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Bury St Edmunds children’s festival is bigger and better this year

The Wind and the Sun is one of the acts taking part in Once Upon a Festival, the children's festival at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds ANL-160520-130910001
The Wind and the Sun is one of the acts taking part in Once Upon a Festival, the children's festival at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds ANL-160520-130910001

The children’s arts festival launched in Bury St Edmunds last year by the Theatre Royal returns for a second year, bigger and better with more shows and venues to engage even more children.

Karen Simpson, artistic director, said: “I am really delighted that Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is producing the second East Anglian Children’s Arts Festival which we have named Once Upon a Festival.

“We have a really exciting line up of shows this year and are presenting work right across the region in schools, village halls and arts venues including Theatre Royal, The Apex and Conservatoire East and in a wonderful tent in the grounds of the Cathedral.

“The Festival spans three weekends and there are many different ways to get involved.”

Once Upon a Festival has benefitted from a £15,000 Arts Council grant and ten local councillors from St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council are supporting professional performances in 16 schools with a generous £9600.

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey is delighted to be able to show their continued support for Theatre Royal through sponsorship of the East Anglian Children’s Arts Festival 2016 with £2000.

Hayden Dolby, Financial Director for Taylor Wimpey East Anglia, said: “We are very pleased to be able to support Theatre Royal again this year.

“The Festival is an incredibly worthwhile event which will give children the opportunity to experience live performances and workshops, so we’re delighted to get involved.”

Highlights include much-loved favourites Pinocchio, Tiddler, The Wind and the Sun, The Gruffalo’s Child and Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.

There are weekend tickets, fun filled evening performances at Conservatoire East, Disco Bambino at the Athenaeum, films at The Apex, a terrific open day at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds with the Dragon Festival rounding things off.

Tickets are now on sale via the Theatre Royal website and The Apex.



Sunday June 12

Festival Open Day

Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

Featuring storytelling, treasure trails around the theatre and the chance to try on costumes. Pick up a festival brochure, book a show and tuck into some delicious cake!


The Lost Story; M6 Theatre

Performed in the round, this intimate yet energetic story unfolds to the vibrant sounds of the 1970’s

Venue and time: Mildenhall Library 11.30am & 13.30pm

Running time: 50 minutes

Monday 13

Spot; House

Spot is a friendly and endearing stage light who loves to tell stories.

Venue and time: John Peel Centre 10.30am

Running Time: 50 minutes

Graffiti Classics - Graffiti Classics

16 strings, 8 dancing feet and 4 voices with 1 aim: to make classical music wickedly funny.

Venue and time: The Apex 10am

Running Time: 50 minutes

Tuesday 14

Portmanteau; Compiegne Animation

The public enter into a 1940’s travelling cinema, complete with a high brow pianist who is not really sure how he came to be playing here.

Venue and time: The Apex, 4.30pm

Running Time: 50 minutes

Tuesday 14–Wednesday 15:

The Gruffalo’s Child; Tall Stories Theatre Company

One wild and windy night the Gruffalo’s child ignores her father’s warning and tiptoes out into the snow.

Venue and times: Theatre Royal 14 June 1.30pm & 4.30pm 15 June 10.30am & 1.30pm

Running Time: 55 minutes

Saturday 18

Fairytales Gone Bad – Half Moon Theatre Company

Performance poet Joseph Coelho unravels familiar fairy tales to create fresh contemporary classics.

Venue and time: St Edmundsbury Cathedral Gardens 11am & 2.15pm

Running Time: 45 minutes

Sunday 19

Family Fun Day. Book two of these shows for £10 or all three for £15

Disco Bambino; Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and Rojo Art

Transforming The Athenaeum into a family-friendly club atmosphere that parents will enjoy as much as the children along with lots of creative activities.

Venue and time: The Athenaeum 10.15am & 2pm

Running Time: 90 minutes

The Wind and The Sun; Tell Tale Hearts

An exciting and thrilling outdoor circus theatre show based on the original fable by Aesop that celebrates the good old British weather!

Venue and Time: 12.30pm & 4.15pm

Running Time: 35 minutes

Pinocchio; Lyngo Theatre

One of the best loved classics for children comes to life, literally.

Venue and time: Theatre Royal 5.15pm

Running Time: 50 minutes

Tuesday 21

Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales; Scamp Theatre

Under the sea, out on the farm and into the jungle, these terrific tales are woven together with live music, puppetry and a whole host of colourful characters.

Venue and time: Theatre Royal, 1.30pm & 4.30pm

Running Time: approximately 55 minutes

Wednesday 22

Into the West; Travelling Light Theatre Company

Imagine a glorious white horse comes out of a sea-mist and into your troubled life.

Venue and time: Theatre Royal, 6pm

Running Time: 50 minutes

Friday 24 Boogie;The Junk Orchestra

Discover, play, dance, and build. Jam! Experience a show! Be the band. Build the band!

Venue and time: Conservatoire EAST, 4.15pm

Running time:

Little Howard – Makin Projects

Little Howard is the world’s only live interactive animation.

Venue and time: Conservatoire EAST, 6pm

Running time: 50 minutes

Friday 24–Sat 25

Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes Double Bill- Ballet Cymru and The Riverfront Theatre

Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs

Venue and time: Theatre Royal Fri 24 June: 2pm & 7pm Sat 25 June 3pm

Running Time: Act 1 – Little Red Riding Hood – 40 minutes Interval (20 minutes) Act 2 – The Three Little Pigs – 20 minutes Total: 1 hour 20 minutes including interval.

Saturday 25 – Sunday 26

Dragon Festival; Fossils, Folklore and Legend! A Flaming good day out.

Venue and time: West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village 10am–5pm

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