Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal is hoping to attract an even wider audience through its doors in 2016.
Its spring season programme is packed with a diverse range of drama, music and dance, with local theatre groups sitting alongside nationally renowned companies.
At the new season’s launch last week, Karen Simpson, the theatre’s artistic director, stated her aim to reach out to new and varied crowds.
“It is continuing with my aim that everyone living in this area could find at least one show or artist they would like to see,” she said.
“The theatre needs to be a place where everyone feels they can cross the threshold. We have been working really hard to redefine it in that way.”
Ms Simpson said drama formed the ‘backbone’ of the new programme, with professional and amateur companies featuring heavily.
The Original Theatre Company will return to the theatre with Invincible and Flare Path in March, while Black Theatre live, who presented Macbeth earlier this year, are presenting The Diary of a Hounslow Girl (May 24-25).
Vamos, the country’s leading full mask theatre company, are bringing their story The Best Thing, set in the 1960s, on April 5.
Music comes from Roy Hudd, reliving the Music Hall era on March 26, and David ‘Diddy’ Hamilton’s Rock n Roll tribute on February 11, while Jodie Prenger, winner of BBC’s I’d Do Anything, stars in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s Tell Me On A Sunday.
A special treat comes from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), who are performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in April.
Three shows from across Europe will be coming in The Best of BE Festival on April 7, and a night of All Star Stand Up on May 15 will see Gary Delaney, Sean Hughes, Pete Firman and Jarred Christmas take to the stage.
Family entertainment will include the ever-popular Sing-a-long Frozen, Puss in Boots (both in April), Not Now, Bernard and Here Be Monsters (in February) and the lively presenters from Channel 5’s Milkshake on May 28.
Ballet highlights come in the form of Ballet Theatre UK’s Pinnochio on May 9-10 and a double bill of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes by Ballet Cymru on June 24-25.
Amateur shows come from Bury Theatre Workshop, presenting The Duchess of Malfi in January; Bury St Edmunds Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society’s musical offering Legally Blonde in April; and the Irving Stage Company perform Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in March.
Booking for the season opens on www.theatreroyal.org at 6pm today (Friday).