Read the Artistic Director’s round up of news for July


Wow….the year is whizzing by. This centenary year has been so special and we had a really celebratory time staging Noel Coward’s ‘Present Laughter’ in June. The cast and crew relished listening to the laughter from the audience. Enormous thanks to Lorna Middleton – an experienced director elsewhere, but making her debut directing for us. We had a joyful time in rehearsal and during the run.

Hot on the heels of the last night we staged a very special event; a chat show with our guests Michael Billington and David Bradley. They shared with us their road into the arts and their wisdom of so many years at the top of their professions. They were both natural raconteurs and made my job as host very easy. The audience shone with some first rate questions and we discussed local theatrical matters and views of the wider place of theatre within our lives. The feedback was terrific. Thank you to everyone who shared such positive thoughts about the evening, many of which were in my inbox before I got home!

Up next is ‘Taking The Waters’ by David Fletcher, the new work we commissioned specially for this Centenary year. The subject is Leamington and the discovery and path that the spa waters have taken us all down. It is a history of our town seen through the eyes of two remarkable women and their families and friendships. It sees a town prospering and a town struggling – with poverty and wealth side by side, pulling the town into conflict. David is directing his own play and the music has been composed by Jonathan Fletcher whose gift for composing for film enables him to create atmosphere with immense speed. The play has much variety of text – some of it in verse – and there is music and movement. Rachel Adams has wrapped her talent around the actors to work with the ensemble to shape and unite them in movement. There is no set and the sense of place will be created by lighting, sound and projection. Our terrific technical team are on the loose and creating that magic for you. This is a different play and a landmark moment in the year………..don’t miss it. The script has been published and will be available for purchase in the theatre as a great memory of seeing the play about the town many of our audience live in.

As soon as Taking the Waters concludes, we shall be all steam ahead for Arts Insight and the youth theatre production. This is the first time this group have been in the main house at the end of their first year with us. We have had the pre production meetings, the set model is designed, the lighting and sound designs are being created and an excited two casts of 30 children each are eager to show you the result of their work. Do come and support them as they tell the story of The Battle of the Big Top.

The autumn programme is underway and casting for The Seagull and The Birthday Party is now complete. As I write we are auditioning for the large cast for A Midsummer Night’s Dream which will be the triumphant conclusion in December of this unforgettable year.

Thank you for your continued support of our theatre. It has reached this milestone because of you and every ticket purchased sustains it on its remarkable road.