Old Laundry spring season is entertaining mix of comedy, music and drama

Adrian Mullen previews the Old Laundry Theatre spring season for the Westmorland Gazette.  Article in full below, or click here to read on the newspaper website.


FOLLOWING the success of Chaos Collective Theatre’s 2018 summer touring productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest, the imaginative Kendal-based company and its forward-thinking director Lauren Davey, have turned their artistic attention to the industrial bedlam of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

With Hamlet’s coveted roles and skull-in-hand flourishes, Lauren and cast launch the Old Laundry Theatre’s spring season with the Bard’s iconic tragedy on Friday, March 1 (7.30pm).

Bringing a distinctive combination of music, movement and madness to the Bowness theatre, Chaos Collective’s actors create enigmatic and engaging contemporary theatre, turning Shakespeare’s finest works into an unforgettable visual experience.

Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, the Dad’s Army Radio Show marches on to the Old Laundry stage on Sunday, March 3 (4.30pm) with their brilliant rendition of the classic BBC sitcom. Two actors play 25 characters in the staging of three classic radio episodes based on favourite scripts from the original TV series.

Following 2018’s sell-out hit Crimes Under the Sun, the multi award-winning theatre company New Old Friends returns to the Old Laundry with another hilariously inventive comedy thriller Crimes on the Nile (March 13-16). when a cast of four perform multiple outrageous characters, inventive set pieces and whisk the plot along in a delightful romp.

The Old Laundry’s Eat the Film evenings in the Laundrama Studio have proved a popular addition to the mix of events in Bowness. Next up is the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show – a film screening plus themed three course dinner, cocktail and props bag with a prize for the best costume. Bowness audiences will be able to revisit the film and its houseful of wild characters and sing along to the Timewarp and Whatever Happened to Saturday Night? on March 22/23 (7.30pm).

Continuing the theme of classic murder mysteries, another Edinburgh Fringe triumph Murder She Didn’t Write: the improvised murder mystery takes to the Old Laundry stage on Friday, March 29 (7.30pm). An interactive whodunnit, the audience takes the role of Agatha Christie as the live action improvised comedy plays out based entirely on audience suggestions.

The spring season also includes two charity fundraising evening lectures that promise tales of magnificent global adventures and journeys to far away places. First, on Wednesday, March 6 (7.30pm) is Rosie Swale Pope, author, adventurer and marathon runner who will tell stories of her adventures, including the longest unsupported run in world history: more than 20,000 miles in 1,789 days (five years), sailing single-handed across the Atlantic and other amazing feats. The evening is a fundraiser for PHASE projects in isolated areas of Nepal and a special dine out ticket includes a pre-theatre dinner and charity donation.

For the second fundraising event, the Rotary Club of Windermere brings meteorologist and Radio 4 Gardener’s Question Time co-chairman Peter Gibbs to the theatre for an ‘in conversation’ with broadcaster Paul Allen on Thursday, April 4 (7.30pm). Peter will talk about his 30 years as a front line forecaster with the UK’s Met Office and his time presenting the BBC national weather.

Oh, and let’s not forget, back from June 22 for a fourth year Where is Peter Rabbit? The Beatrix Potter Musical Adventure, where all can hop on to their seats and immerse themselves in the magical world of Beatrix Potter and watch their favourite stories and most beloved characters brought to life in a theatrical spectacular, with beautifully handcrafted puppets, enchanting original songs and a spoonful of magic.

With lyrics by one of – if not thee – most beloved of UK playwrights, Sir Alan Ayckbourn, and voiceovers from other national treasures, Miriam Margoyles and Griff Rhys Jones, what more could one ask for in what’s a truly charming production. Music is by Steven Ellis. Based on the original tales by Beatrix Potter.