Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds
The Jewel of West Suffolk
Why the Theatre Roal Bury St Edmunds you may ask - well let me explain.
Roy would always say, "I know how to close a theatre" especially as Roy Hudds Very Own Music Hall was one of the last shows to appear at the theatre Royal before it closed for two years refurbishment. When it reopened various named performers were invited, on separate evenings, to do a reading before the show, Roy was one of the invited.
He loved doing his One Man Show there so much - he did it again, the audience must have loved it to as it was another full house!
He had a terrific relationship with the then artistic director Karen Simpson. She had heard about a show Roy and I had put together where I interviewed him about his life and career and how well it was being accepted, so much so she invited us to appear at this magical theatre.
Roy loved the intimacy of the venue, perfect for Music Hall and our Evening With. Then when Karen approached Roy to play the part of Tom Oakley in Goodnight Mister Tom, he jumped at the chance. He had wanted to play that character for years. Yet again it was a huge success.
At the beginning of 2019 I was asked to join a small committee with the task of producing the theatre's 200th birthday celebration. Not knowing two of the five members I asked if we could all introduce ourselves and explain what we could bring to the table (Roy hated expressions like that). I very quickly realised the others were extremely good at finance and knew sponsors they could call on - I on the other hand said, "Well all I know about is how to put on a show" and that was it. They looked after the lolly and I looked after the show. The first thing I told them was Roy would be hosting the evening - they were delighted, all I had to do now was tell Roy what I'd done! "But I'm in the middle of a tour" he exclaimed, "Yes but you're in Cambridge the week before, so we'll be living at home, the show is on the Sunday and the following week we've got off". "Oh ok" was his reply, and he loved it.
Of course we visited the theatre many times to see productions, but as Roy would say, "There's nothing like getting up in front of an audience".
So that's why I'd like the statue at the theatre he loved, getting up there and welcoming new generations of audiences to this unique gem of a theatre.
Theatre Royal 200th Birthday Celebration
Roy as Tom Oakley in
Good Night Mister Tom