New play set to ruffle feathers

A HARD-hitting play due to visit Suffolk which features swearing, nudity and violence has provoked a mixed response.Duck, a new production, which is being premiered at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, is being publicized as a play which tackles strong adult themes but it has divided the local community.

A HARD-hitting play due to visit Suffolk which features swearing, nudity and violence has provoked a mixed response.

Duck, a new production, which is being premiered at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, is being publicized as a play which tackles strong adult themes but it has divided the local community.

Mike Brundle, a former leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: "I don't believe in censorship but it is a shame something with the history and prestige of the Theatre Royal has to put on something like this.

"I don't think it is the right venue for it, the play is totally unnecessary but I am sure it will play to packed audiences."


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Mr Brundle, who has been vocal in the past about certain productions at the prestigious theatre, added: "In this day and age, it seems the more depraved a play gets, the bigger audience it will achieve.

"The Theatre Royal puts on some very good plays but I don't see the point in this particular case."

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Another former council leader Ray Nowak said he could see nothing wrong with the production.

Mr Nowak said: "I am sure there will be a few outraged people but I would suggest to them that they go and see it before making a comment.

"I don't see any problem with it as long as people are aware it might be a bit risqué.

"The Theatre Royal have put on some more risqué productions in the past and I think that is what the theatre is all about."

The borough council's portfolio holder for arts and culture, Andrew Varley, said: "The Theatre Royal has an admirably diverse programme appealing to all sectors. I have always admired the way they have gone about putting on productions and I will continue to encourage them to do so."

Duck, written by Irish actress Stella Feehily , tells the story of two teenage girls growing up in the homes, bars and streets of Dublin.

Director Max Stafford-Clark said: "The Theatre Royal has become a very special and important place for us. It has an enthusiastic and sophisticated audience who give our productions of new work an attentive and considerate hearing."

A spokeswoman for the Theatre Royal said: "It is really exciting for us and real coup to have a world premier of this brand new play by a high profile company.

"We feel we have to keep challenging people and there will be quite a few hard hitting performances over the whole autumn season.

"It is a new thing for Bury St Edmunds but we hope it will wake up the town a little bit. We have to progress and put different things on to compete with other mediums, like the television."

The play runs from July 24 to July 26 and tickets are available from the box office on 01284 769505.

What do you think? Write to East Anglian Daily Times Letters at 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN or email EADTletters@eadt.co.uk

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