Noye's Fludde planned for Aldeburgh beach this summer

Tom Appleton and Elenor Bowers-Jolley, founders of the Come and Sing Company who plan to stage an outdoor production of...

Tom Appleton and Elenor Bowers-Jolley, founders of the Come and Sing Company who plan to stage an outdoor production of Noye's Fludde on Aldeburgh Beach this summer - Credit: Alice Boagey

Aldeburgh Beach will be a hive of activity this summer as the town and wider community celebrate escaping lockdown with outdoor performances of Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde.

The event will bring together enthusiastic schoolchildren and talented amateur musicians and singers.

The event, being staged opposite Crag Path, between the lifeboat station and the Moot Hall, will be within view of Britten’s beachside residence where he wrote the opera for young people in 1958.

The performance is being staged by Bury St Edmunds-based community arts organisation The Come and Sing Company, which has been working with Aldeburgh’s Jubilee Opera, Britten-Pears Arts, Suffolk Music Hub, Aldeburgh Music Club Choir and a host of freelance musicians.

Tom Appleton, from The Come and Sing Company, said  the summer production was still in the very early stages of planning but it would an exciting project to bring the wider Suffolk community together to celebrate the ending of lockdown as well as the healing power of community and creativity.

He said: “We thought that Noye’s Fludde would be an ideal project because not only does it have strong associations with Aldeburgh but for people coming out of lockdown, it would feel much the same as Noah and his family would have felt leaving the Ark once the flood waters had subsided.

"Everyone has had enough of being cooped up. We need to get out into the world again and where better to go in the summer than the beach?”

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The staging of the production has been pencilled in for August and Mr Appleton is hoping to create some ambitious, immersive set design which will have audience and performers in a recreated ark set complete with cattle pens.

He said: “We are hoping that we will be able to capture some of the atmosphere that Peter Grimes managed on the beach a couple of years ago – but with a more manageable budget!” 

A grant application has gone to the Arts Council this week which, if successful, would allow the project to go ahead and allow them to fix firm dates.

Mr Appleton added: “Everyone is very excited by this. We have a host of local schools and kids on board, plus fantastic local musicians and singers. We want to Fludde the Beach with creative talent this summer. Watch out for more news in the coming weeks.”