Felixstowe: Bartlet Hospital play to be performed at six venues across county

'The Bartlet Sisters' - Stephanie Stoddart, Naomi Doust, Suzanne Hawkes in the play In Sickness and

'The Bartlet Sisters' - Stephanie Stoddart, Naomi Doust, Suzanne Hawkes in the play In Sickness and In Health about the Bartlet Hospital. - Credit: Archant

A new play on the history of a Suffolk hospital is generating interest across the county, as tickets go on sale.

The story of Felixstowe’s Bartlet hospital is told in the play In Health and In Sickness by Suzanne Hawkes, which is to be performed at six venues across Suffolk, opening at Sudbury’s Quay Theatre on June 23.

Ms Hawkes, of Orwell Road, Felixstowe, said the play traces the history of the building and the story of Dr John Bartlet, who founded the hospital.

She said: “Interest in the play has been phenomenal and there is a big demand for tickets. The story of the Bartlet and protesters who tried to keep it open is a moving and poignant one, and one that needs to be told.”

In Health and In Sickness includes music composed especially for the play as well as exclusive video footage of the hospital’s interior.

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The hospital closed in 2008 and is currently being turned into luxury flats.

The play, which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by the Bartlet Bequest Action Group, will feature the fictional Bartlet Sisters – based on The Andrews Sisters – who will sing songs from the period.

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Ms Hawkes said: “Rehearsals have been great fun and we are enjoying bring this fascinating story to life. Many people have fond memories of the hospital and its role in the history of the town.”

The play will be performed at Waldringfield Village Hall on June 25, St Mary’s Hall, Woodbridge, on June 26 and June 27, the Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh, on June 28, the Orwell Hotel, Felixstowe, on July 2 and the New Wolsey Studio in Ipswich on July 3-5. The play will also be performed in September.

Tickets are available from the box office on 01394 279613.

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