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East Anglia Future 50

Theatre company's bid for £200k community arts hub

PUBLISHED: 19:00 07 June 2019

Eastern Angles Theatre in Gatacre Road, Ipswich. The theatre company want to raise �200,000 to expand into the neighbouring record office and create a community hub.
Picture: CARL LAMB

Eastern Angles Theatre in Gatacre Road, Ipswich. The theatre company want to raise �200,000 to expand into the neighbouring record office and create a community hub. Picture: CARL LAMB

carl lamb

The Eastern Angles theatre company is launching a fundraising campaign to provide a bigger home and a community hub in Ipswich, bosses have revealed.

Benjamin Teare in The Tide Jetty (2019) by Eastern Angles.
Picture: MIKE KWASNIAKBenjamin Teare in The Tide Jetty (2019) by Eastern Angles. Picture: MIKE KWASNIAK

The award-winning theatre company, established in 1982 by Ivan Cutting, specialises in new writing and productions - often with a regional theme, which it also takes on tour.

It has been based in former Victorian school buildings in Gatacre Road, including the Sir John Mills Theatre, since its early days.

Now, with the Suffolk Record Office planning to move its archives from next door to The Hold, which is being built close to Ipswich Waterfront, the theatre company wants to expand into the adjacent site.

"This exciting development, which will encompass extra activity space, work with the local community and a business hub to increase our sustainability, could be up and running in a year's time if the company can raise £50,000 towards our total project cost of £200,000," a spokesman for the company said.

The cast of Eastern Angles Theatre Company's Polstead (2018) with Cherry Fair, violin.
Picture: MIKE KWASNIAKThe cast of Eastern Angles Theatre Company's Polstead (2018) with Cherry Fair, violin. Picture: MIKE KWASNIAK

It is planning to apply to Arts Council England for a capital grant towards the £200,000 total.

Fundraising has already begun to raise the £50,000 and a special night with Suffolk dialect expert Charlie Haylock is planned on Friday, June 28 to formally launch the project - with a series of other events already being programmed throughout the year.

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The fundraiser will help Eastern Angles reach their next £1,000 milestone.

There will be an informal Q&A session with Charlie afterwards, hosted by artistic director, Ivan Cutting who is looking forward to Charlie returning to the Sir John Mills Theatre.

Mr Cutting said: "Charlie first came in to help our actors with their Suffolk accents many years ago, and we have used his CDs ever since.

"So it's great to welcome him back and he's the perfect guest to help drive this fundraising campaign.

"I've got loads of questions myself and I'm particularly keen to hear him trace the accent from Sudbury to Lowestoft."

The Sir John Mills Theatre is the home base for the Eastern Angles' professional touring productions and also hosts a wide variety of plays and entertainment produced by local theatre companies.

Tickets for the Charlie Haylock event are on sale now, for £20, and include a free drink.

The theatre company has been invited by the Arts Council to apply for funding for the project.

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