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Suffolk-based theatre company Red Rose Chain announce Sutton Hoo collaboration with world leading designers, 59 productions




A Suffolk-based theatre company has this morning announced a collaboration with the team of world leading designers behind the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Theatre company, Red Rose Chain and designers 59 Productions are teaming up to design the new Theatre in the Forest pop up outdoor venue at Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge.

The award-winning design studio are behind the video design of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games as well as smash hit 'War Horse,' the design and creative direction of record-breaking 'David Bowie Is' exhibition and the decor concept design for The Met Ball.

59 Productions are the team behind the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony. Picture: 59 Productions.
59 Productions are the team behind the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony. Picture: 59 Productions.

Red Rose Chain, which has performed at the likes of Jimmy's Farm in Ipswich at previous Theatre in the Forest events, will take up residency at Sutton Hoo, the Anglo-Saxon burial ground that featured in the Netflix film 'The Dig'.

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.

Mark Grimmer, co-founder of 59 Productions, grew up in Suffolk. Picture: 59 productions.
Mark Grimmer, co-founder of 59 Productions, grew up in Suffolk. Picture: 59 productions.

"Mark Grimmer, co-founder of 59 Productions, grew up in Suffolk and was a key member of Red Rose Chain’s youth theatre which makes this collaboration even more special.

"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.”

A spokesperson for 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.

Red Rose Chain have hosted previous Theatre in the Forest events, pictured here at Jimmy's Farm. Picture: Red Rose Chain.
Red Rose Chain have hosted previous Theatre in the Forest events, pictured here at Jimmy's Farm. Picture: Red Rose Chain.

"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.”

The project lead by Leo Warner and architect Jenny Melville, is also collaborating with Footprint Scenery, who will build the new pop-up venue.

Plans will be unveiled on July 31 at an online gala event. Picture: Theatre in the Forest designs.
Plans will be unveiled on July 31 at an online gala event. Picture: Theatre in the Forest designs.

Their previous work includes London 2012 Ceremonies, Sochi Winter Games, the National Theatre, and the Royal Court.

Red Rose Chain have been awarded funding from DCMS and Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund to develop this new space, and the project has also been supported by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

The company are celebrating 21 years of Theatre in the Forest at a special live-stream Gala Night on July 31 when the designs will be unveiled.

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