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Historic theatre prepares for 200-year anniversary with fundraising walk

PUBLISHED: 09:44 15 October 2018 | UPDATED: 20:34 16 October 2018

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

Bury St Edmunds’ historic Theatre Royal turns 200 next year and a fundraising walk has been planned to celebrate the special anniversary.

The Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds looking spectacular from the gallery. Picture: GREGG BROWNThe Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds looking spectacular from the gallery. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Architect William Wilkins, who built the theatre in 1819, was also the proprietor of the Norwich circuit of players, who each year would undertake a tour of six theatres in East Anglia.

The sponsored 200-mile walk will follow the historic routes the Norwich circuit of players would walk each year when touring the six theatres.

The 200for200 walk takes place over 10 days from Saturday, April 13, to Monday, April 22, and will finish at the Theatre Royal in Bury.

As it prepares to celebrate the milestone, the theatre has also announced details of its spring season line-up of shows.

The very backstage of the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: GREGG BROWNThe very backstage of the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Opening the season in January will be the premiere of The Wisdom Club, a bold new Theatre Royal production by Danusia Iwaszko.

Directed by Roger Haines (Calendar Girls, The Go-Between), the play is an honest, contemporary exploration of Britain’s aging population.

In April, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds’ Young Company will perform The Wind in the Willows – Alan Bennett’s delightful and witty adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s classic children’s story.

Theatre company Out Of Joint will present shows from two renowned authors, Andrea Dunbar’s semi-autobiographical play Rita, Sue and Bob, Too, and 2017 Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day.

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

Television personality Julian Clary will bring his latest show – Born to Mince – to Bury St Edmunds in May, while Ardal O’Hanlon will perform stand-up comedy in March.

Lovers of music will also have lots to look forward to with tributes to big name musicians like Buddy Holly & The Cricketers in a show of the same name, Karen Carpenter in Voice Of The Heart, Barbara Streisand in Streisand, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons in Big Girls Don’t Cry and Barry Manilow in Manilow.

There’s also plenty for families to enjoy as the Stuff & Nonsense Theatre Company presents The Gingerbread Man, Immersion Theatre return with The Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio, Full House are back with Jack and the Beanstalk, and zany children’s book Aliens Love Underpants comes to the stage for the first time.

Tickets go on general sale on Saturday, October 27, at 10am.

There is a seven-day pre-sale period for Theatre Royal members starting on Saturday, October 20, at 10am.

Friends memberships start at £47 per-year and in addition to accessing the presale people can also make savings on tickets.

To find out more about Theatre Royal memberships visit

For more information about the 200for200 fundraising walk, visit

Full spring season line-up


The Wisdom Club (Jan 30 – Sat Feb 9) - Sat, Feb 9, 2pm – TT/AD/CAP

Lunchtime Concert: The Reduced History of Jazz (Feb 7)

Trust in Performance Drama Festival (Feb 13)

Buddy Holly & The Cricketers (Feb 14)

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (Feb 15/16)

The Gingerbread Man (Feb 17)

Voice of the Heart (Feb 19)

Mark Thomas, Check Up – Our NHS @70 (Feb 20)

Seven Ages (Feb 21)

Big Girls Don’t Cry (Feb 22)

Blake Tour 2019 (Feb 23)

Bouncers (Feb 25-27)


Hancock’s Half Hour (Feb 28–Mar 2)

Ardal O’Hanlon (Mar 3)

Streisand (Mar 6)

The Life I Lead (Mar 7-9)

Chess: The Musical (Mar 12-16)

Lunchtime Concert: The Kingfisher String Trio (Mar 14)

Old Time Music Hall featuring The Berkeley Squares (Mar 17)

Rita, Sue and Bob, Too (Mar 19-23)

Sunday at the Movies (Mar 24)

The Remains of the Day (Mar 26-30) – Sat 30 Mar, 2pm – TT/AD/CAP

Belle Voci (Mar 31)


Much Ado About Nothing (Apr 2-6) Sat 6 Apr, 3pm - CAP

Golf Day (Apr 4)

The Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio (Apr 7/8)

Jack & The Beanstalk (Apr 9/10)

Ballet Central 2019 (Apr 11)

The Wind in the Willows (Apr 18-20)

200 for 200 (Apr 13-22)

She Stoops to Conquer (Apr 23/24)

The Cherry Orchard (Apr 25/26)


The Sound of Music (Apr 30- May 11)

Lunchtime Concert: The Vega Wind Trio (May 2)

Terry Waite, CBE in conversation with Martin Bell, OBE (May 12)

Manilow (May 15)

The Trials of Oscar Wilde (May 16)

Psychic Sally 10 Year Anniversary Tour (May 20)

Swan Lake (May 21/22)

Barbara Nice: Raffle (May 23)

Aliens Love Underpants (May 24/25)

Julian Clary Born to Mince (May 25)

If All the World Were Paper (May 29)

Strangers on a Trainset (May 30)

Forever in Blue Jeans (May 31)


Lee Mead (Jun 1)

The Importance of Being Earnest (Jun 5-8)

The Gruffalo (Jun 11-13)

Rhythm of the Dance (Jun 14)

Rock For Heroes (Jun 15)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (Jun 17/18)

Romeo & Juliet (Jun 21/22)

Cabaret Supper with Irving Stage Company (Jun 29)


Blithe Spirit (Jul 2-6)

Hazelwood Show 2019 (Jul 7)

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