There’s a host of entertainment full of music, comedy, drama and family shows lined up for the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds Spring season.
From Arthur Miller’s play “All My Sons” to “Britain’s Got Talent” finalist Daliso Chaponda and tribute show “The Take That Experience” to “Brief Encounter”, the famous chance encounter at a train station, there’s something for everyone.
There’s also the theatre’s own production of “The Children”, directed by Owen Calvert-Lyons, the artistic director.
He said: “This season is filled with fantastic dramas, comedies, plays from the Edinburgh Fringe and three plays from our wonderful youth theatre groups. Along with a huge line up of stand-up comedy and music, there really is something for everyone.
“We’re so fortunate to have a fantastic offering for families throughout the season featuring 12 different shows full of colour and excitement with tickets from £6.50. We’re proud to be creating ‘The Children’ by Lucy Kirkwood – a truly brilliant sizzling drama that follows on from our ‘Best Plays of the Last 10 Years’ series with ‘Home, I’m Darling’ in the Spring of 2022. There’s so much for audiences to enjoy.”
Theatre Royal Production: The Children
Fri 10 – Sat 25 March
Spring season at Theatre Royal signals the return of their in-house drama, part of their commitment to presenting the ‘Best Plays of the Last 10 Years’ to regional audiences. This year’s show is “The Children” by Lucy Kirkwood, hailed as one of the top three plays in The Guardian’s recent “Best Theatre Shows of the 21st Century” category. Premiered at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 2016, it transferred to Broadway becoming nominated for “Best Play” at the Tony Awards and the Outer Critics Circle. Lucy Kirkwood’s previous works includes “Chimerica”, winner of the Olivier Award for Best Play, the Evening Standard award and the Critics Circle Best New Play Award.
“The Children” brings us to an isolated cottage by the sea where we meet Hazel and Robin, two retired nuclear scientists. As their world slowly crumbles around them, they are settled deciding that they will live the rest of their days on yoghurt and yoga, until an old friend arrives with a frightening request.
Each year Theatre Royal presents a series of special events to raise much-need funds for the theatre’s community and education programmes. This year is no exception:
Call My Bluff: The Wine Quiz – Thurs 16 March
Join us at the Hunter Club for this wine quiz with a difference. Test your knowledge of wine against the wit and expertise of a panel of bluffers as they bluff, and double bluff, as you guess and quaff. Enjoy a riotous evening of laughs, fun, and fine wine, hosted by Nethergate Wines. Ticket includes a welcoming drink and wine, plus pâté, cheese, and bread.
Golf Day at Thetford Golf Club – Thurs 20 April
Our 10th annual golf day, organised by Ian Duncan. Enter a team of four for a relaxed and fun day of golf at one of East Anglia’s top golf courses – Thetford Golf Club, tee times from 8am. The format for the day is the best three out of four stableford scores per team. there is a generous prize table and raffle. Enjoy coffee and a bacon roll on arrival and fish and chips in the clubhouse after your round (included in the entry fee).
The Magic of the Musicals – Fri 16 June
Join Bury St Edmunds Operatic and Dramatic Society for an exciting celebration of musical theatre old and new. You’ll hear familiar favourites, as well as modern Broadway and West End hits.
Hidden Gardens of Bury St Edmunds – Sun 2 July
Theatre Royal’s courtyard garden will be open to the public with refreshments available in the Greene Room Bar. This event is in aid of St Nicholas Hospice.
Penned Up – Mon 20 February
A script in hand reading of a new play by Danusia Iwaszko: “Prisoners”. Should we lock them up and throw away the key? Danusia has run script-writing groups in male prisons for the last 15 years and in Penned Up, she shares her experience.
All My Sons – Tue 28 Feb – Sat 4 March
“All My Sons”, by Arthur Miller, is one of the true landmark plays of the 20th century recently receiving critical acclaim in the West End. Two years after the end of the conflict, successful businessman Joe Keller must reckon with things he did to survive during World War Two, whilst he and his family come to terms with the loss of a son.
Brief Encounter – Tue 23 – Sat 27 May
When a chance encounter in a train station tearoom kindles a timid, yet passionate, love affair between a married doctor and a suburban housewife, the two are forced to question if it’s worth risking everything for the sake of love. Adapted for the stage by Emma Rice.
SAP – Tue 9 May
A contemporary thriller with ancient roots from an award-winning theatre company. When a woman tells a lie to her girlfriend, a seed is planted that starts to grow in the darkness. Now roots are cracking up through the pavement and branches are coming in at the windows, and – as she starts to see things that no one else can – she becomes the focus of some seriously unwanted attention.
Watson: The Final Problem – Tue 16 May
It’s 1894 and London is submerged in rumours. In an effort to quash them, Watson tells his story of long buried secrets, betrayal and death. But someone is playing a long game and Holmes and Watson face their greatest ever challenge. Is the game really over?
SHEWOLVES – Thurs 18 May
In this “Thelma and Louise”-styled comedy, Priya and Lou embark on a covert expedition into the wild to tackle climate change head on but when the wilderness closes in around them, can they overcome their differences to make their voices heard?
Jumping The Shark – Sat 28 Jan – Sat 4 February
From the writers of “Round the Horne, Revisited” and BBC’s “My Family” comes Jumping The Shark. Frank Donohue is the finest sitcom writer of his generation. He’s about to teach five lucky disciples the tricks of the trade and maybe, if they have what it takes, he’ll show them the holy grail: how to write the perfect sitcom. A hilarious show inspired by “Only Fools and Horses”.
Teechers Leavers ‘22 – Tue 2 – Sat 6 May
Hilarious, high-energy, and full-blooded, Teechers Leavers ‘22 by John Godber, brings to life an array of terrifying teachers and hopeless pupils through the eyes of Salty, Gail, and Hobby; three Year 11 students facing a scary world. A breath-taking, breakneck comedy about education for the “haves”, the “have nots” and a generation left behind.
Express G&S – Thurs 22 June
The “masters of Gilbert & Sullivan” present their side-splitting spoof of a classic railway murder mystery splattered with favourites from the Savoy operas including “The Pirates of Penzance”, “The Mikado” and HMS “Pinafore”, as well as from those less performed, such as “The Sorcerer”, “Princess Ida” and “Utopia Ltd”.
Abigail’s Party – Tue 27 June – Sat 1 July
In her suburban living room, Beverly prepares for the impending arrival of her guests. She and her husband Laurence will play host to neighbours Angela, Tony, and Sue. As the alcohol flows and the “nibbles” are handed around, Mike Leigh’s ruthless, achingly funny examination of 1970s British life begins…
Theatre Royal Comedy Club – Wed 22 Feb, Wed 17 May
In partnership with Comedy Market, Theatre Royal’s very own comedy club featuring a great line up of comedians from the UK touring circuit alongside up-and-coming comics.
Daliso Chaponda – Sat 11 February
Finalist of “Britain’s Got Talent” and star of BBC Radio 4’s “Citizen of Nowhere”, Daliso Chaponda is back with a new show of the slickest, sharpest look at life in his feel-good, energetic style.
Lucy Porter: Wake Up Call – Fri 12 May
As heard on Radio 4’s “The News Quiz” and “The Now Show” and seen on “Would I Lie to You”, “QI”, and “Live at the Apollo”. Wake-Up Call is a show about revelations, realisations, and epiphanies – both large and small.
Turning The Air Green – Sun 18 June
An evening of high-class stand-up and satire with Angela Barnes (“Mock The Week”, “Live at the Apollo”, “8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown”, and BBC Radio 4’s “The News Quiz”) and the Guardian’s multi-award-winning cartoonist Martin Rowson.
A Century of Swing – Sat 21 January
Join the UK’s hardest swinging band Down for the Count for “one hellova celebration of vintage music” (TimeOut London). The band take you on a whistle-stop tour of the best swing music from 1920s America right through to its peak in the 50s. Think Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Glenn Miller.
Come What May – Sat 1 April
The ultimate tribute to “Moulin Rouge” filled with unforgettable dance routines featuring “Strictly Come Dancing’s” Robin Windsor. Hear songs like “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”, “Roxanne” and “Lady Marmalade” plus many more in this exhilarating show full of glitz and glamour.
Elton John Show – Sat 15 April
Expect sequins, outrageous outfits and unmistakable live music from the Elton John Show in this incredible homage to the Rocketman himself.
The Carpenters: Voice of the Heart – Thurs 8 June
A wonderful show with excellent live music from Carole Gordon and the Blue Jeans Band and Singers playing The Carpenters classics and finely-tuned medleys in this sparkling night to remember.
The Take That Experience – Sat 24 June
With acclaimed vocal performances, stunning replica costumes, and iconic dance routines, The Take That Experience recreate the magic of Take That live on stage with their Greatest Hits tour.
February Half Term
The Magic of Science – Sun 12 February
Hold on to your seats as Theatre Royal is transformed into a real-life science laboratory. Experience non-stop action-packed interactive science experiments that will capture the imagination; a fast-moving and colourful magical science show, packed with mystery, suspense, and heaps of mess!
The King of Nothing – Tue 14 – Wed 15 February
Inspired by “The Emperors New Clothes”, comes this fun, colourful and energetic show with beautiful pupperty. Stylish King Reginald is presented with a magical cloth for a new outfit but as the day approaches, he wonders if all is as it seems…
Dinosaur Adventure Live – Thurs 16 – Fri 17 February
With larger than life dinosaur on stage, join our intrepid rangers on a quest to recover the data crystal, restore power to the island and save the dinosaurs. Feel the excitement as you come face-to-face with a humongous T-Rex and hear it’s roooaarrr in this awe-inspiring interactive stage show.
The Little Red Hen – Sat 18 – Sun 19 February
Making bread is hard work, but it would be a lot easier if the lazy farmyard animals got off their reclining sofas and lent a hand. Join our plucky little hen as she finds her own way to get stuff done. An energetic adaptation of this much-loved story, featuring a breath-taking combination of brilliant puppetry, live music, and unforgettable comedy.
Pop Princesses – Sun 22 Jan
Magical princesses become pop stars singing hits from your favourite films, musicals and pop stars including Little Mix, Ariana Grande and more. A pop concert with a magical twist and packed full of fun, come and sing-along!
Tales From Acorn Wood – Thurs 23 – Fri 24 February
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s beloved “Tales from Acorn Wood” stories are brought to life on stage for the first time in this show packed full of toe-tapping songs, puppetry and rhymes.
I Spy With My Little Eye – Sat 13 May
Molly and Bingo the dog invite you to celebrate Molly’s sixth birthday packed with all your favourite sing-along-songs and lots of games to play.
The Singing Mermaid – Fri 2 – Sat 3 June
Based on the book by Julia Donaldson with songs, rhymes and beautiful puppetry. The singing mermaid is tempted away to join a traveling circus, with the promise of a life of excitement (and her own swimming pool). The circus audiences love her singing but she soon finds she’s been tricked by the dastardly circus master. Will she ever escape? And who will help her along the way?
The Snail and The Whale – Fri 9 – Sun 11 June
Join an adventurous young girl and her seafaring father as they reimagine the story of a tiny snail’s incredible trip around the world, inspired by Julia Donaldson much-loved story.
NT Connections: Tuesday – Thurs 30 – Fri 31 March
Performed by Theatre Royal Young Company; It’s just an ordinary Tuesday when the sky above the school yard is ripped open and the students are bewildered at where their fellow pupils have vanished to.
Youth Theatre Presents – Tues 4 – Sat 8 April
Two shows for the price of one performed by our Youth Theatre participants. First, you’ll see “Small Fry”, a play showcasing the power of the “little people” in an ever-changing greedy world followed by “The Changing Room” which explores the secrets and anxieties affecting young people in today’s world, set by the edge of a swimming pool.
The Jungle Book – Thurs 13 April
Join Mowgli and his friends, Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther, on a madcap jungle adventure as they meet and attempt to outwit a slithering snake, some cheeky monkeys, and the fierce tiger, Shere Khan in this musical filled with comedy, audience interaction and original music.
Ballet Central – Thurs 11 May
A mixed programme of classic ballet created by internationally acclaimed choreographers including the celebrated “Mirror Mirror”, Michael Pink’s restaging of “Snow White”, a new piece created by renowned choreographer Morgann Runacre-Temple, and an excerpt from Sophie Laplane’s “Dextera”, danced to a selection of Mozart’s music.
The Hazelwood Dance Show – Sun 4 June
A showcase from the Hazelwood Dance studios filled with colour and variety. In aid of the Hazelwood Scholarship Fund.
Local Amateur Companies
Murder On The Nile – Tue 18 – Sat 22 April
Heiress Kay Ridgeway and new husband embark on a cruise down the Nile surrounded by colourful characters who have reason to hate her. Upon discovery of a murder, Clergyman Canon Pennefather must assume the role of detective to uncover an extraordinary conspiracy in this classic whodunnit by Agatha Christie.
Shakespeare In Love – Tues 25 – Sat 29 April
When William Shakespeare meets aspiring actor, Viola de Lesseps, their passionate love affair becomes the basis of Romeo and Juliet: Viola’s father has promised her to the stuffy Lord Wessex to gain a family title, but with Viola’s wedding fast approaching, can it work out between Will and Viola or are they star-crossed lovers destined for tragedy?
Magical Bones – Sat 20 May
Following sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival and across the UK, the “Britain’s Got Talent” finalist takes to the road with a brand-new show full of the most awe-inspiring and high-energy magic you’ll see this year.
Regular lunchtime concerts, sponsored by Ellisons Solictors are just £10 per ticket and include refreshments after the performance in the Greene Room Bar.
Brazilieros – Wed 1 February
Brazilian Choros, South American, Dance Music.
Petra Hajduchova – Wed 15 March
Harpsichord, Baroque, Bohemian, Rock, European.
Yalda Davis – Wed 19 April
Solo Cello, Bach, Irish Airs, Pablo Casals.
The Champagne Quartet – Wed 24 May
Classics, Jazz, Popular Arrangements, String Quartet.