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Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds seeks members to join its new Commissioning Circle




Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is launching a new project called the Commissioning Circle to help support the theatre's artistic programme and expand its capacity to commission new plays.

A small number of circle members– around five – will fund the cost of commissioning a playwright to write a new play for the Theatre Royal stage.

As commissioners of the play, circle members will play a significant role in enabling the theatre to produce an artistically excellent and creatively ambitious production each year.

The Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds. (47052857)
The Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds. (47052857)

The first such opportunity is for Nicky Werenowska’s new adaptation of Francis Hodgson Burnett’s classic story The Secret Garden, to be staged at the theatre in the summer of 2022.

The new adaptation will follow the much-loved story, exploring themes of friendship, self-discovery and acceptance while challenging the approach to disability in the original story and changing it into a celebration of inclusivity. The cast will be a mixture of four professional actors and 24 young people from our Youth Theatre Inclusion Groups and local SEN schools.

With a contribution of £2,000, it is a unique opportunity for theatre lovers, literary enthusiasts or business owners and entrepreneurs to commission a play and accompany it on its journey from page to stage.

Theatre Royal Bury are staging an outdoor production of A Christmas Carol outside Angel Hotel for two weeks in December..Pictured: Artistic Director Owen Calvert-Lyons...PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (47052876)
Theatre Royal Bury are staging an outdoor production of A Christmas Carol outside Angel Hotel for two weeks in December..Pictured: Artistic Director Owen Calvert-Lyons...PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (47052876)

Owen Calvert-Lyons, the theatre’s artistic director, said: "This is such a unique opportunity for a keen theatre supporter to be part of the process which results in a new play being presented on our stage. Commissioning new work allows us to create productions which are fresh and inspiring for our audiences. I’m looking forward to working with the circle members to see where this can go."

As well as enabling the growth of the theatre’s artistic programme, Commissioning Circle members will receive benefits including: being the first to read the play at each stage of the drafting process and discuss its evolution; backstage access and dress rehearsal invitations; credits in all materials including the published playtext, production programme and on the Theatre Royal website; opening night tickets and the chance to meet the cast at a drinks reception after the show.

Applications for Commissioning Circle membership should be sent to Emma Suckling at development@theatreroyal.org

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