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…).

The classic children’s novel The Secret Garden gets a modern, dark makeover by Jessica Swale for Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake’s stunning Christmas production.

The modern set centres around a cube that could be a feature in Grand Designs, and is equally dramatic and versatile as a contemporary high end designer home. The two-story box opens to provide glimpses into the lives and backstories of the characters in this moving story of Empire, class, loss and compassion.

Theatre by the Lake have a real treat to complete the Summer 2017 rep offering, with the World premiere of American screenwriter, Laura Eason’s play Remarkable Invisible – and what a hit to complete the season.

Howard Breton’s new adaptation of a 19th century Swedish play is more than an everyday tale of mistress and servants.

Miss Julie was originally written by August Strindberg, and contemporary of Ibsen- which might give you a clue to the raw and cruel nature of the characters.

Shakespeare is like Marmite – it divides a room up into two sets of people; those who were taught the play as a text for an exam and those who were given the opportunity to discover the plays before pass marks were an issue, however Theatre By The Lake’s production this season can and will change all that.

My understanding of the 1980s is from the music – Morrissey, ABBA, - however Handbagged gave me a whistle-trip tour through the decade of Thatcherism, and I enjoyed every step of the way writes Katie Chesworth.

For those who missed the world premiere of How My Light Is Spent at the Royal Exchange in April, or the run at the Sharman Theatre in Cardiff in May, there is one more opportunity to enjoy this new and uplifting work by Alan Harris in the Lake District, writes Karen Morley-Chesworth.

The ageing bright young things bring their party life to Theatre by the Lake for the summer, however the self-deception and empty life style places the dark clouds of reality centre stage.

Set between the wars, this glamorous production which first hit the West End in 1939 uncovers the human suffering masked by the highlife of the very rich and privileged.

William Wordsworth and the Lake District are like bread and butter, naturally going together – and what better place to host the World Premiere of the new play about the English poet, William Wordsworth than Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.

In an age of senior citizens being left to die on trollies in hospital wards, abused cases in care homes and a mood swing to blame baby boomers and older for global warming and the financial crisis leaving the next generation without pension cover – this new play by Sandi Toksvig brings a sense of calm and comic reflection on the aging process in Silver Lining.