Mouth-watering line up for the Spring season at Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is on stage at the Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds, in April

A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is on stage at the Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds, in April - Credit: Archant

Drama, ballet, comedy, opera, music, plus a magic sprinkling of stars from stage and screen.

That is the mouth-watering offering for the upcoming spring season at the Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds, which was officially launched today.

The theatre’s artistic director Karen Simpson said a host of “high-level” artists have been lined up for the first six months of 2016 and added: “We want to make Bury the place to come and for people to come and take to our stage.

“The theatre needs to be somewhere where people can feel comfortable to cross the threshold.”

She is hoping that the programme will be able to attract a cross section of the community with performances lined up to suit all tastes.

Some of the highlights include Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, being staged during April, which features stars of the future from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts; the passionate wartime thriller Lotty’s War, June 27 to July 2; Land Of Our Fathers, February 16 to 19; and Flare Path, a story which paints a portrait of life in wartime Britain in 1942 and for the RAF bomber crews and their wives and sweethearts who were left awaiting their return. February 29 to March 5.

There will also be the chance for a local choir to link up with one of the opera groups coming to the Theatre Royal as OperaUpClose return to Bury from February 23 to 24.

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Ballet is back on the stage with Ballet Theatre UK telling the story of Pinocchio, May 9 to 10; and Ballet Cymru and the Riverfront Theatre double bill of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs, June 24 and 25.

Other dramas lined up for the new season include Agatha Christie’s A Murder is Announced, April 19 to 23, staring Judy Cornwell as Miss Marple and Diane Fletcher as Letitia Blacklock; Stones In His Pockets (May 3 to 4); An Elephant In The Garden, by Michael Morpurgo (February 1 to 2); and Travels With My Aunt (May 5 to 7).

Two of the country’s best loved names take to the stage to celebrate two different music genres. On March 26, Roy Hudd pays tribute to the stars of the Music Hall era while legendary DJ, David “Diddy” Hamilton hails rock ‘n’ roll in his Rock ‘n’ Roll Back The Years, February 11.

Gareth Gates, singer songwriter and runner-up to Will Young in the first series of the ITV talent show Pop Idol, links up with Michael Courtney, on June 16, for Mad About The Musicals.

There’s a celebration of Flanders and Swann, on May 20, and join jazz royalty Claire Martin and Ray Gelato for A Swinging Affair, on May 21.

For those who love a laugh then an evening with Dillie Keane is a must, on March 9, or Gary Delaney, Sean Hughes, Pete Firman and Jarred Christmas on their All Star Stand Up Tour, May 15.

Wordsmith and former MP, Gyles Brandreth, celebrates word power, on June 26, while the Reduced Shakespeare Company present The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), on March 10.

Families will have plenty to see and join in with including Sing-a-long-a Frozen, on April 8; Puss In Boots, April 6; Not Now, Bernard, February 5 and 6; Here Be Monsters, February 13; and the lively presenters from Channel 5’s Milkshake, on May 28.

Lisa Maxwell, star of Loose Women and The Bill, stars in End of the Rainbow – The Judy Garland Story, from May 31 to June 4; and Jodie Prenger, who rose to fame as the winning Nancy on BBC’s I’d Do Anything, stars in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s Tell Me On A Sunday, May 17.

Three shows from across Europe come together on April 7 in The Best of BE Festival and lovers of dinosaurs are invited to Dinosaur Park, on May 27.

Political journalist and presenter Nick Robinson will be at the Theatre Royal for the first time on March 23 to talk about his life and work.

Three talented local companies will also be performing this season.

Bury Theatre Workshop presents The Duchess of Malfi, January 26 to 30; while the Irving Stage Company perform Arthur Miller’s classic, The Crucible, March 15 to 19. Bury St Edmunds Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society’s Spring season offering is the musical, Legally Blonde, from April 26 to 30.