New outdoor theatre to be constructed at Sutton Hoo

A new theatre in the woods has been proposed for Sutton Hoo

A new theatre in the woods has been proposed for Sutton Hoo - Credit: 59 Productions

An award-winning design studio, which helped to design the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, is to help design a new outdoor theatre in Suffolk.  

A new theatre in the forest venue is set to be built at the world-renowned Sutton Hoo site. 

It will be a pop-up structure with the independent Suffolk theatre company Red Rose Chain working in partnership with the National Trust on the project. 

Visitors will be able to see the Red Rose Chain at the theatre next year

Visitors will be able to see the Red Rose Chain at the theatre next year - Credit: 59 Productions

The group has been awarded funding from DCMS and Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund to develop the new space and will be taking up residency at the site from July to August 2022. 

It will also be working with 59 Productions, a company whose previous work includes video work for the London 2012 Ceremonies, Sochi Winter Games, the National Theatre and the Royal Court to carry out the project.   

Joanna Carrick at The Mariners on the Ipswich Waterfront.

Joanna Carrick, artistic director of Red Rose Chain - Credit: Archant


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Joanna Carrick, artistic director of Red Rose Chain said “It is so exciting to be working with 59 Productions and for them to bring their immense international experience to the project.  

“The creative team from both organisations has been working hard together throughout lockdown to design exciting new infrastructure, focusing on our unique audience experience and strong community roots to secure the future for this very popular event.” 

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Mark Grimmer, co-founder of 59 Productions, grew up in Suffolk and was a member of Red Rose Chain’s youth theatre. 

“We are so proud of everything Mark has achieved and it means the world to us to be working with 59 productions on the launch of a new era for Theatre in the Forest at Sutton Hoo,” said Ms Carrick.  

The new theatre in the woods will be built at Sutton Hoo

The new theatre in the woods will be built at Sutton Hoo - Credit: 59 Productions


59 Productions said: “59 Productions are thrilled to be collaborating with Red Rose Chain on their new, bespoke, outdoor venue for Theatre in the Forest next year.  

“This design follows a through-line of research and development the company has embarked upon over the last year in response to the ongoing pandemic.  

“We are passionate about creating spaces that are safe, secure and accessible for all and can’t wait for audiences in Suffolk to enjoy live theatre once again, this time at Sutton Hoo.”  

New designs for the theatre will be unveiled at a special livestream Gala Night on July 31. 

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