Suffolk theatre company's delight at Government cash injection

Red Rose Chain performThe Tempest, their 2016 Theatre in the Forest production at Jimmy's Farm. Phot

The Red Rose Chain Theatre Company is responsible for many community programmes and events, including the much-loved 'Theatre in the Forest' - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk theatre company boss has spoken of the importance of government funding to help it continue its work - especially its community programme.

The Red Rose Chain has been awarded a grant of £97,487 from the Governments Culture Relief Fund.

The company, well known for its community programmes and events, as well as the much revered Theatre in the Forest, will be using the funds to help continue with projects, as well as recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Artistic director Joanna Carrick said:"This funding is so important to Red Rose Chain in supporting our recovery from the pandemic and allowing us to continue our theatre and community programme. We are so grateful for the continued support from the Arts Council since the start of the pandemic which has been such a lifeline to us.

"During the pandemic we have continued our entire community programme, moving all our projects online. This has been vital in providing a creative outlet of hope and positivity to our participants and their families.

"Now we can be back in person at The Avenue Theatre, we are able to support our participants so much more, helping them to grow in confidence again and really develop their creative voices."

Joanna Carrick, artistic director at Red Rose Chain in Ipswich. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Artistic director Joanna Carrick says support from the Arts Council is "vital" in enabling the company to continue their programme. - Credit: Archant

She said the  cash boost has come at just the right time for the company.

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She said: "This funding will go towards supporting our community programme at The Avenue Theatre for young people, adults with disabilities mental health diagnoses, young people with learning disabilities and life sentence prisoners.

"This funding is also helping us to continue our digital theatre programme, with our new live streamed production of ‘Treasure Island’ this Christmas. This is streaming in schools and streaming for free in residential homes because it is very important to us to support those who have been, and continue to be, isolated by the pandemic."

The funding backed by the Arts Council would also enable the company to look forward into 2022 and beyond the pandemic with "hope and positivity".

The aim is to see a return of Theatre in the Forest at Sutton Hoo with Macbeth in the next summer.