Buckenham Museum


He may be more famous for gracing the silver screen in a string of classic Westerns, but Jimmy Stewart also has connections with the East.

Before the Hollywood star first strapped on a six-shooter he was the first Operations Officer when Old Buckenham airbase in central Norfolk first opened. Its most important residents? The USAAF 453rd Bombardment Group.  where you’ll find a museum, café and runway that is still used today. And the Old Buckenham Airshow is a record-breaking event that takes place every summer.

Discover more about this fascinating part of Norfolk past and present here at the museum’s website.

Image: John Bilcliffe/Flickr


In March 2016, DanceEast welcomed Moko Dance and Tom Dale Company’s Digitopia!

Digitopia’s visually stunning integration of live dance and digital technology creates a world that defies the usual rules of gravity and physics, where straight lines curve and sound is seen.

This family-friendly production tells the story of Dotty helping her friend Hex transform from a two-dimensional line, into a curve, and finally into a fully-3D shape.

Tom Dale Company creates extraordinary performances that bring together urban contemporary dance, electronic music and digital art. MOKO Dance is a national dance partnership dedicated to opening the eyes of children and their families to the power of dance. Led by DanceEast, MOKO Dance unites Dance City (Newcastle), Nottingham Lakeside Arts (Nottingham), Pavilion Dance South West (Bournemouth), Sadler’s Wells (London), South East Dance (Brighton and Kent) and Theatre Bristol (Bristol) in their shared vision of bringing bold and innovative work to young audiences across the UK.

DanceEast is home to a world-class programme year-round.

Fill your day in Ipswich with other activities. See what’s going on at All About Ipswich.


unravelling thread at ipswich art school gallery


Unravelling Thread was a special event at Ipswich Art School Gallery on 3rd March 2016. Arranged to coincide with the Arts/Science/Life exhibition at the Gallery, archaeologist Lucy Walker and artist Robert Pacitti explored a variety of issues relating to the representation of artifacts in art and heritage contexts. By discussing their short film Thread they also considered the historical work of archaeologist Nina Francis Layard, whose Anglo-Saxon finds in the Ipswich area underpin the project.

In 1906 archaeologist Nina Frances Layard excavated an Anglo-Saxon burial ground at Hadleigh Road in Ipswich. The contents of the graves suggested that the site was a Pagan cemetery of the 6th century. It was discovered during a Borough Council employment project to level the ground in anticipation of new housing development, and Layard worked hard in the face of many practical difficulties, to recover and record as many of the burials as possible.

As a woman, Ms. Layard was unable to deliver a lecture to The Society of Antiquaries in London, or even be seen to be present when her paper was given to the assembled audience of men. So she stood behind a curtain whilst John Evans gave her paper about her excavations.

See what’s on the Pacitti Company‘s programme.

To plan a trip to the town, visit All About Ipswich.


Photo: Thread film still © Pacitti Company 2016
extra terrestrial at East Gallery NUA


For a few weeks in March 2016, Extra Terrestrial was at East Gallery, Norwich University of the Arts.

This exhibition collects the works of Tess Jaray and Alison Wilding. Individually, their works are evocative and provocative, but placed alongside each other they complement, parry and riposte in ways that aren’t always predictable.

Tess Jaray and Alison Wilding remain two of the most distinctive, talented and compelling figures in contemporary British art, inspiring more than one generation of artists and entrancing audiences for decades with their respective playful geometries and material eloquence.

Norwich University of the Arts has a packed programme year-round. See what’s on here.

Plan a trip to the city with Visit Norwich.

Photo: Terrestrial, 2003, Alison Wilding, © Alison Wilding 2015. All rights reserved. Photo: Peter White

gainsborough bust by nicole farhi at gainsborough's house sudbury


Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury is making quite a name for itself in the fashion world. In 2016, this Gainsborough Bust was part of a special collection designed by Nicole Farhi for the house.

These busts were auctioned as a fundraiser for the house over the course of the year.

If Farhi’s involvement isn’t enough to inspire would-be fashionistas to visit, both Anna Wintour (Editor-in-Chief of US Vogue) and Vivienne Westwood (celebrated British designer who has named a collection of jewellery after Gainsborough) are also supporters of Gainsborough’s House and its ambitious growth plans.

Follow the trend and plan a visit to Gainsborough’s House.

Sudbury is full of hidden gems, including beautiful landscapes and three working silk mills, plan a trip to the area with Visit Suffolk.


Photo: Gainsborough’s House
picture of the devil speaks true, which is at the garage norwich


In February 2016, The Garage, Norwich welcomed The Devil Speaks True.

The Devil Speaks True is a chilling visceral experience where you are cast as Banquo from Macbeth in a first person auditory adventure, tracing Banquo’s journey from bloody battlefield to spectral banquet table.
Sitting in a pitch-black space and wearing wireless headphones, you will be surrounded by a world created through binaural sound, video projection and a solo performer.

The Devil Speaks True is a totally immersive experience offering an intimate perspective of a man struggling to come to terms with his place in a violent and tyrannical world. Focussing on the psychological effects on men returning home from war and the bond between soldiers, the production intersperses Shakespeare’s text with interviews with ex-servicemen.

See what’s on at The Garage.

Plan a trip with Visit Norwich.

Photo: Sam Holden



In February 2016, Pattern Recognition was performed at DanceEast. In this visually arresting work, DanceEast Associate Artist Alexander Whitley (2015 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award nominee) and digital artist Memo Akten (Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica winner) join forces at the cutting edge of dance and motion-responsive technology.

Using a system of moving lights, which can track and intelligently respond to the dancers it observes, Pattern Recognition opens up questions about learning and memory in relation to the technology of artificial intelligence.

This duet features a score by critically acclaimed electronic composer Scanner and Southbank Centre artist-in-residence cellist Oliver Coates. At the time of the performance, Alexander Whitley had recently been commissioned by Rambert, Candoco and BalletBoyz, and is a Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate, DanceEast Associate Artist and former Choreographic Affiliate of The Royal Ballet.

See what’s on at DanceEast.

Plan a trip to Ipswich for a future DanceEast performance, with All About Ipswich as your guide.


The Last Five Years at the New Wolsey Theatre, included in Culture365


As part of their 15th birthday celebrations in 2016, the New Wolsey Theatre produced a brand new version of The Last Five Years, which opened on 25th February.

Starting and ending with the beginning of a passionate love affair, the unique style of storytelling and infectious score makes this one of America’s best modern musicals.

Actress Cathy’s story starts with the end of their relationship following their tale backwards to when she first fell in love with her young talented lover. Novelist Jamie’s story begins with their first passionate encounter and heads forward towards heartache.

As part of their mission to create theatre that is as accessible as possible to all, the New Wolsey Theatre made every performance of The Last Five Years audio described for visually impaired audiences using integrated recorded audio description that audiences could experience through a headset.

To find out more about the range of the theatre’s accessible performances visit the New Wolsey Theatre.

Planing a trip to the New Wolsey? Let All About Ipswich fill you in on all the other things to do in the town and surrounding areas.

Photo: Mike Kwasniak

interior of woodbridge violins where the restored viiolin was worked on


A violin that was left behind at a prisoner of war camp in Braintree, Essex during World War Two has recently been restored to working order by a specialist in Woodbridge, Suffolk. The restored violin was believed to have been crafted by a German prisoner of war, and then given to his captors as a gift at the end of the war.

Woodbridge Violins (pictured here), who are responsible for the restoration, said that it must have been crafted by a professional, as it is such a fine piece of craftsmanship. It’s possible that the man who made it was a violin maker before the war started. It’s unknown where the maker found the wood to make the instrument, and how he managed to boil his own glue to use in the production of the instrument, but it’s believed he was assisted by a British officer stationed at the POW camp.

The violin is owned by Woodbridge resident David Powell whose parents lived in Braintree and were given the instrument by an officer in 1945. It has since become a family heirloom, and was always in and around the family home (though it was without strings until the recent restoration.

Do you have a violin of your own that needs restoring (or maybe you’re just fascinated by this story)? Visit Woodbridge Violins.

Explore the rest of the area, including Woodbridge’s award-winning restaurants, cafés and bakeries at Visit Suffolk.

Photo: G. Arthur Snapshot
photo of museum of east anglian life's gypsy tribute


The Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket has a number of exhibitions dedicated to the wide range of people living in the region, with a particular focus on how life has changed in the last few centuries. This gypsy tribute is part of a funerary memorial in one of the museum’s permanent exhibitions.

The museum holds a mix of domestic items, including historic and more modern caravans, oral histories and images from the gypsy communities in the region which it has worked with closely in the past. This is a rare chance to explore a community that is often forgotten about throughout history.

For more information, visit the Museum of East Anglian Life.

Why not make a day of it? Explore the surrounding area at Visit Suffolk.

Photo: Museum of East Anglian Life