Theatre by the Lake (TBTL) has been shortlisted for a national theatre industry award for community impact.

The nomination for The Stage Award for Community Project of the Year recognises its critically acclaimed production of Every Brilliant Thing.

The theatre collaborated with local and national charities, including Every Life Matters, Papyrus and Andy’s Man Club, to develop the project.

The aim was to raise awareness and start dialogue on suicide and mental health, to provide support for audiences and communities.

The Stage Awards are a renowned celebration of excellence in British theatre, recognising achievements across the UK.

TBTL’s production of Every Brilliant Thing toured local community spaces in September and October this year, showcasing an honest and uplifting narrative about resilience and love against the backdrop of the protagonist's experiences with his mother's suicidal depression.

The piece was particularly significant for local Cumbrian communities, where suicide rates are 50 per cent higher than the national average.

News and Star: The nomination for The Stage Award for Community Project of the Year recognises its critically

In preparation for the project, all TBTL staff and volunteers underwent Suicide Awareness Training with Every Life Matters.

Additionally, they engaged in workshops with local community organisations including We CAN Cumbria, Always Another Way, Healthy Hopes, Happy Mum’s Foundation and Andy’s Man Club.

To create a supportive environment for audiences, a volunteer trained in suicide awareness manned a Breakout Space at each performance.

This area was filled with materials signposting support services, and offered post-show activity curated for reflection, connection, and conversation around suicide prevention.

The production also integrated an exhibition of brilliant, joyous things, allowing audiences to share personally uplifting items and interact in a context of reflection.

Every Brilliant Thing was written by Bruntwood Award-winning playwright Duncan Macmillan and actor, comedian and writer Jonny Donahoe.

Initially developed by Pentabus and Paines Plough, the TBTL’s adaptation was directed by artistic director Liz Stevenson and performed by Andrew Turner.

Winners for The Stage Awards are scheduled to be announced at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London on January 29, 2024.