Packed autumn season at Bury St Edmunds’ Theatre Royal promises variety

Actress and producer Cathy Tyson, speaking at the Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's autumn season launch. ANL-150624-164927001
Actress and producer Cathy Tyson, speaking at the Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's autumn season launch. ANL-150624-164927001
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With its spring season still in full swing, the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds has announced an equally exciting autumn line-up.

Sponsored by Beckett Financial Services, its new season is set to include a mix of comedy, drama, music and dance from new and established artists.

Cast members from original production A Labour of Love, performing at the Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's autumn season launch. ANL-150624-164853001

Cast members from original production A Labour of Love, performing at the Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's autumn season launch. ANL-150624-164853001

Karen Simpson, director of the Theatre Royal, said the programme was intended to continue its quest to encourage a wider audience while announcing its audience numbers were up by almost 30 per cent in the last financial year.

“We want to reach out and touch the audience members who may never have been before,” she said.

“We are not giving up on our hope of introducing more and more families to the theatre and to keep drilling away with the message that this is a theatre for the whole community.

“If people are going out and enjoying what they are seeing, and feel challenged and interested, it feels like a night worth spending your money on.”

Running from September until February 2016, Ms Simpson said the season is strucuted as the ‘second part’ of the Regency theatre’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

One of the programme’s highlights is a show directed by Ms Simpson herself, the smart and sassy Miss Nightingale - The Musical (September 30 to October 3).

BAFTA-nominated actress Cathy Tyson, of Band of Gold fame, star in another highlight, She Called Me Mother (November 11 to 12), while Patrick Kielty returns to his stnad-up roots with a new show on November 8.

Other comedy gems come from Jenny Éclair on February 12, Mark Thomas with a mix of theatre, stand-up and journalism on February 3, Stephen K Amos on January 22 and Daniel Taylor as showbusiness bigshot Tommy Cooper on January 17.

Comedy duo Jeeves and Wooster descend for West End hit Perfect Nonsense from September 2 to 5, while the roaring 20s continue with F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (September 17 to 19).

Other literary offerings include Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (September 21 to 23) and Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party (February 25 to 27), both from Theatre Royal regulars London Classic Theatre, and Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale (October 6 to 10) from Northern Broadsides.

For younger spectators there is exciting family musical Rapunzel (February 14 to 15) and this year’s family pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk (November 27 to January 10).

Music comes courtesy of The Blues Brothers Experience on September 12 and an homage to Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, Islands in the Stream, on September 26.

A season of lunchtime concerts, sponsored by Gross and Co, will also return to brighten your lunch break.

OperaUpClose is returning with a contemporary English take on Carmen (February 23 to 24), and Ballet Theatre UK will recreate The Snow Queen from Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale.

Local offerings come from the Bury Theatre Workshop, presenting The Duchess of Malfi (January 26 to 30), the Bury St Edmunds Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society with Fiddler on the Roof (October 13 to 17) and the Irving Stage Company performing West Side Story (November 3 to 7).

General booking online opens at 6pm on Saturday, June 27 and general booking by phone opens at 10am on Monday, June 29. Contact the box office on 01284 769505, book online at theatreroyal.org or email booking@theatreroyal.org.