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Journeys with Endings in East Anglia

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Ten years ago, Charles Way’s play In the Bleak Midwinter was taken on tour by Eastern Angles. For the first of this year’s productions, the company is staging his The Long Way Home. It’s based on a central European folk tale about a woman who travels many miles to return to the seaside community where she grew up. The journey takes her over mountains and through forests and she encounters some strange characters during it.

Chief among these is a dog-boy (played by Theo Devaney) but not all the folk – real or shadows from a turbulent past – that she meets are as friendly. Naomi Jones, who directed last year’s tour of Return to Akenfield, is staging this new production for the company’s community tour through East Anglia. It begins on 17 February as the Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh and ends in Wivenhoe on 22 May with a week’s run at the Sir John Mills Theatre in Ipswich from 12 to 17 April. The designer is Mika Handley, puppetry by Polly Beestone, lighting by Steve Cooney and music by Rebecca Shanks.

Last summer saw Eastern Angles’ site-specific production of Getting Here, down on the Ipswich waterfront. This year the venue is Hush House, an acoustically-sealed testing shed at the old USAF airfield at Bentwaters Park.  Tony Ramsay’s Bentwater Roads draws together 2,000 years of the history of this particular corner of Suffolk with the story of Charlie, her campervan, the house which she has inherited, the detritus of war and the interaction of people with their landscape. Ivan Cutting directs with designs by Rosie Alabaster and music by Roger Eno. It runs between 1 and 18 July.

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