THE STORY of Leamington is being brought to the stage in a brand new play
Penned and directed by David Fletcher, with music composed by Jonathan Fletcher, Taking The Waters premieres at the town’s Loft Theatre from July 13 to 23.
The play celebrates the Loft’s centenary and its presence in Leamington by bringing to life some significant events in the town’s history through drama, music and movement – told through the eyes of two generations of remarkable women.
The central theme of the play is water – both as a life-giving force and also as a source of danger.
It begins in 1784 and celebrates the transition of the sleepy village of Leamington Priors into the thriving town of Leamington Spa.
By the time the Royal Pump Rooms opened in 1814, there were six bathhouses in the town and a brand new theatre. Act one concludes with scenes of vibrant theatre life.
There is a change of mood in the second act, which focuses on the medical and political conflicts surrounding the cholera epidemic in the town in 1849. There were attempts to cover up the epidemic, and disputes about what preventative measures should, or should not, be taken.
The play includes some real-life characters from the past, including Benjamin Satchwell and Dr John Hitchman, who is commemorated by the fountain in the Jephson Gardens. It also includes fictional characters who bring warmth and humanity to these stories from Leamington’s past.
David said: “My new play is a celebration of the importance of water, the history of Leamington, and the centenary of the Loft.
“There is lots of music and movement and a large cast of fascinating characters. It tells the story of the birth of Leamington as a spa town, and the drama of the 1849 cholera epidemic, which is full of modern resonances. It is also a deeply human story, told through the eyes of two generations of remarkable women.”
Visit www.lofttheatrecompany.com for tickets and performance details.