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Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds' £50,000 reopening appeal target within reach




A £50,000 fund-raising target to help a theatre reopen and survive the coronavirus crisis is within reach.

Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is less than £4,000 short of its emergency reopening appeal goal – with the total at £46,380 yesterday morning.

The Show Will Go On campaign was launched a month ago to support the historic venue, which is estimated to lose £300,000 in net income over six months due to the pandemic.

Pantomime Peter Pan at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, which stages an annual festive show. Picture by Aaron Weight
Pantomime Peter Pan at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, which stages an annual festive show. Picture by Aaron Weight

Last week, students at Conservatoire East live-streamed a showcase of their work to encourage donations.

Owen Calvert-Lyons, theatre CEO and artistic director, said: “We’re so close to reaching our target and that is thanks to the generosity of our community. The money raised by West Suffolk College students last week shows just how passionately people feel about Theatre Royal.

“Now I hope that we can reach a few more people who can help us reach our target so that, when the time comes, we can reopen our theatre and welcome people back through our doors.”

Owen Calvert-Lyons is the new artistic director/CEO of Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mark Westley
Owen Calvert-Lyons is the new artistic director/CEO of Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mark Westley

Meanwhile, the theatre is encouraging residents in Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding towns and villages to tell hidden personal stories of the places where they live for a new community project.

‘Walking Stories’ will see 10 tales transformed into audio-guided walks voiced by professional actors with original music and sound design by composer David Lewington.

Mr Calvert-Lyons said: “We all know someone who has a great story to tell. Maybe it’s their own story, maybe the story has been passed on to you by someone else, maybe it’s a story that has been passed on so many times it’s hard to tell which bits are even true.

“We have designed this project specifically for these extraordinary times. People can listen to these stories individually and outdoors, enabling them to safely come back out into the streets and celebrate the place where they live.”

The stories will be available to download later this summer. They can be written down or recorded and should be about 10 minutes or 1,000 to 1,200 words long and should take the listener on a journey through a specific place.

Visit www.theatreroyal.org/walking-stories and the deadline for applications is July 17.

To donate to the fund, visit theatreroyal.org


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