July 2020

Southwold set to bring theatre to front rooms across the UK this summer

Theatre-lovers who might have been missing out on seeing shows will be treated to live performances from Southwold this summer while sitting safe and comfortable at home.

The team behind the renowned Theatre on the Coast, the Southwold summer theatre programme relaunched by award-winning producer Matthew Townshend last year, is set to treat audiences to six performances over four weekends.
The season, run by Matthew Townshend Productions, is aiming to “keep live theatre alive” supporting local theatre, actors and playwrights. Each show will be streamed directly from Southwold Arts Centre.
“We have been inundated with praise for the theatre season we provided last year and are determined not to be beaten by the pandemic,” said Mr Townshend.
“COVID-19 has already had a disastrous impact effect on the industry and it’s now crucial that we adapt to the situation to continue to provide people with entertainment.
“It is also vital that the public back their local theatres and support us so we can get back on our feet.
“From comedy and drama to music and celebrities, through to two full length premieres and new short plays, we really have something for everyone.”
Running for four weekends, the season will kick off with a new comedy by Jan Etherington and Gavin Petrie on 22nd August. In All for One, a grandmother summons her son and grandsons for a crisis meeting and, since she is Queen of England, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
A second new commission, Attagirls! from noted historian and writer Stewart Ross, tells the stories of three young women from very different backgrounds who choose to come to Britain during the Second World War and ferry every imaginable type of aeroplane across the country to keep the RAF front line supplied with machines.
Mr Townshend said: “It is still something of an untold story and has enormous relevance not only for the 75th anniversary of the end of the war but also for East Anglia with its huge number of air bases.”
Robert Powell will be performing his one man show, Charles Dickens a celebration on Friday 11th September, as well as joining Denis King and Sarah Redmond on the final night for Optimistic People, an evening of entertainment full of songs and stories from a life in theatre, music and film on Saturday 12th September.
Holiday letting agency, Suffolk Secrets, is the headline sponsor for Theatre on the Coast. The letting agency signed a three-year sponsorship agreement in 2019 for the first year of the theatre season.
Julian Brackenbury, general manager for Suffolk Secrets said: “We are delighted to continue to be the headline sponsor for Theatre on the Coast.

“Last year’s season was very successful and it’s wonderful that they have been able to adapt to ensure the season can go ahead despite the current pandemic.
“We wish the team, cast and creatives a successful virtual season.”

The season will also play host to a new production of short plays chosen from scripts first seen at the INK festival, making the summer theatre a platform for new writers.