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The King's River
Tuesday 11th July - Saturday 15th July

Tuesday 11th July 6.30

Wednesday 12th July 6.30

Thursday 13th July 6.30

Friday 14th July 6.30

Saturday 15th July 2.30

An imaginative re-telling of the Sutton Hoo treasure and its discovery. A music and dance production involving the town's people of Woodbridge including local schools, alongside professional performers.
The production is being performed both on the Waterfront of the River Deben and on the stage at the Riverside Theatre. This will be the first community activity on the site. 

Act I will take place outside at the new development at Whisstocks yard, over-looking the river. This focuses on the burial of King Raedwald, who was the first Christian King of East Anglia. Scholars are 95% certain that he is the King buried at Sutton Hoo. He reigned c599 – 624 AD. Little is known of his Queen, except that she remained pagan. The libretto weaves an imaginative, poetic tale around the King’s funeral, with flashbacks to his life. There are warriors, dancers, healing women, Christian singers, a procession of monks, a dance of the four Elements and there is a central figure of River as the Narrator.

Towards the end Raedwald’s son Eorthwald, is crowned King, and finally Raedwald is carried on a shield and laid to rest on the ship amid songs of lament. Trumpets sound from across the river from Sutton Hoo.

Act II takes place at the Riverside Theatre and is set in the 1930’s in Mrs. Pretty’s House, where the burial mounds were found and excavated. Her husband, Colonel Frank Pretty, bought the house in 1926.

When he died in 1934, Mrs. Pretty became interested in Spiritualism. We open with a party, singers and a swing band and River has now become the compere. We follow Mrs. Pretty’s dream about the treasure. In 1937, she decided to organise an excavation of the mounds, helped by Basil Brown, a self-taught archaeologist. We follow the various vicissitudes of the excavation and the arguments between the vested interests. There is a masked ball, using Anglo-Saxon clothing, and Raedwald and the Warriors return. The King and Mrs. Pretty dance. Time passes and we come to the Second World War and watch the evacuation of children. There is a court decision about who should keep the treasure – the King or Mrs. Pretty.

We close with images of modern Woodbridge, while River and Raedwald confront each other.

The music in Part 1 is contemporary classical, using Anglo-Saxon instrumentation and folk song rhythms. Part 2 uses a more contemporary musical style and a swing band. The choir will surround the audience in Part 1, when off stage, so there is a permanent visual presence.

In terms of design, we are not aiming at a historical recreation. In Part 1 the design will be a modern interpretation of Anglo-Saxon costumes ad props – a bit wild and hairy! Part 2 will be more historically accurate, apart from the “dream sequences”. The sets for both parts will be simple and stylised.

Full film details, credits and trailers can be found at

Running Time:
Approx 2 hours 30 mins incl interval

Book by phone on 01394 382174

Box Office Hours
Mon - Sat 10am - 8:30pm
Sun 10am - 6:30pm

Cinema Entrance Prices
All matinee shows (before 5.30) £6.50
All evening shows (after 5.30pm) £7.50

Please note stage shows, live streams & featured events are priced individually. Tickets for all our performances (including films) are non refundable.
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The King's River
Tuesday 11th July - Saturday 15th July
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Thursday 20th July 7pm Tickets £15 Book with Angels In America Part Two and get both for £25. Students £12.50 (ID req)
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Saturday 22nd July & Sunday 23rd July Tickets £20/ Students £15 (ID req)
Angels In America Part Two: Perestroika Broadcast Live from The National Theatre.
Thursday 27th July 7pm Tickets £15 Book with Angels In America Part One and get both for £25. Students £12.50 (ID req)