March 2022 News Round Up


As I write this latest roundup of news, I can hardly believe we are already a quarter of a way through our Centenary year. What’s going on? Everything seems to be moving at such speed!

Within days we shall be staging a rehearsed reading in the Studio of The Silver Box by John Galsworthy, marking the first ever performance of the Loft Theatre Company on 24th March 1923. What a moment this will be and what a remarkable legacy the founders of the Warwick and Leamington Dramatic Study Club (the original title) have left us. As a mark of serendipity we shall be physically performing within a short distance of the original performance space.

Our second production of the year was chosen to mark our significant history of staging Irish plays at the Loft. ‘The Seafarer’ intrigued and delighted our audiences and was universally acclaimed as an artistic hit, with a superb cast at the top of their game. Enormous thanks to the entire company.

Despite being hit for the second time with positive Covid tests in the cast during rehearsals, we managed to complete the whole run fit and well. We were also delighted to welcome as our guest during the run the highly acclaimed actor, David Bradley. David has recently moved to Leamington and had not been to the Loft before, so it was a complete pleasure to welcome him to see us in action. He will be back to join us for an evening event in the summer, so look out for further news.

Up next in the main house is the first of our classic plays in our Centenary year, marking a long relationship our theatre has enjoyed with the work of Oscar Wilde. ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’ has been performed several times in our history and we are delighted to bring this wonderful writing, combining high drama and sparkling wit. This is also a significant milestone for the director, William Wilkinson, as this play marks his 50th production at the Loft. He brings to this and every production with us a lifetime of experience in the professional theatre and generously shares his extraordinary gifts as both a director and a lighting designer over so many years with us.. It is also the directing debut of his co-director, Lorna Middleton, who is also in the cast. The warmest of welcomes to Lorna, who has considerable directing and acting experience both in the UK and in Germany.

Bill says this will be his last production, but knowing Bill as I do… never say never. As Wilde himself says in this play “I can resist everything except temptation”.

The ticket sales are already buoyant; this will be both a visual and audible feast, so don’t miss the chance to see it.

In other news, we are currently completing the casting of our epic new play by David Fletcher ‘Taking The Waters’, which will be staged in July in the main house. This play, rooted in Leamington’s past, has already gained much interest and the Leamington History Group has already attended one of the readings of the latest version of the script. We are so excited about this production. We love a premiere!

We are also just about to hold the reading and auditions for our studio production in September. Nina Raine’s play ‘Consent’ was a sellout at the National Theatre when it premiered in 2017 and has already had a further professional production before lockdown. I knew as I left the auditorium after seeing it that it was one we had to stage. We are delighted to have secured the rights to perform this play. It is a perfect choice for the studio – contemporary writing, edgy, relevant and has much to say. As Nine Raine herself said “It’s like a wine that I’ve had in the cellar and it came out at just the right moment that it was ripe”.

Thank you for the positive feedback on our change this year to online versions of our programme with the additional of a cast and creatives free sheet. Audience members tell me this has enabled them to look at the details in advance of coming to see the show and we have reached a wider audience.

Finally we are delighted to say that the boarding has now come down at the end of The Victoria Colonnade approach to the theatre, to reveal it in all its restored glory. The gates are up and a new restaurant will be opening on the ground floor soon to enable you to enjoy some pre-and post theatre suppers too.

I think we’re just spoiling you now!

I look forward to welcoming you soon. Thank you to each and every one of you who buys a ticket and supports us, as we regain ground after having our doors closed for so long.

Sue Moore
Artistic Director