Category: Articles

2 October 2023

Easter Treats means chocolate!

Some families just give a chocolate Easter egg to the younger children, while others have a policy of everyone exchanging eggs. A large family could mean a pile of chocolate that could last until the summer! In church-going Christian families, Easter has huge religious significance, while for many other people, it is just a fun date on the calendar and not a second thought is […]

2 October 2023

Metal Sculptures – beautiful and funny

The best public art makes you think or makes you smile – or even both. It was only recently I realised the witty sculpture on the roof of the public toilets on Major’s Corner in Ipswich town centre, which has been there for many years, was of a major swatting a fly! Why had I never made the connection to the street name before? It clicked that […]

2 October 2023

A Theatre Challenge review.

In January 2022 I wrote a feature in Suffolk Norfolk Life committing to visit all of Suffolk’s theatres in twelve months, reporting on the theatre building and reviewing as many styles of productions as possible.  The result? By 31st December 2022, I had been to:  26 Suffolk theatres – 14 with friends (8 different ones) but 12 of them I went to alone (I will come […]

2 October 2023

50 years of helping Church buildings, Chapels and Meeting Houses

In 1973, a small group of church-lovers realised that, if Suffolk’s historic churches and chapels were to survive for the future with increasingly small congregations, they needed financial help. Often Grade-One or Two Listed, the buildings were an integral part of their community, both for those who attended services but also for local people, as a centre for the community. The Suffolk Historic Churches Trust […]

2 October 2023

Review: Kiss of the Spider Woman

Gallery Players at the Gallery Studio, Ipswich (Review first posted ) Friday 29th September 2023  Written in 1976 as a novel, Kiss of the Spider Woman is set in an Argentinian prison cell.  A Marxist revolutionary, the homophobic Valentin (played by Ben Maytham) and his cellmate Molina (Dean Wales), gay and imprisoned for gross indecency, skirt carefully around each other, not daring even to brush against each […]

5 July 2023

Review: Harry’s Bar- a Touch of the Blarney

Arriving at the Two Sisters Arts Centre in Trimley the audience was greeted with traditional Irish music, played on keyboards, fiddle and bodhran, which meant feet were tapping even before Harry’s Bar – A Touch of the Blarney, began. As the story, based around WB Yeats, the Irish writer, (played by Thomas Haigh) and the Irish Nationalists fighting for independence was told, the experienced cast of […]

19 December 2022

The final theatre in my Tour: DanceEast, Ipswich

This was the 26th Suffolk theatre I had been to, in twelve months, in my self-imposed challenge, each time writing about the venue and a different style of production. It was the turn of contemporary dance. DanceEast opened on the Ipswich Waterfront in 2009, as the centre for professional dance in East of England and host  public performances, usually of contemporary dance.   They also hold classes for […]

19 December 2022

My theatre tour is in Stowmarket- at the Regal

In the centre of town with a large public carpark next door, The Regal at Stowmarket has an impressive new café, upgraded foyer and toilets.  The Regal was opened in 1936 as a 566-seat cinema and has a long history. As the website says it was built…  “…on the former Dukes Head Meadow which had previously been used for travelling fairs and circuses. Coincidentally, the […]

4 December 2022

Rachel’s Suffolk Theatre tour in Newmarket – at the Kings Theatre.

I’ve been to several theatres created in old Victorian school buildings during my tour of Suffolk’s theatres. The Kings Theatre in Newmarket is another one and, just off the High Street, a new destination for me. It is the home of Nomads, Newmarket Operatic, Musical and Dramatic Society. The 1850-built school closed in 1939 and was a wartime tearoom, then venue for clubs to meet. […]

27 November 2022

Rachel’s Theatre Tour is in Ipswich – at the Corn Exchange

The Corn Exchange is in Ipswich town centre, on the Cornhill, in the building that also houses the Town Hall. The Cornhill is the place where big outdoor civic events take place. The name Corn Exchange obviously portrays the original function of the building, and it was built on the site used as a marketplace from at least the 14th century.   The Town Hall steps are […]