Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds Announce Three New Shows

by | Feb 21, 2020 | Theatre

Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is pleased to announce some new and exciting additional events to its spring season: improvised comedy from [Insert Laughter Here]; a portrait of a famous music hall performer in Naturally Insane! The Dan Leno Story; and classic Mike Leigh 1970s-set comedy Abigail’s Party.

Following a fantastic first year in 2019, Bury St Edmunds based improvised comedy group [Insert Laughter Here] are flying into 2020 with their fourth show and two new members in the group, in Theatre Royal’s Greene Room Bar on Sun 22 Mar, 7.30pm.

Playing a series of improvisation games in the style of Whose Line is it Anyway, the performers will create hilarious scenes from scratch based on audience suggestions of places, character quirks, jobs and lines of dialogue.

There will even be the opportunity for members of the audience to join the performers in some of the games!

Minimum recommended age is 16+, as it’s improvised comedy they have absolutely no idea what will be said or done, it can (and often does!) include swearing and adult themes.

Naturally Insane! The Dan Leno Story will run on Sun 26 Apr, 7.30pm. Set in Camberwell Asylum in the last weeks of Dan Leno’s life, we join him in his private room and meet his wife Lydia and his brother Henry as he reflects on his life and career. He is visited by Herbert Beerbohm Tree to discuss Shakespeare while his Nurse, and physician Doctor Savage, try to make sense of Dan and his condition. It is in turns sad, funny and poignant and will make you laugh out loud with music hall songs instantly recognisable. A joyful and tragic insight into the life of a legendary comedian.

Dan Leno was the superstar of the Victorian music-halls and the annual pantomimes at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London’s West End. He died tragically young at only 43 in 1904 but his legacy lives on to this day. He inspired people like Stan Laurel, Charlie Chaplin and his influence and style was picked up by the likes of Norman Evans and Les Dawson and ripples through to the present day with comedian Peter Kay.

Steve Royle stars as Dan Leno and we are delighted that Roy Hudd OBE is joining us, to guest star in the cameo role of Herbert Beerbohm Tree, and declared it to be “a play that captures the heart and soul and genius of our greatest Victorian comedian…” After the performance, there will be a short interval and then Roy, who is president of the British Music Hall Society will give a talk about Dan Leno and his legacy.

Irving Stage Company returns to Theatre Royal with Mike Leigh’s 1977 comedy Abigail’s Party from Tue 30 Jun – Sat 4 Jul. Much-loved and much-quoted since it was originally performed on television as a Play for Today, having been improvised from scratch.

Suburban neighbours gather for an evening of Bacardi and Coke, Demis Roussos and cheesey-pineapple snacks, at the home of hostess Beverly and her estate agent husband Lawrence. Nurse Angela and former footballer Tony have recently moved in, and genteel, divorced Sue is not welcome at the party her teenage daughter Abigail is throwing. The alcohol and small talk flow as the nearby party gets ever more raucous, and unsettling truths emerge in this hilarious, and moving, modern classic.

Tickets for all three events are now on sale via the Box Office, call 01284 769505, book online via or visit the theatre in person.