50 unmissable nights out in Suffolk
- Credit: Mike Kwasniak
Theatre is back. And all those performers who weren't able to get on stage over the last 18 months can't wait to see your smiling faces in the auditorium. Here are just some of this autumn's highlights.
Showstopper: The Improvised Musical
Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal, until October 1, 7.30pm, tickets from £10.50
A musical completely unlike any other. This show, which was a must-see at Edinburgh Fringe for 12 years, comes to Bury fresh from the West End. Every single show is entirely improvised from start to finish – packed with dance, music, song and comedy. There is nothing else like it.
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The Steve Royle Variety Performance
Marina Theatre Lowestoft, October 9, 7.30pm, tickets £18
- 1 Young woman sets up new business with big plans for the future
- 2 Memorial service for 'wonderful' veteran who helped the community
- 3 Family forced to live in tent after maggots and rats found in home
- 4 'Special' feeling for care home staff following award nominations
- 5 'Ambitious ' Lowestoft heritage regeneration plan hailed by national body
- 6 Man charged over attempted robbery with imitation firearm
- 7 Mystery sculpture of man briefly appears on Suffolk beach
- 8 Busy road near Lowestoft set to close for 'urgent' drainage works
- 9 MP still hopes to host surgeries in person after colleague killed
- 10 Five Halloween events planned in Waveney this year
The 2020 Britain’s Got Talent finalist heads for the Suffolk coast, where he presents his own, one-man variety show, filled with comedy, juggling and star quality. He was described by judges on BGT as ‘the heart and soul’ of Britain.
Fat Cat Comedy Club
The Apex, October 10 and November 14, 7.30pm, tickets £12
The much-loved comedy club returned to a full house in September, with the impressive Apex auditorium flooded with laughter.
Look out for the programme of upcoming acts on the Fat Cat Facebook page. If you need a giggle this will be the best £12 you’ve spent in a long time. One of Suffolk’s best nights out.
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, October 10, 7.30pm, tickets from £11
Witty and full of wisecracks, Ed has extended his tour this autumn, taking in a date in Bury. In the show the stand-up and regular panel show star reflects on his life...and whether he has any traits worth passing on to his kids.
Done to Death By Jove!
Quay Theatre Sudbury, October 13, 7.30pm, tickets £14
The writers of this comic caper liken it to 39 Steps meets Agatha Christie. Comic detective cliches abound in the rip-roaring show, where six suspects come together to work out whodunnit. Well, two of them anyway...the other four are stuck by the side of the road in a van. Clever. And funny.
Rob Brydon – A Night of Songs and Laughter
Ipswich Regent, October 17, 7.30pm, tickets £40
Rob is one of Britain’s most lovable comedians – adept at impersonations, and with a cracking singing voice. In this show he’ll tell his life story through song, from south Wales, to TV turns on Gavin and Stacey, Little Britain and more.
Rob Newman’s Philosophy Show
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, October 28, 7.30pm, tickets from £10.50
The multi-award-winning comedian brings together tales of James Bond in Toxteth, electric spiders, and Nietzsche’s sunglasses, in a brand new, irreverent show.
The Apex, November 24 and 25 6pm/9pm, tickets £31
TV funnyman and stand-up Manford is back on tour in ‘Like Me’, with his very own brand of observational humour. If you’ve not seen the star of QI, 8 out of 10 Cats and The Masked Singer UK in the flesh yet, get your tickets now.
The World Doctors Orchestra
The Apex, October 3, 6pm, tickets £26.50
Another reason to cheer the medical profession. This group of doctor musicians get together a few times a year to perform – and this is their first UK show.
Led by Dame Evelyn Glennie, and raising money for homeless charity Pathway, the programme includes Arnold Bax’s Tintagel 14:40 and Elgar’s Enigma Variations 35:00.
An Evening with the Waterboys
Ipswich Regent, October 8, 8pm, tickets from £39
Fusing gospel, country, Celtic and blues, mid-80s hit-makers The Waterboys are a tour de force. The Whole of the Moon stars’ songs have been performed by everyone from U2 to Prince, and even Ellie Goulding, who got to number three in the charts with a cover of How Long Will I Love You. This promises to be a special gig.
Suffolk Philharmonic’s Welcome Back Concert
The Apex, October 9, 7.30pm, tickets from £22.50
Postponed from July, celebrate the return of the performers as they showcase some of Mozart’s best-loved work. Highlights will include Symphony No. 40, Exsultate Jubilate and Horn Concerto No. 4.
All Singing, All Swinging
Spa Pavilion Felixstowe, October 9, 7.30pm, tickets £28
A concert telling the story of the Rat Pack, and rammed with the greatest hits of Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. You’ll be up on your feet singing. Stars Shane Nolan and Nick James.
Ipswich Regent, October 12, 7.30pm, tickets £27.50
A multiple Olivier Award-winning show of side-splitting, topical songs – with a sprinkle of glamour. Utterly outrageous. The performance stars Dillie Keane, Adele Anderson and Liza Pulan.
Snape Maltings Concert Hall, October 17, 7.30pm, tickets from £10
The country duo return to Suffolk playing hits from their three gold-certified albums. Ben and Chrissie were the first UK artists to win Best International Act at the Country Music Awards.
The Apex, October 20, 7.30pm, tickets £28
Legendary, lyrical Streets of London singer Mctell will tour his first original album of the last nine years, Hill of Beans, in Bury tonight.
Drawing from the release, and a 50-year back catalogue, this promises to be a very special night indeed, filled with spellbinding music and all manner of anecdotes.
Ipswich Regent, October 23, doors open 7pm, tickets from £28
The legend that is Billy Ocean is set to rock the room at the Regent with hit after hit –from Caribbean Queen to Love really Hurts Without You.
James Gilchrist and Nathan Williamson
Britten Studio, Snape Maltings, October 24, 7pm, tickets £15
During the lockdown the duo presented their project - The Art of British Song. Tonight they present pieces from that work, which spans 100 years of artists. They include works by Gustav and Imogen Holst, Frank Bridge’s Four Songs, and Priaulx Rainer’s Cycle of Declamation.
Ipswich Regent, October 29, 7.30pm, tickets from £41
Imagine your dream 60s line-up...now take a look at this list of record makers heading to the Regent. The Tremeloes, Herman’s Hermits, The Merseybeats, Marmalade. Be prepared to sing along tonight.
Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra
Ipswich Regent, October 30, 7.30pm, tickets £47
The undisputed king of swing. There is something really magical about being in Jools’ audience, as the music takes over every part of your body. Spanning blues, ska, boogie woogie and maybe a touch of reggae, you need to see this show in action at least once in your life. Special guests yet to be announced.
Alessandro Fisher and Ashok Gupta
Britten Studio, Snape Maltings, October 30, 4pm, tickets £15
As part of the BBC New Generation Artist Scheme, tenor Fisher and pianist Gupta will perform a selection of songs from Schubert, Britten and Purcell. The concert will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Beyond the Barricade
Marina Theatre Lowestoft, October 30, 7.30pm, tickets £22
See the UK’s longest running musical theatre concert tour, starring former West End performers. The show begins and ends with hits from Les Mis, with chart toppers from other shows filling the two hours in between.
Wet Wet Wet
The Apex, November 4, 7.30pm, tickets £36
Love’s sure to be all around at this gig – a stop off on one of the band’s biggest tours in years. Former Liberty X singer Kevin Simm takes centre stage on vocals, working his way through hit after hit, including brand new single Back to Memphis – recorded during lockdown.
If you’re a huge fan you can book a £55 upgrade to include access to the soundcheck, a photo opportunity with the band, a programme, signed print, tote bag and lanyard.
Bury Bach Choir: Faure Requiem
The Apex, November 6, 7.30pm, tickets from £16.50
Another ‘welcome back’ show – this one a mixed programme of works from Mozart, Bruckner, Elgar, Tavener and others. At the heart of the performance will be Faure’s Requiem.
There’s something very special about hearing this group of people sing. Especially at The Apex, which has some of the best acoustics in the country.
The Spa’s 6th Birthday Party – with The Commitments stars
Spa Pavilion Felixstowe, November 13, 7.30pm, tickets £29.50
It’s been six years since the seaside venue relaunched – and the team is ready to party. This show is packed with hits such as Chain of Fools and Mustang Sally, performed by many of the original line-up of The Commitments – from Derek Scully, to Robert Arkins. Dan Ackroyd called it the best soul review he’s ever seen or heard.
Fairytale of New York
Marina Theatre Lowestoft, November 20, 7.30pm, tickets £25.50
Set in McGrath’s Irish Pub on Christmas Eve, this is pitched as the ultimate Christmas show. As well as a good old sing-along to Galway Girl, The Irish Rover and Dirty Old Town, it’s crammed with Christmas classics. That includes Fairytale of New York of course.
Wait Until Dark
The Cut, October 5, 7.30pm, tickets £10
Mustard Theatre presents Frederick Knott’s thriller. Susy is a recently blinded housewife unaware she has in her possession a doll filled with drugs. Local criminal Harry coerces a couple of thugs into helping him get the doll and a battle ensues. Darkness and light are constant themes throughout.
My White Skoda Octavia
Sir John Mills Theatre (and then touring), October 6 to 9, 7.30pm, tickets £12
Eastern Angles, in association with Derby Theatre and Essex Cultural Diversity Project, presents the story of a contemporary family who struggle to juggle life, bills and their dreams. The play is written by Shamser Sinha and directed by Sameena Hussain.
Never Lost At Home
New Wolsey Theatre, until October 9, 7pm, tickets from £10
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of what’s believed to be the greatest time in ITFC’s history (1980-81) under Robson’s reign, this original production tells the story through the eyes of fans, following their football heroes around Europe. All set to an 80s soundtrack, brought to you live from the team of actor-musicians.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
New Wolsey Theatre, October 12 to 16, 7pm, tickets from £10
Feel the heat of Tennessee William’s Pulitzer-winning masterpiece. Maggie finds herself in a loveless marriage - her husband Brick (a former pro football star) having been overtaken by drink. When the family go out for Daddy’s birthday, devastating truths will be revealed.
The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, October 12 to 16, 7.30pm, tickets from £10.50
Adapted for the stage from Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic by Nick Lane, doctor Jekyll is a decent, successful man, close to a scientific breakthrough. But when he’s threatened with exposure, he’s forced to experiment on himself...with dire consequences. Thrilling and dark.
The Ballad of Maria Marten
Marina Theatre Lowestoft, October 14 and 15, various times, tickets £18
From Eastern Angles and Matthew Linley Creative Projects, with the Stephen Joseph Theatre, this is a retelling of a famous, real-life murder mystery – the death of Maria Marten in the Red Barn. It’s a tragedy that has inspired multiple writers and film makers across the decades.
Being Mr Wickham
New Wolsey Theatre, October 19 and 20, 7pm, tickets from £12
Adrian Lukis (who played Mr Wickham in the BBC adaptation) is back as Mr Wickham, about to celebrate his 60th birthday. We pick up with the character 30 years on from the book, where we hope to find out what happened with Darcy, how he felt about Lizzie and what happened at Waterloo.
Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, October 21, 2pm, tickets £16
Politics, witchcraft, murder and mystery collide in this production of one of the Bard’s wickedest plays. The classic is set in the Dark Ages.
Quay Theatre Sudbury, October 22, 7.30pm, tickets £15
In this macabre and haunting piece of theatre, a woman tells three spine-tingling, lost gothic tales by Victorian female authors.
Su Pollard’s Happy
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, October 26, 7.30pm, tickets from £10.50
National treasure Su (who you might have caught on Celebrity Masterchef recently), takes the stage in a one-woman show as hoarder Birdie. Her neighbours, who’ve never seen her, think Birdie’s a bit weird. But what is the single, emotional event that caused our protagonist to hold onto everything?
Dial M for Murder
Quay Theatre Sudbury, November 9, 10 and 13, 7.45pm, tickets £10 to £12
Sudbury Dramatic Society presents Frederick Knott’s murderous tale. Tony has married Margot for her cash and plots to kill her...but what happens when his plans fall apart?
The Hound of the Baskervilles
New Wolsey Theatre, November 9 to 13, 7pm, tickets from £10
The West End hit comes to Ipswich. Lotte Wakeham’s farcical adaptation of one of Conan Doyle’s best-known Sherlock Holmes books, is set to be a whole lot of fun. Sir Charles Baskerville has met an untimely end. And there are rumours of a cursed hound lurking on the moors. Holmes and his sidekick have work to do.
The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
Sir John Mills Theatre, November 10 to 13, 7.30pm, tickets £12
Pat Whymark has adapted Dostoevsky’s short story, which features Julian Harries, accompanied by music from Pat and Emily Bennett. The tale beams in on a man who has a dream that saves his life and brings him back from the brink of despair. Running at just 50 minutes, this short performance is an ideal starting point if you’re just getting used to going back to the theatre.
Whistle and I’ll Come to You
Quay Theatre Sudbury, November 20, 7.30pm, tickets £14
Rumpus Theatre Company brings to Sudbury a play based on M R James’ classic ghost tale. A professor is looking forward to relaxing on the East Anglian coast. But when she uncovers a bronze whistle with an inscription, family secrets come to surface. Gothic and haunting.
A View From the Bridge
Fisher Theatre Bungay, November 20. 7.30pm, tickets £12
Eddie is struggling to let his orphaned niece out into the big wide world. And his turmoil increases as she falls in love with one of the illegal immigrants he and his wife are harbouring. A retelling of one of Athur Miller’s most successful plays.
DanceEast, October 8, 7.30pm, tickets £12
In Anti-Body Alexander Whitley’s company explores the form of the human body and the drive to use technology in transcending what it can do. Three performers will fill the space, accompanied by dazzling visuals and music.
Political Mother Unplugged
DanceEast, November 26 and 27, 7.30pm, tickets £12
An intense, emotional performance with tribal movement, animated and digital projections and extraordinary dance skills. This is danced to a new recording of Hofesh Shechter’s masterpiece, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2020.
Ian Waite & Vincent Simone – Act Two
Spa Pavilion Felixstowe, November 26, 8pm, tickets £31/£35
The former Strictly stars are back on tour following their five-star 2019 performances. Watch as they waltz, tango, foxtrot and rhumba across the stage, accompanied by their talented dance troupe and live singers.
Marina Theatre Lowestoft, September 30, tickets £12
Be prepared to have your breath taken away as the theatre streams a live production of La Traviata, filmed at the Sydney Harbour water stage. Complete with a 9m crystal chandelier, the set is gorgeous, and the performance filled with exquisite costumes and incredible fireworks.
Adam Kay – This is Going to Hurt
Ipswich Regent, October 15, 7.30pm, tickets from £26
Comedian Kay has sold out multiple UK tours and shows with stories from his candid, highly praised book about life as a junior doctor. Signed copies of all his books will be available to buy at the show.
No Such Thing As A Fish
Ipswich Regent, October 22, 8pm, £26
The team behind one of the country’s best podcast come together for a live recording in Ipswich. You’ll laugh, but you’ll also learn a lot as the QI nerds shine a light on some of the world’s most unusual and interesting facts and stories.
Adrian Bell, A Countryman’s Winter Notebook
Halesworth Bookshop, October 26, 7.30pm, tickets £8
For 30 years, from 1950, Adrian Bell wrote a weekly column for the EDP. Now, author Richard Hawking has gathered these essays together into what will be a quartet of Bell’s writings on the seasons. Hawking will lead a talk this evening, beginning with the first instalment – Winter.
The Battersea Poltergeist Live
Ipswich Regent, November 1, 7.30pm, tickets £27.50
As heard on BBC Radio 4, and a global podcast hit, the drama explores the story behind one of Britain’s strangest hauntings. Meet the show’s creator Danny Robbins, and delve deeper, with footage of Shirley Hitchings and other witnesses – plus chilling new evidence.
Ipswich Town Football Legends in Conversation
Ipswich Regent, November 11, 7.30pm, tickets £30.50
TalkSport’s Perry Groves comperes a night with former ITFC captain Matt Holland, and Kieron Dyer, who joined the team aged just 17.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Living Dangerously
The Apex, December 1, 7.30pm, tickets £31
Adventurer Fiennes sold out The Apex in 2018 – so if you missed out, now’s your chance to see the man himself in person. Named ‘the world’s greatest living explorer’ by the Gunness Book of Records, Sir Ranulph will take the audience on a journey through his life. And what a journey it has been. Including being the first person to reach both Poles, and the first to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis. This should be a fascinating evening.