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Eastern Angles' Boudicca defeated

PUBLISHED: 13:44 20 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:40 03 March 2010

EAST Anglian heroine Boudicca may defied the Romans in brutal battles but now she has been defeated by a very different enemy.

The bureaucratic might of the East of England Development Agency has stopped her in her tracks and ruled that the Eastern Angles production of Boudicca's Babes should not go ahead.

EAST Anglian heroine Boudicca may defied the Romans in brutal battle but now she has been defeated by a very different enemy.

The bureaucratic might of the East of England Development Agency has stopped her in her tracks and ruled that the Eastern Angles production of Boudicca's Babes should not go ahead in Ipswich.

The touring show, which was to arrive in Ipswich on October 8, was due to take place at the former Cranfields Mill at Ipswich docks as part of the regeneration project – but the EEDA, which owns the site, has now said it is not safe.

The Eastern Angles were only given the bad news on Wednesday and Boudicca was left without a stage. Today they have just 24 hours to find one for the Ipswich run of the tour.

Back on September 4 Eastern Angles was given the go-ahead by EEDA and it was even given a grant from People in the Centre of Ipswich, which ironically is funded by EEDA.

Eastern Angles' trustee Ivan Howlett said the last-minute decision was "disgusting" and that they had let a lot of people down.

"It is absolutely outrageous. Eastern Angles would never have entered in to this if it had not been told it was definitely on.

"This was going to be a wonderful production with a great East Anglian heroine set in the heart of the town. EEDA has shot itself in the foot and damaged relations between themselves and the town of Ipswich."

Ivan Cutting, the Angles' founding artistic director, said that they have told EEDA to find them somewhere else to perform – because time is running out.

"If not, we're hoping someone may come forward who has an available space to help us out. It is tremendously disappointing."

A spokesman from EEDA said they apologise for the decision but it had to be made on health and safety grounds.

"The Cranfields Mill site is owned by EEDA and Eastern Angles approached EEDA in July to inquire about using the buildings to stage a dance production. They were advised that this was unlikely on health and safety grounds.

"Subsequently Eastern Angles have gained access to the site and drawn up plans to hold the performances in one of the warehouses on the site.

"The site is in a transitional state of development, with much work having been carried out over the last two years and a recently completed report on the safety of the site for EEDA confirms that the mill is not suitable for public access in its current state.

"EEDA has legal responsibilities for the buildings themselves and for the safety of all those entering or working on them," he added.

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