Big names back theatre group

BROADCASTER Libby Purves and author Louis De Bernières have today leant their support to Ipswich-based theatre group Eastern Angles. The group, which is based at the Sir John Mills Theatre, in Gatacre Road, is currently preparing an appeal to The Arts Council following proposed funding cuts.

BROADCASTER Libby Purves and author Louis De Bernières have today leant their support to Ipswich-based theatre group Eastern Angles.

The group, which is based at the Sir John Mills Theatre, in Gatacre Road, is currently preparing an appeal to The Arts Council following proposed funding cuts.

A spokeswoman said: “Earlier this month the theatre company received the devastating news that Arts Council East (ACE) are planning to cut our funding by half.

“The proposal would mean a massive reduction of over £100,000 in the company's annual Arts Council grant. But, following an emergency meeting of Eastern Angles' board members, the theatre company are determined to appeal against the funding cut.”


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The group is now launching an appeal to the Arts Council and have used the Freedom of Information Act to ask the Arts Council to supply a more detailed explanation for their funding decision.

And on the Eastern Angles website there is also a link to an online petition where fans can offer their support to the theatre group.

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The spokeswoman added: “We are getting some fantastic messages of support from the public and from some high-profile Eastern Angles fans.”

Libby Purves said: “It seems mad and mean to undermine live theatre and local entertainment when its quality is so high and particularly when it serves a rural community which often has little other chance to see and understand theatre. I hope the decision will be reconsidered.”

In a letter to Eastern Angles bestselling author Louis de Bernières, whose book Birds Without Wings was adapted and performed by the theatre company last year, said: “I am very alarmed and surprised to hear that Eastern Angles are having their grant halved.

“They are the best regional theatre company I have ever come across. I would have thought that there couldn't possibly be a more deserving company when it comes to giving grants.”

What do you think? Are you a fan of the Eastern Angles? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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