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Theatre by the Lake cancels winter shows and begins plans to make staff redundancies

The venue has decided to pull its Christmas show

Theatre By The Lake
© Theatre By The Lake

Theatre By The Lake has revealed it will be cancelling its upcoming Christmas production of The Borrowers and implementing staff redundancy plans over the coming months.

The venue, the only year-round producing theatre in Cumbria and one of the few repertory theatres in the country, had already cancelled its summer season but now has "no confidence in audience numbers returning to sustainable levels by Christmas", and as a result pulled its festive production of The Borrowers, which was originally meant to run for seven weeks.

In light of changes made to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the venue has said it will need to make "significant staff redundancies to reduce their annual payroll costs".

Executive director James Cobbold and artistic director Liz Stevenson said: "Our industry is facing an exceptionally challenging situation for the foreseeable future. We've come to the incredibly difficult conclusion that we have to take action now to ensure Theatre by the Lake survives this challenging period of disruption and uncertainty.

"If there is to be theatre in Keswick, and if we are to provide employment opportunities in the future, then we have no choice but to consider these actions in the short term."

Despite having to cut costs and reduce output, the theatre is determined to work with its local community to provide some form of an artistic programme as the pandemic continues.