Saturday (13 April) marked the start of the 200 for 200 Sponsored Walk. Tony Kelly, Dawn Roberts and Margaret Wright are our three walkers taking on the whole journey! Tony and Dawn have designed a 200 mile trail through the beautiful Suffolk and Norfolk landscape. Starting in Cambridge and making their way back to Theatre Royal over the course of 10 days, these walkers will be joined at different legs of the journey by other supporters. Sponsors, Patrons, volunteers and audience members are all taking part; with over 80 people that will, at one point or another, walk alongside the trio.

As the proprietor of the Norwich circuit, Theatre Royal architect William Wilkins employed a small company of players to undertake an annual tour of six theatres; Yarmouth, Ipswich, Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, Colchester and Kings Lynn. Each was open for just one or two short seasons during the year. The 200 for 200 walk follows the historic route taken by a troupe of performers some 200 years ago who would tour theatres in the larger market towns to bring entertainment to the folk. Theatre Royal, a registered charity, is the only original remaining venue left.

200 for 200 is being sponsored by Bury Physio which is reassuring for the core walkers doing 200 miles! Those that are taking part in the walk have spent the weeks leading up to it raising money that will go towards the 200th Anniversary Fund. Funds raised will go towards supporting the theatre’s extensive and manifold opportunities for children and young people. It will support the pioneering Community Engagement Programme working with and delivering programmes for those in rehab, victims of domestic abuse, the homeless, the elderly, the lonely and the isolated through partnerships with other charities supporting those groups. Generally, it will ensure that as many people within the Suffolk population can access all the theatre has to offer, particularly those in areas of rural isolation with corresponding paucity of opportunities.

If you are a walker, love what the performing arts can offer, or want to help raise funds in the theatre’s 200th anniversary year to support young and vulnerable people in our community, here’s how you could help: