Talking Tales

Talking Tales was Theatre by the Lake’s intergenerational oral history project run in partnership with the Friends of Theatre by the Lake.

The year long project documented the history of theatre in Keswick from 1952 to 2014. In total 50 oral histories were recorded by a group of eight young volunteers. Interviews are available at Ambleside Oral History Group and Carlisle Archive Service.

An exhibition was also hosted in the Friend’s and Circle galleries at Theatre by the Lake. One of the features was a timeline of theatre history in Keswick, created from photographs, the oral histories, and memorabilia from the Lindsay Temple archive held at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery.

Local filmmaker, Joel Baker, was commissioned to document how Talking Tales engaged with the community, interviewing participants and weekly sessions.

image: Blue Box, Century Theatre at Snibston.jpg by Andy Dingley, 2012

audio: Alice M. AP_DSO-215-1-7-3_s1_f01_v1_e02_n3


Interviewees included volunteers, friends and fundraisers who shared their memories of the development of theatre in Keswick over the years, from Century Theatre in the 1950s to the more permanent, purpose built, Theatre by the Lake.

Alice recalls how she became a dressmaker and her job in wardrobe maintenance at Century Theatre (DSO-215-1-7-3) Transcript here

Douglas shares his experiences of volunteering at Blue Box [Century Theatre] and Theatre by the Lake (DSO-215-1-7-7) Transcript here

Lewis performed in the spring production of ‘Rogue Herries’ at Theatre at the Lake. (DSO-215-1-7-36) Transcript here



Thank you to Eleanor Woodley, one of our volunteers who made the audio clips for this page.


The full length interviews will be available at Carlisle Archive Service in due course.

You can read the full descriptions online at the British Library’s Sound and Moving Image catalogue. The British Library collection reference is UAP025. The local reference is DSO-215-1.

Leave a Reply