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A Christmas Carol brings cheer to schools, young people and communities

A Christmas Carol show image. Photography by Robert Day

Theatre by the Lake today announced that their Christmas show – a contemporary approach to Dickens’ classic story which recently finished its run on 13 Jan – has engaged more schools and young people than ever before.

The adaptation was written by Patrick Barlow, well known to Keswick audiences as the adapter of their huge hit 2015 hit The 39 Steps.  The production featured five talented actors who sang, played an array of musical instruments and created characters through magical object puppetry and the show proved to be a hit with critics and audiences alike.

Over the course of the seven-week run, the theatre engaged with 77 schools, over 6,500 pupils and saw 2,900 young people access the subsidised £10 seats which are available for all TBTL produced productions across all price bands.

The theatre also launched a Christmas Appeal at the start of the show and are delighted to report that they raised £22,544.08 – over double their initial fundraising target of £10,000.  The Friends of Theatre by the Lake generously pledged £5,000 to launch the campaign; the rest of the funds have been raised through individual donations from audiences and supporters.

The money will help support the theatre’s work with young people in 2020 in schools, in the theatre and developing audiences and theatre makers of the future.

The theatre’s Artistic Director Liz Stevenson said: “We’d like to thank everyone who supported us, from Friends of Theatre by the Lake, to our cast and staff, audiences who bought tickets to the show and those who gave donations.

“We’re overwhelmed by the generosity shown by everyone supporting the Christmas Appeal.  I’d also like to thank our wonderful volunteers and Front of House teams who got so enthusiastically behind this campaign – we could not have done it without them.

“Our work with young people is crucial in nurturing creativity and cultural engagement from an early age. For many young people, a visit to Theatre by the Lake will be the first time they’ve visited a theatre.  The work we do with young people in programmes like our Young Company helps give them transferable life skills, builds their confidence and brings them together to make new friends, be creative and have fun.

“Whilst it’s fantastic that our Christmas show has been incredibly popular, operating in these uncertain times is challenging and we are reliant on our funders and supporters.  We need the continued support of all our stakeholders if we are to continue to thrive.  We’d like to thank our production supporters, the Friends of Theatre by the Lake and Lamont Pridmore for supporting the production.

To find out more about supporting Theatre by the Lake visit

To find out more about Theatre by the Lake’s work with young people visit

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