I have to say that this review of War With the Newts has been far tougher to write than most other reviews I’ve ever written. That’s not because of any flaw in the production, which is polished, interesting and of high quality. I suppose though that those sort of qualities are the bare minimum one should be expecting of any Theatre production of value. Perhaps, to many this might be seen as a compliment but I find myself far too discerning these days, so when I pay these compliments to a production of this quality I feel my words are inadequate and that I should be finding brand new superlatives to shower such a production with. Despite being confident in the accuracy of my words I still feel I’m failing in the latter.

Jessica Swale’s adaptation of the Jane Austen classic Sense and Sensibility is the perfect final play in the summer season 2018 at Theatre by the Lake.

This production is fresh and relevant to the modern theatre audience, and has plenty of humour to enjoy.

With Brexit forcing a rethink of the Irish border, Rona Munro’s powerful play about the lives of four women, held within the violence of the ‘Troubles’ in 1990s Northern Ireland is a stark reminder of how fragile the peace process is just over the water, writes Karen Morley-Chesworth.

The punishment of Russian spies is a current news topic, giving the latest production in the Main House at Theatre by the Lake Single Spies, a new edge, writes Karen Morley-Chesworth.

A gritting northern drama, Rails is the 21st century reincarnation of the great 50s and 60s kitchen sink dramas writes Karen Morley-Chesworth.

Simon Longman’s Rails handles the hard-hitting social issues of this era, while ensuring some corker lines that have the audience roaring with laughter.

Theatre by the Lake has launched their summer season with a roar of laughter with the Goodale brothers’ play featuring PG Wodehouse’s upper class comedy characters Jeeves and Wooster writes Karen Morley-Chesworth.

Tilted Wig Productions and Malvern Theatres presents their touring adaptation of the Dickens’ classic Great Expectations at Theatre by the Lake and Nichola McAuliffe as the iconic Miss Havisham steals the show, writes Karen Morley-Chesworth.

Tennessee Williams’ 1947 play, A Streetcar Named Desire has been driven into Theatre by the Lake by the English Touring Theatre with a new fresh perspective in a modern-day setting writes Karen Morley-Chesworth.

A powerful play, Director Chelsea Walker has ensured she maximises the hard hitting and at times difficult piece to watch, yet casts a beauty over the production.

The spirit of the French icon Edith Piaf, the ‘little sparrow’ fills the auditorium as Elizabeth Mansfield takes centre stage at Theatre by the Lake’s Studio, writes Karen Morley-Chesworth.

This is no easy play to watch. Piaf’s sad and tragic life has been the subject of tabloids and biographies. However, Steven Trafford’s play devised with Mansfield and Annie Castledine brings a new perspective to the singer’s tale.

UNITY Theatre have kick started the new season at Theatre by the Lake with a dramatic musical experience that had the audience demanding more from Josette Bushell-Mingo and her trio, writes Karen Morley-Chesworth.

As I’ve previously said in previous reviews, I’m not the words biggest fan of Charles Dickens. It may be something to do with the tedious catchphrases used by some of his characters which does nothing to endear me to the story he’s trying to tell. The utterly ridiculous character names could also be a contributing factor with such ludicrous titles as Mr Pumblechook and Dick Swiveller (don’t ask…).