Theatre firm promises 'biggest and best' year after supporters raise £8,000

Woodbridge's mtp has announced plans for a summer full of shows. Founder Matthew Townshend (inset)

Woodbridge's mtp has announced plans for a summer full of shows. Founder Matthew Townshend (inset) - Credit: Top Floor Studio/Peter Clark Images

A Woodbridge theatre company is looking ahead to its "biggest and best" ever year after kind-hearted supporters raised thousands to keep it afloat.

Matthew Townshend Productions (mtp) has announced plans for bumper programme this summer after more than 140 dipped into their pockets to support upcoming shows.

Its annual theatre season Theatre on the Coast (TOTC) will also be branching out of Suffolk for the first time this year, with a feel-good stage musical version of 1960s movie classic Summer Holiday.

The event was confirmed after generous supporters raised more than £8,000 for this year's TOTC.

This summer’s TOTC musical, in collaboration with Sheringham Little Theatre, will see the professional cast travel together with a vintage London double decker bus, stopping in Reydon, Great Yarmouth and Sheringham.

mtp, which was founded by Matthew Townshend, is helping to coordinate the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Southwold in June, followed by an event at Southwold Arts Festival in July.

Mr Townshend said there will be "something for everyone to enjoy" this summer.

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He added: "After the last two years, who can’t be excited? It has been a real challenge, but we are ready to go.

"Theatre only survives when the people who come to it, the locals and the holidaymakers, get involved.

"We wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t been offered the lifeline from the Cultural Recovery Fund from Arts Council England. We are incredibly grateful for their spectacular support.

"But we also wouldn’t have received that had we not been able to tell them that more than 140 people were generous enough to put their hands in their pockets in our Crowdfunder last year.

"That is very special, and it really is humbling to think people wanted to support us so much they would do that."