Loft Theatre prepares for 500th production - The Leamington Observer

Loft Theatre prepares for 500th production

THE LOFT Theatre is preparing to celebrate its 500th production.

And the company has certainly overcome some hurdles getting to the milestone which will be marked by a production of Lovesong, running from July 10 to 20.

Part of the town’s cultural landscape for over a century, the Loft Theatre Company gained its name from its first permanent home – the hayloft of a rickety old barn in Bedford Street.

Following the demolition of the barn, the company moved to its current site on the banks of the Leam opposite the Pump Rooms in 1943.




But disaster has struck twice, with major fires in 1958 and 1964 – the second of which was so bad the theatre had to be completely rebuilt.

One of the most treasured items in the Loft’s extensive archive is a personal letter from Noel Coward, congratulating them on the reopening of the theatre in September 1968. The very first production in the new custom-built theatre was Coward’s masterpiece Private Lives.


Fast forward nearly 56 years and the Loft Theatre is about to mount its 500th production on that same stage.

The cast and backstage crew are currently busy rehearsing and preparing for Lovesong, partly inspired by TS Eliot’s The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, and written by Abi Morgan, whose other works include the current Netflix smash hit Eric, as well as successful TV dramas The Hour and The Split.

Sue Moore, the Loft’s artistic director since 2017, said “I am delighted that we have reached another milestone so soon after celebrating our centenary in 2022.

“We are fortunate that, despite the horror of losing the previous theatre building to a fire, we were able to see an architect designed purpose-built theatre rise from the ashes. Not many non-professional theatres have the luxury of that and we are privileged to have such wonderful facilities to stage the outstanding theatre productions for which we are so well known.”

It takes a team of around 80 volunteers to bring each production to life and staff the theatre during the run of each production.

Visit www.lofttheatrecompany.com for further details.

In rehearsals for Lovesong -the 500th production at the Loft. Pictured are Lorna Middleton, David Bennett, Sophie Jasmin Bird and James McCabe.

Private Lives was the first production in the rebuilt theatre in 1968. Pictured – left to right – are Dorcas Jones, Jeremy Heynes, who appeared in the last Loft production of The Government Inspector, Barbara Higgins and John Beaver. Picture by P Finch Inkester

The Loft Theatre, rebuilt in the 1960s, sits on the banks of the River Leam.

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