Simmering away in the Eastern Angles aga

Someone (can’t recall who) over New Years Eve dinner mentioned a CEO of one of the major regional theatres talking about the seemingly low amount of new writing in the programme. ‘we just don’t have an audience for new writing’.

St Edmund's martyrdom (Brian Wheelan)

St Edmund’s martyrdom (Brian Wheelan)

I couldn’t help a wry smile as I heard that. Right now gently cooking away in the Eastern Angles aga there are no fewer than eight new plays (two of which will reach fruition in 2013). As you would expect they are a diverse lot ranging from St Edmund and uprisings in Eastern Europe to relocating the Bronte’s from Yorkshire (where I’m writing this on a New Year break) to the East for another Christmas spoof. There’s a new piece from Molly Davies which takes for its starting point a chicken, another which uses Clacton as its jumping off point and one which chooses to launch off from the fishing smacks which were common place across the East’s coast and waterways.

odin Then there’s Charles Way’s Norse Gods saga Ragnarok and Tony Ramsay’s community play for Peterborough – both incredibly exciting and ambitious projects for 2014.

Right now the company has 7 different writers under various forms of commission- a mix of established talent and younger, emerging voices. It’s a rich mix that the Eastern Angles audience seems to lap up.

Having eight new plays simmering away is no mean achievement for a company the size of Eastern Angles. Especially one that lays no claim to be a new writing company. Commissioning new work is merely a key way in which we achieve our aim of being the regional theatre for the East -producing plays for and about the region.

It also means there’s much to look forward to in the Eastern Angles programme over the next few years.

(Aga image on front page courtesy of


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