Things are getting brighter for the arts in Suffolk

Cast member The Stars are Brighter Here

'The Stars are Brighter Here' is currently being performed in Stowmarket - Credit: Museum of East Anglian Life

The sun is out and things are looking brighter for the theatre industry in Suffolk as a heartwarming LGBTQIA+ play comes to the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket. 

But 'The Stars Are Brighter Here', which is written and directed by Timothy Allsop,  is certainly no ordinary piece of theatre.

On a scorching summer day myself and my fellow audience members were led on an immersive trip around the museum's beautiful grounds. 

The talented two person cast of 'The Stars are Brighter Here'

The talented two person cast of 'The Stars are Brighter Here' take the audience back to Betty's nightclub in Ipswich - Credit: Museum of East Anglian Life

Having reviewed a few plays over the years, I am no stranger to getting involved with a bit of audience participation but never have I had to draw in chalk and have a go at boules before. 

But I can't say I minded. 


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The talented two person cast of Tigger Blaize and William Wyn Davies both gave tender performances as multiple characters and mastered just about every accent going. At many points they really made the audience smile. 

Having lived near Stowmarket for a while now, the scene involving the the Asda checkout lady struck a cord with me for sure! 

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But that wasn't the only Suffolk connection, the play also took us back in time to Betty's nightclub in Ipswich which closed in 2013 and even an archaeological dig back in Foxhall Road in 1902. 

Thanks to the play I feel much more educated about the LGBTQIA+ scene in Suffolk, both today and in days gone by. 

As the arts industry in the county adapts to the challenges of a new post-Covid world, I feel outdoor theatre will only grow in popularity.

Audience on an immersive trip around the grounds of the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket 

The play takes the audience on an immersive trip around the grounds of the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket - Credit: Museum of East Anglian Life

Following the play, the audience were invited to watch a short documentary film 'Queer Rural Connections.'

Many of the true life stories covered in the play were explored in more detail in the film - which was a really insightful watch. 

Tickets for The Stars are Brighter here, which runs until Saturday July 24, are still available on the Museum of East Anglian Life's website.  

There were a few sets that were indoors and face masks were recommended - I only wish I had a matching sun hat! 


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