February News Round-Up

What a cracking start to 2023 that was! I had enjoyed directing our opening play, Yasmina Reza’s ‘Art’, so much, working with a brilliant cast and crew and I knew that we had brought something special to the stage. I was not prepared though for the overwhelmingly positive response not only from the reviewers, but from everyone who saw it. Our largest audience was the Sunday performance and we had an enthusiastic standing ovation. Even after the play finished, I have had continuing positive responses in my inbox and in person. Thank you all for your support and for your feedback. It was an unforgettable time for us all.

We were also delighted to welcome, as our guests, the Talisman Theatre’s award-winning production of ‘Twinkle’, on the night after Art closed. This one man show, starring Phil Reynolds, was a tour de force and an audience pleaser, many of whom were watching for the second time.

Next up is The Winterling by Jez Butterworth. Loyal supporters of the Loft will remember our production of Jerusalem by the same playwright. The Winterling is an enigmatic play, which owes as much to the style of Butterworth’s admiration for Pinter as it does to the gangster comedies of Martin McDonagh. He is the master of balancing laugh-out-loud humour and tension. The Winterling digs deep into what drives relationships, the fragility of innocence and the revelation that even ‘a winterling’ can find absolution. I dug deep to find out what this word ‘winterling’ means and after some snares and delusions, including finding it is a type of crocus, I discover it is Devonshire dialect for the runt of a litter – a dejected animal on its last legs. By the end of the play the audience will certainly discover which character this is. You also realise that you knew it all along. A terrific cast awaits you in the hands of director Tom O’Connor, who dazzled you with his production of ‘ The Seafarer’ exactly a year ago. Don’t miss it.

In other news……..we have announced our 2023 autumn programme and all the detail is on the website. A contrasting programme of plays starting with A Delicate Balance, arguably Edward Albee’s greatest work. If you saw Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf last year, this is certainly for you. This will be followed by Macbeth and the buzz in the theatre about this being staged is already palpable. December will be full of the sound of the fun-filled Sondheim musical Anyone Can Whistle – the whackiest of Sondheim’s musicals with the most beautiful songs.

As for the rest of the programme, we are in rehearsal for Terry Pratchett’s ‘Wyrd Sisters’, the antidote to Macbeth and we are now cast for Consent, a very recent success at The National Theatre. Casting is also underway for the mighty Boudica in June. It’s all go!

Enormous thanks to you, our audience, for your continued support of us. A couple of weeks ago we decorated the walls of the bar with photographs of all the productions we have staged since we reopened, post pandemic. Do browse them when you next visit us. 16 productions in total, with over 200 people involved on stage and back stage, let alone our brilliant front of house teams. A mighty army of volunteers who are united by their passion for theatre. What better way to spend our time than making theatre happen?

See you in the auditorium very soon and thank you for your contribution to the arts, which is beyond price. Creating theatre enriches lives. As a registered charity, all the income generated is reinvested in the work we bring to you.

Sue Moore
Artistic Director