Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s new play ALL LIES will be the highlight of the Old Laundry Theatre’s 30th Anniversary Season 2022, opening on Thursday 5 May – Saturday 21 May.  A rare opportunity to see a world premiere at the Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness, this is the first Alan Ayckbourn play to premiere outside of Scarborough in 35 years.   Olivier and Tony  Award winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn will direct ALL LIES, alongside set designer and long term friend and collaborator Roger Glossop, who has designed a new set for the intimate 200 seat theatre.

Alan Ayckbourn, a man of, literally, many words with over 80 plays to his name said about bringing ALL LIES to the Old Laundry: “I originally wrote All Lies as a small-scale show during lockdown, but because I’m already involved in writing another new play for my home theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, I thought that rather than waste All Lies, I’d offer it to The Old Laundry. What is nice is this is a world premiere and it is The Old Laundry’s world premiere.”

The Old Laundry Theatre’s Directors, Roger and his theatre producer wife Charlotte Scott say: “We are delighted to be working with Alan Ayckbourn once again, producing the world premiere of All Lies to be directed by Sir Alan here at the Old Laundry. We have enjoyed sharing an Alan Ayckbourn play with our audiences almost every year since we opened 30 years ago, so it is fitting that this year, to mark our special anniversary we can share this world premiere of All Lies.  In 1991 when we bought the redundant Edwardian Laundry, with the intention of designing and building The World of Beatrix Potter, we realised some of the space could provide a perfect fit for a theatre.  The Beatrix Potter exhibition wasn’t big enough to fill the whole building, and after working with Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough we noticed that the space we had left would make a similarly perfect theatre in the round.  At the time we asked Alan if he would be willing to bring some of his shows if we opened a theatre and he joked, ‘why not? we will all be dead soon’, so we went ahead with the project and in a matter of months the Old Laundry Theatre was open.  Ever since then, Alan has a very big fan base and there is always a great buzz around his shows.  We are very lucky he has kept his promise and sent a new show almost every season.”

ALL LIES promises to be a fun evening of entertainment exploring the lies and various versions of the truth people tell in the early stages of a relationship.  Set in the 1950s  it tells the story of a  chance meeting …  It’s love at first sight! The person of your dreams! But will they feel the same?  Once you tell the truth about yourself will you even be worthy of them?  Do you take the plunge and reveal all? Or choose the dangerous alternative and tell them …  All lies?!

Another highlight of the Old Laundry Theatre’s 2022 season and yet another world premiere is the highly anticipated family musical adventure Happy Birthday Peter Rabbit.  Written to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Peter Rabbit, this magical and captivating production has been created from the same team of the highly acclaimed ‘Where is Peter Rabbit?’ show which transferred to the West End and toured to Hong Kong and Singapore.  The production opens on Saturday 18 June – Saturday 3 September, with a record-breaking number of shows for schools, families and tourists to enjoy.  Lucky theatre goers with a VIP ticket will also enjoy joining Peter Rabbit for a birthday tea party after the show.

Throughout this milestone year, the Theatre’s versatile and multi-purpose space will play host to an exciting array of new productions and some favourite artists from the past three decades.  Starting off the season are musical theatre Ruby and the Vinyl, BBC Radio 2 Award-winning folk trio The Trials of Cato, Guy Masterson’s one-man show Under Milk Wood, Tyneside folk-rock pioneers Lindisfarne and an evening of lectures from the Windermere Science FestivalLater in the autumn season, Alan Ayckbourn’s newest play will tour to the theatre from Scarborough, along with Trainspotting Live which captures the passion and controversy of the famous film, and an amazing one-man show presenting tales by Charles Dickens: A Ghost of a Smile.  Old Laundry favourite, Rebecca Vaughan, returns with a new and incisive trip through the history of literature meeting Brontë, Austen & Shakespeare’s sister in A Room of One’s Own; popular sell-out Japanese drummers Mugenkyo are back and for the family, a festive production where Santa Saves Christmas.  The theatre is also delighted to be collaborating with the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival for the very first time to host events in the Old Laundry theatre spaces.

The Old Laundry Theatre has been bringing professional theatre to the Lake District for 30 years – here’s to the next 30!

Credit for Alan Ayckbourn interview quote: Simon Murgatroyd M.A. – Alan Ayckbourn’s Archivist & Media Administrator ( )