Alan Ayckbourn’s new play Welcome to the Family, (12 -27 May) has its world premiere in Bowness-on-Windermere. The 5-hander comedy is the playwright’s 88th play and his second to premiere at the Old Laundry. Olivier and Tony Award winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn will direct the comedy, and set designer, long term friend and collaborator Roger Glossop, is designing the set for the intimate 250 seat in-the-round performance. Welcome to the Family is set in a not too distant future where Josh is keen to introduce his fiancée Sara to his parents – Lord and Lady Meizner. However, they are deceased, which is normally a bit of a problem… Enter Josh’s wicked Uncle Lance who has gifted him a state-of-the-art ‘Capture’ visit to the past enabling him to revisit his deceased parents and family home whenever he likes. Celebratory champagne flows but family secrets are also about to be spilled in this new comedy by one of the country’s most successful and popular playwrights.
The cast comprises; Caroline Langrishe, probably best known for her major roles as Charlotte Cavendish in ‘Lovejoy‘, Georgina Channing in ‘Judge John Deed’ and Marilyn Fox in ‘Casualty’, Bill Champion, whose West End appearances include Calendar Girls; Fame and Sunset Boulevard and who last appeared at The Old Laundry as Jeeves in By Jeeves, and Terence Booth, who has also performed in several Alan Ayckbourn plays with The Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and enjoyed many TV and film appearances including Doctors, Emmerdale and EastEnders. Tanya-Loretta Dee who takes the part of fiancé Sara, was last seen at The Old Laundry Theatre in Family Album last November. Her TV appearances include Peaky Blinders, EastEnders and Doctors. And finally, Jamie Baughan, who appears in The Crown (Series 6), as well as Holmes and Watson, Jerk and EastEnders returns to the Old Laundry following his performance in By Jeeves to play Josh. Tickets start from £20 with an inflation busting back-row-bargain seat, rising to £30 or £52 to include a two course pre-theatre supper.
An adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows’ and Amazons Winter Holiday has its Lake District world premiere at the Old Laundry on Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th March and promises to be a family adventure of the best possible kind. This charming adaptation of the Ransome classic is packed full of nostalgia and excitement and is performed by a cast of 12 actor/musicians. Later in the month, Peter McQueen’s one-man show Old Herbaceous (Friday 10th March) will sow seeds of gardening wisdom to the audience in a humorous yet touching portrayal of a legendary head gardener’s passion for plants. This delightful show, billed “not just for old codgers and plant lovers” recounts the life of Herbert Pinnegar, and his journey from orphan boy to legendary head gardener.
Continuing the theme of one person shows, Liz Grand takes the role of Winston Churchill’s wife in Mrs Churchill – My Life with Winston (Thursday 23rd March). They say that behind every great man, there is a great woman, but was that really true in Churchill’s case? This and many more questions will be answered in this superb, moving, sensitive and informative portrayal of his wife of 56 years, Clementine Churchill.
Fresh from an award-winning run at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, comedian Brendan Murphy is set to captivate Bowness with an amazing journey through the entire 144 episodes of the hit 90’s TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as told through the eyes of the one person who knows it inside out – Spike in Buffy –Revamped (Friday 7th April). The show promises comedy theatre at its finest – funny, satirical and bursting with 90s pop-culture references – it’s the perfect parody for Buffy aficionados and those who never enrolled at Sunnydale High alike.
Comedy and current affairs presenter Clive Anderson, the host of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Loose Ends and Talks Back makes his debut at the Old Laundry as part of his first ever and much-anticipated solo tour, Me, Macbeth and I, a one-man show guaranteed to be funnier than Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy (Friday 21st April).
The theatre transforms to an intimate auditorium for exciting young Carlisle musicians Hardwicke Circus, who are fast building a reputation as the most exciting band to emerge from the UK in recent years. They take the stage on Saturday 11 March, followed by folk duo Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman (Saturday 22 April) and Sad Café (Saturday 23rd Sept) who are regarded by many as one of the best live bands of the 1980s. And already booked in for later in the year (Friday 17th November) are Kiki Dee & Carmelo Luggeri bringing an acoustic journey of their songs, including hits “Don’t go Breaking My Heart” and “I Got The Music In Me”.
The highly acclaimed, energetic musical extravaganza Happy Birthday Peter Rabbit returns to the Theatre from 1 July – 3 September. In this show, families immerse themselves in the enchanting world of Beatrix Potter and a wonderfully interactive theatrical adventure celebrating Peter’s birthday with favourite characters Benjamin Bunny and Jemima Puddle-duck. This magical production features beautifully handcrafted puppets and enchanting original songs. Ticket packages are available which include Afternoon Tea and a chance to meet Peter Rabbit himself.
For more information visit: www.oldlaundrytheatre.co.uk
Box Office: 015394 40872
Press Night for Alan Ayckbourn’s Welcome to the Family: Tuesday 16 May.
Please contact Sarah (email@example.com) for tickets.