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Defying the Credit Crunch in Bury St Edmunds

By • Southeast
Colin Blumenau's autumn season plans for the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds feature both practicality and nostalgia in a time of financial recession. The autumn 2009 programme is boldly billed as a Credit Crunch season, interleaved with the increasingly imaginative Restoring the Repertore initiative.

If Elizabeth Inchbald is the house's 18th century dramatist, given that she was born nearby and had all her formative theatre-going experiences in Bury St Edmunds, then her London circle of actors, playwrights and radical thinkers also deserves attention. Thomas Holcroft was one of these and his 1798 satirical comedy He's Much to Blame has a rare revival between 4 and 19 September, followed by a week at the Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke.

The revival runs in repertoire with a new play written and performed by Katie BonnaThe Celebrated Mrs Inchbald, who also plays Lucy in the Holcroft piece. Other Restoring the Repertoire productions include rehearsed readings of the spectacular early 19th century melodrama The Miller and His Men on 21 August, Holcroft's The Road to Ruin on 14 September, The Rent Day by Douglas Jarrold (who wrote Black Ey'd Susan with which the theatre re-opened in 2007) on 15 October and another 18th century rarity on 12 November. This is Speculation by Frederick Reynolds which is about financial get-rich-schemes in Georgian society. Plus ça change...

On tour to village halls and community centres goes a celebration of English folk legend in the shape of The Liberty Tree by storytellers Hugh Lupton and Nick Hennessey. That's from 20 to 24 October. Another legend which has grown over the centuries is that of , this year's pantomime written by Daniel O'Brien, directed by Abigail Anderson and designed by Will Hargreaves. This year it runs from 4 December until 17 January.

Visiting companies include Out of Joint with Stella Feehily's Dreams of Violence (30 September to 3 October), Spymonkey with a version of Herman Melville's Moby Dick which owes much to the Marx Brothers and Monty Python (5 to 7 October), the Schlanhaus-Headlong co-production with Southampton's Nuffield Theatre for The Winter's Tale from 13 to 17 October and Hull Truck's new comedy by John Godber and Jane Thornton which is called Shakers.


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