Celebrating 200 Years of History:Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds 1819-2019
Fri 5 Jul
at Theatre Royal
Join us for an afternoon of exploring 200 years of the historic Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.
Opened in 1819, Bury St Edmunds’s Theatre Royal is still the only Regency playhouse in the UK that is still a working theatre. Who were the original performers, celebrities and audiences – and what happened on the theatre’s Opening Night two hundred years ago? What has made audiences, laugh, cry and protest over the past 200 years?
And are any of YOUR ancestors to be found amongst the theatre troupe of East Anglia, the Norwich Comedians?
We take you back to Mon 11 Oct, 1819 to experience the plays, performers and drama of that historic moment – and examine what audiences wanted from their theatre, and how they responded to it. And we explore the part YOUR ancestors may have played in Theatre Royal’s history.
Playwright and academic, Elizabeth Kuti, from the University of Essex, examines the history of the Norwich Company of Comedians who served theatre audiences in Bury St Edmunds from the 1660s until the 19th century, and the part they played in the creation of the Theatre Royal.
We present a live performance of excerpts from John Bull; or the Englishman’s Fireside by George Colman the Younger, which was the first play ever performed in Theatre Royal on its opening night in October 1819, alongside an illustrated talk on the Norwich Comedians and their part in the history of Theatre Royal and its foundation in 1819.
Then join Professor Katharine Cockin (University of Essex), editor of Ellen Terry’s letters and author of Edith Craig and the Theatres of Art, for a talk on “Searching for Theatrical Ancestors: 1819, 1919, 2019.”
Cast includes: Holly Hinton, Kristin Hutchinson and Ben Livingstone.
Presented by: The Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex, in partnership with Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds.