Celebrating the history of Suffolk’s Theatre Royal

  • Date

    Thu 4 Jul 19

Historical depiction of a theatre audience

Leading theatre researchers will open a window to the past this week as they help the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds celebrate its bicentenary.

Dr Elizabeth Kuti and Professor Katharine Cockin, from our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies are hosting the event at the UK’s only Regency playhouse still open as a working theatre. 

They will explore who the original performers, celebrities and audiences were when the Theatre opened its doors in 1819, what happened on opening night, and what made audiences laugh.

Playwright Dr Kuti will reveal the part played by the Norwich Company of Comedians in the creation of the Theatre. She will be leading a staged reading of scenes from John Bull or the Englishman’s Fireside by George Colman the Younger, the first play performed at the Theatre in 1819, and also giving a talk.

Dr Kuti said: “For over 200 years people have flocked to the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds in search of laughter, or romance, or cathartic tears. They have come to see their times reflected, celebrated, mocked, and put into perspective.  

“Looking back at the 200 year history of this Theatre and its people is vital tool for giving us a sense of perspective on our own preoccupations, and how we deal with our hopes and fears and wishes of today and the future.”

Celebrating 200 years of history: Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds 1819-2019 takes place at the Theatre from 2pm on 5 July. Book online or call the Box Office, telephone: 01284 769505.