Letter: Moving theatre

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The Independent Culture
Sir:On 19 August Ian Herbert referred to the Century Theatre as a ramshackle group of blue Portacabins ("Theatre by Lake in liquidity challenge").

It was never a group of Portacabins. Its construction is based on a number of ex-RAF trailers. It was never the "Blue Box Theatre". That was the name of local supporters who kept the summer seasons going when the Century Theatre Co (as distinct from the building) ceased to function.

In the late Sixties and early Seventies its Keswick site was near the old bus station, now the site of the Lakes Supermarket. Its last move under its own power took it across town to the lakeside car park where the Theatre by the Lake now stands.

The "Old Lady" was not up to the latest legal requirements for road traffic. Though no longer mobile it's still a working theatre at Snibston Discovery Park, Leicestershire, not far from its birthplace.

Hunter Davies is right about row F ("Have I got views for you", 24 August). I spend quite a few hours on the roof trying to cure it but the gutter over that row just could not cope with Lakeland rain, which has a tendency to fall not in drops but in six-inch cubes.

The Century was certainly unique in that it was totally self-contained, with accommodation, bathroom and kitchen all on wheels and drawn by tractor. But it had many ancestors with wooden sides and canvas roofs, drawn by horses and pushed on carts.


Cockermouth, Cumbria