2015 sees the award-winning independent theatre company Red Rose Chain open their beautiful new venue The Avenue Theatre in the grounds of their Grade II* listed Tudor house, Gippeswyk Hall in Ipswich. The Avenue exists through major support from Heritage Lottery Fund.
Artistic Director Joanna Carrick’s new play, Progress kicks off the season, a piece specially written for the opening of the theatre and a follow up to her critically acclaimed Fallen In Love. Progress follows a spirited and determined young Queen Elizabeth I as she visits Ipswich on a “progress” in 1561, heralding a new age of hope and tolerance. Jo has discovered the amazing truth about what happened during the Queen’s visit – it’s a story of love, scandal and courage that will reveal incredible secrets about Ipswich’s past.
Other productions that make up the opening season include the Arts Council England funded project based on the myth of The Green Children of Woolpit, created for audiences of young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and additional needs, Joanna Carrick’s Different Buttons which delves into the rich history of Ipswich’s former Victorian asylum St Clements hospital, and Shattered a new play for schools about e-safety and cyber bullying based on The Snow Queen.
All this excitement leads up to Red Rose Chain’s beloved annual summer spectacular, Theatre in the Forest – the region’s largest outdoor theatre event, performed within the magical woodland clearing at Jimmy’s Farm. In 2015 Red Rose will transform the woods into a fantastical fairy land for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
• For all dates and times and to book tickets please visit www.redrosechain.com or call Red Rose Chain’s friendly Box Office on 01473 603388.