Theatre Royal plans £120,000 ‘mini Edinburgh style’ festival for families

Karen Simpson, director of the Theatre Royal
Karen Simpson, director of the Theatre Royal
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Bosses at a Bury St Edmunds theatre are planning a £120,000 ‘mini Edinburgh-style festival’ for children, schools and families.

The Theatre Royal aims to create a ‘flagship event’ for West Suffolk next June with scores of performances by top companies in various schools and venues.

Artists would also work with pupils in school to create pieces which could be given a platform professionally.

Karen Simpson, director at the theatre, said: “I’m describing it as a mini-Edinburgh Festival for kids. My aim is to create a real flagship event for this region so we really put ourselves on the map in terms of festivals.

“We’re confident the festival will reach about 5,000 children across our region - the whole of West Suffolk. We’re mindful we live in a rural area and one of the big barriers is transport - this festival is about trying to embrace that.”

As well as the theatre, the two week festival would also involve The Apex, Smith’s Row, St Edmundsbury Cathedral and a minimum of 20 schools.

Ms Simpson estimates the event will cost about £120,000 and have applied for about £70,000 from the Arts Council. Some of the money would come from ticket sales and they are looking for a small contribution from schools.

The theatre also aims to raise another £9,000 through sponsorship or other sources of funding. To sponsor contact Julia Read at