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Ipswich Theatre Company Announces New Collaboration

Red Rose Chain, the Suffolk-based theatre company behind Theatre in the Forest, is thrilled to announce an exciting collaboration with world leading designers, 59 Productions.

The award-winning design studio is to design the new Theatre in the Forest outdoor venue at Sutton Hoo. In partnership with the National Trust, Red Rose Chain will take up residency at Sutton Hoo, the beautiful site of the Anglo-Saxon burial ground as featured in the Netflix film ‘The Dig’, from July – August 2022.

59 Productions are world-leaders in the industry for innovative ‘story driven design’, with
accolades including Olivier and Tony awards. They are behind the video design of the
Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the globe-trotting smash hit ‘War
Horse’ the design and creative direction of the record- breaking ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition
and the decor concept design for The Met Ball, hosted by Anna Wintour.

Joanna Carrick, Artistic Director of Red Rose Chain said “It is so exciting to be working with 59 Productions and for them to bring their immense international experience to the project. The creative team from both organisations has been working hard together throughout lockdown to design exciting new infrastructure, focusing on our unique audience experience and strong community roots to secure the future for this very popular event.

Mark Grimmer, co-founder of 59 Productions, grew up in Suffolk and was a key member of Red Rose Chain’s youth theatre which makes this collaboration even more special. We
are so proud of everything Mark has achieved and it means the world to us to be
working with 59 productions on the launch of a new era for Theatre in the Forest at
Sutton Hoo.”

59 Productions said: “59 Productions are thrilled to be collaborating with Red Rose Chain on their new, bespoke, outdoor venue for Theatre in the Forest next year. This design follows a through-line of research and development the company has embarked upon over the last year in response to the ongoing pandemic. We are passionate about creating spaces that are safe, secure and accessible for all and can’t wait for audiences in Suffolk to enjoy live theatre once again, this time at Sutton Hoo.”

The project team for Theatre in the Forest at 59 Productions is headed by Leo Warner and
architect Jenny Melville. The project is also collaborating with Footprint Scenery, who will
build the new pop-up venue. Their previous work includes London 2012 Ceremonies, Sochi
Winter Games, the National Theatre, and the Royal Court.

Red Rose Chain have been awarded funding from DCMS and Arts Council England’s
Cultural Recovery Fund to develop this new space. This project has also been supported by
New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, through the Business Resilience and Recovery
Grant Scheme.

Red Rose Chain is celebrating 21 years of Theatre in the Forest at a special live-stream Gala Night on 31st July when the new designs will be unveiled.


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