanked by the front of house team for coming as they left after the performance. Gladdens the heart.