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Theatre by the Lake

Lakeside, KESWICK, Cumbria, CA12 5DJ
01768 774411
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‘Artistically sharp and stunningly situated’ - New Statesman

‘Combines a spot as idyllic as anywhere on Earth, with first class theatrical entertainment’ - Daily Telegraph

Theatre by the Lake opened in 1999. It is set a short stroll from Derwentwater on the edge of the bustling town of Keswick, amid the magnificent western fells of the Lake District. Theatre by the Lake is a producing theatre with regional and national impact, building upon the rich cultural heritage created in and inspired by the Lake District. From its unique rural location, Theatre by the Lake produces excellent, ambitious and inspiring theatre for its audiences and is a creative hub through which it engages with the communities of, and visitors to, Cumbria.

Born out of Century Theatre’s travelling Blue Box, it was willed into existence by passionate theatre lovers who wanted a permanent home for theatre in Keswick. Theatre by the Lake was the first theatre to be built with the help of the National Lottery and is the only year-round producing theatre in Cumbria. It has two stages, a 400-seat Main House and 100-seat Studio, and presents up to nine of its own productions of classic, modern and new plays throughout the year serving a loyal all-year-round audience of residents and visitors to the region. The theatre’s Summer Season is very special, with productions performed in rep by a resident company of actors; audiences can catch several plays in a one-week visit, and see the same actors performing across a variety of roles. Alongside its own work, Theatre by the Lake welcomes a fantastic range of visiting companies and artists, and hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year. In 2017, the theatre won Most Welcoming Theatre award in the North West for the fourth year running. Alongside Rails, the 2018 Season includes Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, Single Spies, Sense and Sensibility and Bold Girls playing in rep, followed by The Other Place and our Christmas production of Beauty and the Beast.




The Lakeside car park (operated by Allerdale Borough Council) is situated next to the theatre.


Spotlight Café Bar | Opening Hours: Performance days: Serving food from 11am until 5pm, from 5pm there is bar service. Non-performance days: 11am until 5pm.
Situated within the theatre building, Spotlight Café Bar offers delicious cakes, lunch and snacks and a quiet space to relax and unwind. In the evening during a show it's a bar serving everything from champagne to local ale.

Lakeside Café Restaurant | Opening Hours: 9.00am - 9.00pm
Lakeside Café Restaurant is perched between the theatre and Derwentwater. Lofty, light and airy, its large windows give spectacular views across the lake to Cat Bells and beyond. It's the perfect setting for breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake or a stylish dinner before a show whether you are seeing a show or just stopped by on impulse. It's also welcoming to groups and available to hire for your special occasions.


Performance days: 9.00am - 9.00pm


12 noon until end of performance.

Access Info

For detailed access information please visit the theatre's access page:

Tokenline: 020 3011 0755

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