Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is immensely proud to be supported by our Life Patrons and Ambassadors. These individuals provide vital support and care. Their advocacy is hugely valued by us and we enjoy a wonderful relationship with them.
Timothy West, CBE
Film, stage and television actor, with more than fifty years of varied work in the business and one of his generation’s best-loved actors. Timothy was Patron of our Royal Millions campaign 2005-2007 and has continued to support Theatre Royal ever since.
‘… Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds holds an unrivalled place in my thoughts.’
‘…a playhouse of perfect classical dimension and proportion, in which the actor and the audience enjoy a uniquely intimate relationship.’
Dame Judi Dench, DBE
National treasure and one of the country’s finest actors of all time. We treasure the memory of Dame Judi when she performed the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, with Sir Ian McKellen, at a gala held on stage at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds in 2007.
‘Theatre Royal is one of the most beautiful theatres in the country.’
Sir Jeremy Isaacs
Sir Jeremy Israel Isaacs – television producer and executive, opera manager, and a recipient of many British Academy Television Awards and International Emmy Awards. He won the British Film Institute Fellowship in 1986, the International Emmy Directorate Award in 1987 and the BAFTA Fellowship in 1985.
Judith Shallow, DL
Judith was a member of Theatre Royal’s Management Board for almost 12 years, becoming Chairman for five years during its £5.2m Heritage Lottery restoration. She retired upon the project’s successful completion in October 2007 and was honoured to become a Life Patron.
As High Sheriff of Suffolk in 2015, she held a ‘Command Performance’ at the theatre to raise money to found an Arts and Culture Fund with the Suffolk Community Foundation. Her experiences during her Shrieval year, particularly surrounding domestic violence, led her to collaborate with the theatre on a number of outreach projects working with the Bury Women’s Refuge. Currently, she sits on the Development Board of the Museum of East Anglian Life. She continues to work in the voluntary sector through grants work with the Suffolk Community Foundation. As a Deputy Lieutenant of the county, she has responsibility for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and represents the Lord-Lieutenant in her home town of Bury St Edmunds. She remains a passionate supporter and ambassador of Theatre Royal.
Gina Long, MBE
Gina Long MBE Founder of GeeWizz is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, free-lance journalist, and global charity campaigner.
Among her many charitable achievements, she has raised nearly £7 million. She was awarded an MBE for services to the charity sector in December 2015. She was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Suffolk in October 2018. Gina founded one of the first Global Online Auctions, the Ultimate Charity Auction which has raised more than £1.8 million since its inception in 2011.
In 2020, Gina created and organised the Ed Sheeran Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction. Prizes were donated by global superstars from the world of music and sport, artists, festivals and many organisations. A total of £506,000 was raised to fund three legacy projects – of which £50,000 has been pledged to Theatre Royal’s Youth Theatre Inclusion project.
Gina is proud to support this initiative which is so close to her heart. “I personally know of many local families who will benefit from a much-needed project like this. Working in conjunction with the fabulous work of education providers Theatre Royal’s Youth Theatre Inclusion group will enable young people to make friends in a supported and friendly environment with a team of experienced practitioners. This is so important in helping them feel more able to direct or manage their lives and express themselves and engage with activities and matters that affect them and GeeWizz is proud to be able to help.”
Away from fundraising, Gina mentors and supports other charities, and is a ‘farmer’s wife’ living on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds with her husband Andrew.