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Sophie Raworth to take part in Theatre Royal’s 200 for 200 charity walk

PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 December 2018

Sophie Raworth. Picture: THEATRE ROYAL

Sophie Raworth. Picture: THEATRE ROYAL

Archant

BBC TV newsreader and personality Sophie Raworth, who is an avid marathon runner and keep fit fanatic, is to take part in a 200th anniversary walk aimed at raising money for an historic Suffolk playhouse.

Sophie Raworth. Picture: THEATRE ROYALSophie Raworth. Picture: THEATRE ROYAL

It is being organised by the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and is taking place in April next year.

Called the 200 for 200 it is a key fundraiser in celebration of the Regency building’s 200th anniversary next year and is being championed by several well known actors and presenters including the TV celebrity who will be walking part of the route.

Principal walkers Tony Kelly and Dawn Roberts have designed a 200-mile trail through the Suffolk and Norfolk landscape which 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 people.

And the Theatre Royal is the only one of those original venues remaining.

The 200 for 200 starts in Cambridge on Saturday, April 13, heading to King’s Lynn, then leading on to Castle Acre and Norwich before striking out to the coast to Great Yarmouth and down to Lowestoft, on through Bungay towards Knettishall and Thetford. Then on the last day, from Knetishall to Ixworth and from Ixworth to the Theatre Royal finishing on Easter Monday, April 22.

It will be thrown open for as many people as possible to participate on the last day with the option for either a 15-mile or an eight-mile walk, both of which will end up at theatre where there will be a celebratory party for all of the walkers.

The 200 for 200 is being sponsored by Bury Physio and supported by the East Anglian Daily Times and the Mercury Series and funds raised by the walk will go towards supporting the theatre’s extensive and manifold opportunities for children and young people.

It will support the theatre’s pioneering Associate Artist Programme working with and delivering programmes for those in rehab, victims of domestic abuse, the homeless, the elderly, the lonely and isolated, all through partnership working with other charities supporting those groups.

The funds will also help ensure that as many people within Suffolk can access all the theatre has to offer, particularly those in rural areas.

Julia Read, who oversees fundraising at the theatre, said: “The Associate Artists Programme’ has had a profoundly positive effect on so many vulnerable people who have participated in it to date. People who are usually voice-less in our community.

“Raising funds to help these projects continue to help them is going to have a huge impact.

“It is the same with all the fabulous opportunities that the performing arts offers youngsters. It’s really important for their development and confidence.

“Walk onto a stage and you can practically take over the world!

“So we want as many people as possible to join in all or part of the 200 for 200. We would be ‘over the moon’.

“We are also delighted to know that so many well-known performers will be backing all those who do the walk. How nice to think that the likes of Joanna Lumley or Sir Ian McKellen think you’re great for participating.”

If you are a walker, want to get healthy, love what the performing arts can offer, or want to help raise funds in the theatre’s 200th anniversary year to support youngsters and vulnerable people in the community you could participate in any of the days or by sponsoring those taking part.

Details can be found in the theatre’s Season Brochure or on its website at www.theatreroyal.org/200-for-200/

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