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Theatre by the Lake and Paines Plough announce Cumbrian writers selected for Come To Where I Am

Daneka Etchells

Theatre by the Lake and acclaimed new writing company Paines Plough today announced the four Cumbrian writers who have been commissioned to write short plays about the places they call home as part of the project ‘Come to Where I Am’.

The four successful writers, who have been working with Paines Plough and Theatre by the Lake on developing their scripts, are Daneka Etchells, Matt Sowerby, Nina Berry and Imogen Barnfather. They were selected from over 75 applications from local writers following a call out from Theatre by the Lake in April.

In response to a rapidly changing world, where all touring and live performance is currently on hiatus, Paines Plough launched ‘Come to Where I Am’ as a spin-off series of an existing Paines Plough project called ‘Come To Where I’m From’ which has so far commissioned over 160 existing short plays over the past 10 years. As well as Theatre by the Lake, Paines Plough is partnering with Derby Theatre, Eastern Angles, Open Clasp Theatre Company Newcastle, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Reading Rep Theatre, and Sheffield Theatres to co-commission 30 new short plays.

Each writer has performed and filmed their play, and these films will be released via Paines Plough and Theatre by the Lake’s social media channels on Wednesday 1 July. The plays will also be performed in person when Theatre by the Lake reopens.

Alongside the plays being available online for anyone to enjoy, Paines Plough will also create a unique live performance of the plays over the phone, allowing isolated audience groups to access on-demand culture. The company will be working in collaboration with celebrated actors to provide this caller service including David Bradley, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Sally Dynevor – with more still to be announced.

Theatre by the Lake’s Artistic Director Liz Stevenson said: “We were overwhelmed by the quality of the submissions we received in response to our call out for local writers: there’s a lot of talent in the county! So selecting four writers was a difficult task, but we are thrilled with their plays and look forward to sharing them online with our audiences on 1 July. We hope everyone enjoys them. We also can’t wait for them to be performed live for our audiences when the building re-opens.”

Writer and actor Daneka Etchells added: “Working in the arts, stories about my home are very, very few and far between – that’s why I wanted to get involved in this project. I’m extremely proud to be Cumbrian and champion it whenever I can. I’m determined to ensure that my county is put properly on the map and has its identity heard. Plus, I’ve never heard of a play, TV show or film in my entire life set in Carlisle!”

The four films will be available to watch on Theatre by the Lake’s Facebook page (@tbtlake) from Wednesday 1 July; alternatively visit from 1 July to view the videos there and find out more.

For information on how you can support Theatre by the Lake, visit

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