Once Upon A Festival to return for fourth year in Suffolk and Norfolk

Behind the scenes look at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Behind the scenes look at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A popular children’s festival which aims to promote arts for everyone in the region is returning for a fourth year.

The Once Upon A Festival is returning for a fourth year. Picture: THEATRE ROYAL BURY ST EDMUNDS

The Once Upon A Festival is returning for a fourth year. Picture: THEATRE ROYAL BURY ST EDMUNDS - Credit: Archant

Once Upon A Festival, which runs from Sunday, June 10, to Friday, June 22, aims to make performance art more accessible in theatres, schools and communities.

The Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds is joined by the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket, Southwold Arts Centre, the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft, Meet Up in Thetford and Market Place in Forest Heath, to provide shows and activities during June.

A wide range of events are available and the schools programme offers subsidised performances, and family shows will also take place at partner venues across the region.

The Theatre Royal will welcome Cinderella, The Owl and the Pussycat and The Gruffalo’s Child as part of the festival this year.


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Last year, the festival provided 13 productions at partner venues, while another 13 reached families and schools.

In total, 36 schools across Suffolk and Norfolk participated in the festival, with 28 schools taking performances in their own spaces, while a further 8 visited partner venues.

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To help engage the children further, 27 sessions were provided to deliver post-show enrichment workshops reaching a total of 1,608 children.

Overall, the festival reached a total of 5,602 audience members.

Schools are able to choose from 15 shows covering music, dance, comedy, drama, puppetry, spoken word, storytelling and more.

Included in the schools package are two enrichment workshops, which are delivered at the school by a professional facilitator.

This is available to schools at a heavily subsidised rate of £150 per show.

The schools programme full listing is as follows: A Square World (Daryl Beeton), Bookstory (Monstro Theatre), Boys Don’t (Half Moon, Apples and Snakes)

Found (DancingStrong), Light Steps (DancingStrong), Me & My Bee (ThisEgg), One Item Only (Theatre Royal Bath), Pied Piper (Norwich Puppet Theatre), The Buildy-Uppy Dance Show (Anatomical), The Children in the Moon (The Makeshift Ensemble), The Junk Orchestra KS1 & KS2 (Saul), Thumbelina (Norwich Puppet Theatre), We Come From Far Away (NIE Theatre), Young Herberts Horrors (Half Moon) and Graffiti Classics (Graffiti Classics).

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