[K]eswick’s Theatre by the Lake received a belated birthday present recently when another mammoth cheque from its loyal supporters was handed over.
The cheque for £43,250 was presented by the Chairman of Friends of Theatre by the Lake, Anne Chambers, at the first Luncheon Club of the season on 15 September. This brings the total donated by the Friends since the theatre opened in 1999 to just over £570,000.
Receiving the cheque from Anne, the Theatre’s Artistic Director Conrad Lynch said that “the efforts of the Friends over the years has been extraordinary. They make a major contribution to the success of Theatre by the Lake and we are hugely grateful to them for their support, loyalty and enthusiasm”.
Some of this year’s donation went towards buying the wigs and handbags used in this summer’s smash hit at TBTL, Handbagged, which imagines the weekly meetings between the Queen and Margaret Thatcher. It features Julia Watson and Alice Selwyn as Thatcher, and Eliza Hunt and Emma Carter as the Queen – all of whom wear wigs in the production.
The Friends have a strong following of just over 1800 members, including a number who live abroad. The money is raised from subscriptions, donations, fundraising, a monthly prize draw and recovered Gift Aid. The monthly Luncheon Clubs held from September to April are always well supported with guest speakers talking on a variety of subjects, from the theatre world to local interest.
The Friends’ organisation is independent of the theatre and is run solely by volunteers. Benefits include priority booking, social events, a quarterly newsletter, and opportunities to meet actors, directors and other theatre staff to learn more about what goes on beyond the scenes.
To join the Friends visit www.theatrebythelake.com/friends or pick up an application form at the theatre.