February 2022 News Round Up


We kicked off our Centenary year in style with Lucy Kirkwood’s contemporary version of Hedda Gabler, a classic in world theatre. Judging from the debate in the bar afterwards and feedback from the audience, the fascination of the character of Hedda lives on in this century as in the last. Loved and loathed in equal measure, Hedda proved to be just as controversial a figure as ever. The reviews were not, however, with universal artistic acclaim for the portrayal of this conflicted character.

Sadly, due to the vagaries of staging theatre during a pandemic we had to close the show prematurely much to the heartbreak of the entire Hedda company. We were not alone, as our local sister theatres faced just the same tough decisions. Our thanks to many of you, our audience, for your supreme kindness in gifting your ticket price to us. Your support is invaluable and highly valued. Supporting the arts at this time is highly prized and you have done a splendid thing.

Coming up next in the main house is The Seafarer by Conor McPherson, marking the significant role that Irish playwrights have played in the Loft’s history. With his hallmark supernatural theme, McPherson displays once again his talent for storytelling. He is not only a gifted writer, but frequently directing his own work has enabled him to deeply understand how his lines best come alive in the hands of actors. This has sharpened his writing even more. He undoubtedly writes a great ‘yarn’, as the characters in The Seafarer move through delicious drunken comedy to shocking revelations, despite their best efforts to crawl inside a bottle to hide. It leads to both a startling and funny reckoning with lost souls. Much garlanded in every outing of this play, it remains unmissable.

Hot on the heels after the last night of The Seafarer, we are welcoming back the Apollo Theatre Company, who brought their sell-out production of ‘Round The Horne’ to us before lockdown. One of the company, Colin Elmer, who brought us his imagining of Kenneth Williams in that production, is returning in his one man show entitled Cult Figure; the phrase Williams used to describe himself. Over 30 years since Kenneth Williams died we are still fascinated by his sparkling wit, his ability to hold an audience as a raconteur and as Colin Elmer states “we still marvel at his unique talent and ability to captivate, enchant and entertain. He excelled in all mediums, on stage, radio, film and television. His body of work throughout his life was incredible, and like all unique figures, we are captivated as much by the artist as by the work he left behind. In Cult Figure I hope we reveal both these elements side by side.”

So, “stop messing about” and don’t miss the chance to see Colin bring Kenneth Williams alive on stage once more. One performance only… Sunday, 6th March at 7.30 p.m.

Behind the scenes, Lady Windermere’s Fan has started fluttering in rehearsals and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is cast and ‘waiting in the wings’ to start too. We are currently auditioning for Coward’s most sparkling comedy Present Laughter which will be staged in June and the reading of the brand new play by David Fletcher, to be staged in July, covering a slice of Leamington’s rich history, is happening within days of me writing this. Entitled Taking The Waters, it will be the epic production in every sense of this special year.

Do come and support the only live theatre company in town! Booking is open for the entire first half of the season. You will be assured the warmest of welcomes.

Sue Moore
Artistic Director