Irving Stage Company Present Chess

Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is delighted to welcome the return of Irving Stage Company with their new production of Chess – The Musical, featuring music by Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus and lyrics by Tim Rice (Tue 12 – Sat 16 Mar).

A love triangle like no other: the ill-mannered American Grandmaster, the intense Russian champion who plans on defecting to the West, and the Hungarian-American female chess second, who arrives at the International Championships managing one player but falling in love with the other. From Bangkok to Budapest, the players, lovers, politicians, and spies all struggle to get the upper-hand.

Chess was a significant and powerful piece of music theatre for its time as it allegorically reflected the Cold War tensions present in the 1980s. Released and staged at the height of the strong anti-communist agenda that came to be known as the “Reagan Doctrine”, Chess addressed and satirized the hostility of the international political atmosphere of the 1980s through a brilliantly powerful score written by the men behind the music of ABBA.

Director Sian Couture said “Chess is one of my favourite musicals. I directed it for Irving Stage Company 10 years ago, almost to the day. It became engraved on my heart, touched my soul and I love every aspect of it. We (the ISC Committee) chose to present Chess again this year as 2019 is the 60th anniversary of the ISC and the 200th anniversary of the lovely and important Theatre Royal.”

Irving Stage Company was founded in 1959 by a group of enthusiasts anxious to present high quality theatre in West Suffolk. In 2018 the company presented productions of The Producers (“To say the least, I was very impressed” – Polkadot Pages Blog) and ‘Allo ‘Allo (“a real crowd-pleaser” – Bury Free Press), and they will be back again later in the year with a staging of My Fair Lady. This is an amateur production of Chess (UK version) presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd.

Chess – The Musical has six performances at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Tue 12 – Sat 16 Mar. Tickets are on sale at the Box Office, call 01284 769505, book online at or visit the theatre in person.