Date Posted: 25th February 2024

Allonby - back of Garden Lane

There is great excitement throughout the land about this Percy Kelly fund raising exhibition at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick which I flagged up in my last posting. (It opens Saturday 30th March and runs to April 20th. Open daily 12noon – 7.00pm. Closed Sundays. Admission free.)

 The reaction to this news was astonishing. Tickets to the first public screening of a previously unseen piece of film about Kelly dating back to 1963/4  sold out as soon as my newsletter hit your screens leaving a lot of disappointed people out there. But all is not lost.  In response the theatre has arranged a second showing of the film on Saturday 18th April at 7.00pm in the Theatre Studio with an introduction from me plus a very special guest who is part of the story (she witnessed the film being made at the age of 13.)  This will be followed by a chat about the exhibition and a Q & A session.  You will learn much more about the mysterious Mr Kelly who died more than 30 years ago - lonely, intestate and in serious poverty but leaving a fortune in artworks which he doggedly refused to sell. He had only 3 or maybe 4 public exhibitions in his life and they were generally forced upon him. Surprises and revelations just keep coming to add to this gripping story.

Tickets to the film screening are £17.50 (£12 for Access tickets) and can be booked from Theatre by the Lake online at, by phoning 071687 74411 or in person at the theatre’s Box Office.

While you are in town you might consider booking seats in the theatre’s main houseThe Little Shop of Horrors runs parallel to the exhibition – I am assured there is no connection. It’s billed as a mean green monster musical set in a flower shop and sounds fun. It is filled with incredible rock and roll music and warns us that we must be prepared to laugh, scream, and we may be convinced to give up gardening for life if the insatiable appetite of a carnivorous plant gets out of control!

I am going to the first night and will let you know if it lives up to the description … if I’m not eaten alive. No pressure then.