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Updated: 29 June 2015

Tim Willis
Tim Willis
Artistic Director,
Loft Theatre Company

William Wilkinson’s production of The Pitmen Painters was a huge success both artistically and commercially, playing to well over 1,500 people. After a two-year break, William was clearly at the top of his game with this piece, which I know was special to him for a number of reasons, not least because he hails from the North East. He was also fortunate enough to have a strong team to work with both on stage and behind the scenes – a real necessity as the play offers many challenges for both actors and technical teams, which were met head on!

In the week following The Pitmen Painters we were treated to a quite delightful production of Beauty and the Beast, presented by the Spa Theatre Company Juniors. This proved a popular choice with audiences, and played to well over 75% over the four performances – it was also a real pleasure to welcome this talented and enthusiastic young team to our theatre, and I am delighted to report that negotiations for a return visit next year are already under way.

Elsewhere, the Loft Theatre Company made its long overdue debut at the Lighthorne Festival of One Act Plays with Rachel Tompkins’ production of In the Blinking of an Eye by Jeremy Hylton Davies. I was able to take time out from Godspell rehearsals to see the show, and was happy to support the team in delivering what I hope will be the first of many Loft shows at the Festival, which goes from strength to strength with each passing year. Unfortunately, plans to present Rachel’s production in the Studio as an ‘Extra’ during July have not come to fruition due to diary clashes.

Next up – as mentioned previously – we present Godspell, the iconic ’70s rock musical featuring songs such as ‘Day by Day’, ‘Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord’ and ‘Beautiful City’, brought to our stage by the same production team who delivered our Christmas blockbuster Scrooge. Details of auditions for their next outing, Little Shop of Horrors, may be found in the Godspell programme and on our auditions page.

In terms of the 2015/16 season, following the numerous production announcements in my previous column, details of auditions for Juno and the Paycock and The Philanthropist, which are to be directed by Gus MacDonald and Sue Moore respectively, will be posted shortly. Details of our remaining 2015/16 productions will be announced over the summer as they become available.

(STOP PRESS: Our April 2016 production is now confirmed as Ladies in Lavender, based on the hit film starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.)

In closing please permit me to raise the profile of the members of our technical and front of house teams who work tirelessly behind the scenes to complement what is happening on stage – their efforts continue to be very much appreciated!

The 2014/15 season continues to provide surprises right up to the end, but please do get in touch over the break if you have any ideas you wish to share with regard to what is happening at the theatre – you can call me on 07818 032752, or email ad@loft-theatre.co.uk.

Have a great summer and we hope to see you back here in September!

Tim Willis
Artistic Director

Coming soon
Heartbreak Summer Tour 2
The Hollow Crown 23
Only Fools and Boycie 27
Three Sisters 24
The Horror Show 1
Little Shop of Horrors 2
A Victorian Christmas 13
Juno and the Paycock 10
   Main house
   Visiting production 
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Updated: 29 June 2015