WORDS BY THE WATER & ANON3 Last chance to buy!

Date Posted: 12th March 2022


Two years ago, in March 2020, I gave my talk on Rosalie’s Painting (an Anne Redpath oil which had hung in a barn in Borrowdale for 50 years unnoticed and then has lain unseen in the store room of Keswick Museum) in the main house of the theatre in Keswick.  BUT … The news about Covid was spreading and we were all feeling uneasy and fearful. Nobody realised then that this would be the last Words by the Water Festival for two years.  Nobody knew what was going to happen - there was an underlying sense of doom and apprehension.

  It has been a long haul but the theatre has re opened with some excellent performances, Words by the Water is back with a long list of writers ready to talk about their books and their lives. There are politicians and political commentators;   Vince Cable, David Owen, satirist John Crace, television announcer Michael Buerk, writers Val Mc Dermid and Sarah Hall and many more are gathering in Keswick as I write.

At the end of November (2021), despite all the Covid setbacks, the fundraiser ANON3 for Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake was launched. It was a joyful occasion and a success. It was so good to see people enjoying a bit of excitement, a bit of a gamble and a lot of art. We sold half of the 320 cd sized original  pieces of art  donated by artists @ £50 a pop which was surprising because it was hard for many to get to it -  they lived too far away, the weather was unpredictable, we were still worried by Covid and  Christmas was fast approaching.  Also the exhibition was open only for about an hour each day.

 So you have another chance now. All remaining mini masterpieces (about 150) will be on show in the Circle Gallery from Tuesday 15th  - Sunday 20th  March during the Festival and will be open daily 9.30am – 7.30 pm.  ( choose what you want, pay at the box office downstairs and collect or have it posted to you on or after 24th March)  There are still many good things left to buy.   I noticed one by playwright Alan Aykbourne, another by comedian poet broadcaster John Hegley and  celebrity Ruby Turner among many others.   They are all signed on the back so you have to choose something you like rather than relying on the signature.  *Clue alert!   Note that celebrities are not professional artists so their efforts may reflect this.

 So pop into the theatre if you can between those dates. You can just come in for a coffee if you wish and see what’s going on. Pick up a WWW programme and see how many enticing subjects are being discussed. There is something for everyone in there. And of course you can see the ANON3 exhibition and maybe pick up a masterpiece. I have since seen a few which were bought in November which are now framed and proudly hanging in people’s houses. The buyers are also pleased to tell me about their experience and how pleased they are to help the theatre re establish as well.  It is a precious facility which is important to us and our communities.