Three eclectic and gripping dramas are presented to Studio audiences at Theatre by the Lake this February: Let Me Look at You, a witty blend of stand-up and solo theatre celebrating LGBT history over the past 50 years, Four Treasures, from accessible arts organisation Prism Arts Studio Theatre, and The Merzspiel, in which actor Paul Brightwell takes on the character of famous, exiled German artist Kurt Schwitters who settled in Ambleside, Cumbria for the last eight years of his life.
Kicking off the month is Let Me Look at You on Thu 7 Feb at 7.30pm, a fascinating and deeply personal exploration in which performer Mark Pinkosh charts the losses and triumphs of the past 50 years of gay experience. A previous recipient of The Stage Award at Edinburgh, Pinkosh takes a walk through the streets of Soho which initiates a chain of thought on the turbulent history of gay rights and questions if the struggle is far from over.
Written on the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality by British writer Godfrey Hamilton, the show is shaped by interesting and often overlooked episodes of LGBTQ+ history, personal testimony by Pinkosh on his own emerging sexuality, and complemented by episodes of Pinkosh’s own family history plus a hilarious and ongoing comedy double-act with his outspoken grandmother. Tickets are £12; Students and U16s £7.
Next up, celebrated accessible arts organisation Prism Arts return to stage their latest show Four Treasures on Thu 14 and Fri 15 Feb, featuring live acting, music and puppetry influenced by Indian culture and folk tales. Made up of four stories: The Princess and the Sun, Birdsong, Golden Ocean and The Lotus Flower, each work centres on one of four themes of faith, trust, honesty and truth, and explores what makes them ‘treasures’.
Based in Carlisle, Prism Arts Studio Theatre is an integrated company where adults with learning disabilities and professional artists work in partnership. Four Treasures has been created in its entirety by the company over the course of a year and will be its fifth public tour. Showing at 1.30pm (Thu 14) and 1.30pm & 6.30pm (Fri 15). Tickets are £10, U16s £7.
Concluding the month of great drama is The Merzspiel on Tue 26 Feb at 7.30pm, a one-man monologue telling the legendary story of German performer, poet, and MERZ art movement founder, Kurt Schwitters, all through the conduit of actor Paul Brightwell who willingly lets his body and mind become inhabited by Schwitters’ eccentric and inimitable personality for the evening, similar to a séance.
Born in Hanover in 1887, Schwitters became an exile in 1937, first in Norway and then, for the last eight years of his life, in Britain. Since his untimely death in Ambleside, Cumbria in 1948, where he had continued to work in relative obscurity and poverty, his standing in the art world has rocketed. This energetic re-telling offers a unique glimpse into the life of this fascinating character as well as his influence on the development of post-war art. Tickets are £12; Students and U16s, £7.
For more information on TBTL’s February drama, call the Box Office on 017687 74411, or visit theatrebythelake.com.