World Theatre Day launch for New Theatre Royal Star Trail

Some of the most famous names to have graced the stage at Theatre Royal are to be commemorated in a new trail around Bury St Edmunds.

The Theatre Royal Star Trail will see stars placed on the pavement in prominent positions in the town centre – not unlike the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.

It was launched today on World Theatre Day (March 27) but officially starts on May 25 and will run until October 27. Those who ‘find’ all the stars will be able to enter a draw for one of 10 prizes. 

Organisers of the trail, Our Bury St Edmunds which runs the Business Improvement District (BID) and the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds gathered to officially launch the project and thank the sponsors who have so generously come forward to support the it.  

Sponsorship of the trail will go towards the £170,000 the theatre needs to raise each year to support its operating costs. Almost £10,000 has already been raised for the theatre.

Theatre Royal Director Karen Simpson said: “World Theatre Day, which has ‘sharing the joy of theatre with others’ among its aims, is the perfect day to launch this trail and it’s wonderful to have had so much interest in it, even though we are two months ahead of the stars being put into their locations. I don’t believe there is anything else like this in the UK at the moment although I understand the music industry is planning a Walk of Fame in London this year.”

The idea for the trail came from Andrew Speed who is Chairman of Bury St Edmunds Town Council and represents Abbeygate Ward on the Borough Council as well as being a board member of Our Bury St Edmunds.  He added: “Hollywood has its Walk of Fame which is a fantastic tourist attraction and Bury St Edmunds has already hosted two wonderful and unique Trails around the town with the Wolves and last year the World War One-themed trail.  So with the Theatre Royal celebrating its 200th anniversary this year it seemed an ideal opportunity to combine some of the best elements of those other popular and successful trails. I am so pleased to see how enthusiastically the idea has been supported.”

Chief Executive of Our Bury St Edmunds Mark Cordell said: “Our Bury St Edmunds is gaining a reputation for its unique and quirky trails, having worked with local artists for the previous highly successful events to support local charities.  I’m sure this one will prove equally popular as residents and visitors to the town centre alike try to find everyone from local celebrities such as Rick Wakeman and Ian Lavender, to Dame Judi Dench and Joanna Lumley.”

Joining Karen, Andrew and Mark at the Theatre Royal to help launch the Trail were Julia Read, Head of Development at the theatre as well as Vince Canning and James Archer from Coastline Graphics in Bury St Edmunds which is a sponsor of the Trail and is also making the stars to be used.