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



The summer shimmered with heat and now the temperatures and daylight hours remind us that autumn is beckoning.

We staged our new play in July, commissioned specially for the Centenary, written by David Fletcher.  Entitled ‘Taking The Waters’ it told the story of how the discovery of the Spa waters affected the fortunes of Leamington in different ways, creating wealth, but also deepening the divide with those who fought for the basic needs of clean water and the chance of a healthy life.  The opening five minutes of the show presented the Loft auditorium in a unique way, with projection on the stage and across the auditorium walls, and an enveloping experience of sound, video, lighting, music and movement.  Much commented on by everyone, it showcased Jonathan Fletcher’s ability to establish a mood through his innate creativity in composing music and the wonderful talent of Michael Wheeldon and his team of technical wizards.

The audience commented on how much they discovered about the town in which they live; it was a most special production.

Hot on the heels of the last night we were deep in preparation for the Arts Insight youth theatre production, when two casts of 30 children presented 6 performances of ‘The Battle of the Big Top’.  They triumphed magnificently, despite power cuts at critical moments derailing the dress rehearsal and creating soaring stress levels.   It was a joy to see tired, but very happy children chattering to their families and friends as they tumbled out of the stage door.  The magic of theatre and the chance to perform in an auditorium, supported by the might of the Loft team had cast its spell.

The rest of August has been devoted to necessary maintenance of the building and its equipment, with testing and inspection to get it ready for the new season ahead.  We never stop, in that rehearsals for Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull’, next up in the auditorium, have been underway, navigating the schedule around holiday time for the cast.   This new version by James Suckling, who also directs, revisits a previous translation and is set in Cornwall at the turn of the century.  Currently being staged in London’s West End, it has a rich vein of humour and offers you the most insightful exposition of the play in the first five minutes.   We are delighted to be welcoming more new actors to the Loft company and we hope this will be the start of a lasting relationship with us. Glorious Chekhov, writing stories of frustration, anxiety, doubt and care-worn characters who tease, attack and make fun of each other.  Chekhov described this play as having “little action and five tonnes of love” and James and his company are bringing tonnes of that to you.

Rehearsals are about to start for Pinter’s clever, witty and menacing ‘The Birthday Party’ and the Midsummer Night’s Dream cast are now fully formed and raring to take us back to the 60’s, flower power and the summer of love.

The first three plays for 2023 are now announced and up on the website.  We kick off 2023 with Yasmina Reza’s  ‘Art’, which has become a classic of world theatre and follow this with Jez Butterworth’s ‘The Winterling’ a comedy thriller, penned by the author of ‘Jerusalem’, whose writing is described as ‘dazzling’.  As if that wasn’t exciting enough, we follow this with Stephen Briggs adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Wyrd Sisters’, with a distinct homage to Shakespeare’s reference to these three witches.

Enormous thanks to you all for the support you have given us as we complete our first year of reopening after the pandemic forced us all to close our doors.  We value every single ticket you purchase and everyone you bring with you to support the only independent theatre company in Leamington.  Our survival is in your hands and we want to both engage and entertain you and be the place to go and the place to recommend for live theatre.