Fancy a Theatre Break? Try Suffolk
In the words of William Shakespeare, “All the world’s a stage”. That’s definitely true of Suffolk and if you’re thinking about taking a theatre break this spring, why not do something a little different and instead of heading for the city, take a trip to Suffolk. Enjoy a touch of culture in one of our wonderful theatres, concert halls or arts centres and stay in one of our cosy self-catering holiday cottages.
Here’s a round-up of some of our finest stages and some ideas of places to stay to enjoy them
Lowestoft’s Cultural Heart
The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft is a beautiful theatre with an interesting history. Designed by Ernest Runtz & Co. this attractive theatre was constructed on the site of a former roller skating rink in 1897. It thrived for years, until uncertainly hit with the introduction of the ‘big screen’. During WWII it was used as a temporary morgue and reception centre for evacuated children. Its turbulent existence continue right up until 1984 when it was save from demolition by Waveney District Council. A complete overhaul ensued, and this grand building, now run by the Marina Theatre Trust, has a wonderful programme of events on stage a screen.
This spring at The Marina Theatre you can enjoy Giselle, brought to you by Ballet Theatre UK, live screenings from the Royal Opera House of Madam Butterfly and The Sleeping Beauty, music from Barbara Dixon and tributes to Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd and ‘Cilla & the Shades of the 60’s’ plus comedy from Rob Beckett and Jon Richardson. All in all, a bumper line up with something for everyone.
The Old School Rooms in Gisleham is a charming holiday cottage for 4 people. Located between Lowestoft and Southwold, this delightful rural retreat it’s an idea base to enjoy the theatre, coast and countryside.
Spoilt for Choice in Bury St Edmunds
A short break in Bury St Edmunds will leave you wanting more. With its fabulous shops, eclectic choice of restaurants, impressive cathedral and gardens, two very different theatres plus an array of delightful surrounding villages and countryside to explore, why not stay for longer?
You could not get two more different stages in one town if you tried. The Apex opened its doors in 2010 and is a large award winning venue known for its acoustic excellence, whilst the Theatre Royal, built in 1819 is one of the last surviving Regency playhouses in the country and is part of the National Trust portfolio. (A tour of this impressive building is highly recommended.) Between these two venues you can celebrate everything from Bruce Lee and the Bee Gees to William Shakespeare and Roger Hammerstein!
Perfect for a stay in the centre of Bury St Edmunds try Linnet Lodge Annexe. This cosy urban bolt-hole is ideal for two.
Perhaps Suffolk’s most famous stage is world renowned Snape Maltings Concert Hall. Brain child of the local composer Benjamin Britten, this former industrial building on the banks of the River Alde is located just a short drive from the pretty coastal town of Aldeburgh. This cultural tourism hotspot is surrounded by stunning marshland and countryside and also has a wonderful selection of galleries, eateries and boutiques. Home to the Aldeburgh Music Festival the stage at Snape Maltings has been graced by many an international star.
Why not pay Snape a visit this Spring? We’d thoroughly recommend a stay at Riverside Cottage.
Culture in the Countryside
The Cut, in Halesworth is an interesting find. This former maltings houses a 220 seat theatre, mezzanine gallery space and café in 2002 and is run entirely by volunteers. This arts centre is home to Halesworth Arts Festival in the autumn and has a programme of events throughout the year for all tastes. There are opportunities to try your own hand at poetry here as well as watching various screenings plays and musical performances.
If you’re looking for a holiday cottage close by, take a look at Church Farm. Ideal for groups of friends or a large family getaway.