‘The Muse Of Newmarket’ – A Restoration Play by Suzanne Hawkes

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Black & White Productions presents ‘The Muse of Newmarket’, a Restoration Play written by Suzanne Hawkes. With original songs, live music and lots of humour, this play in Palace House Garden* is sure to entertain! There will be a bar available for soft and alcoholic drinks.

For eleven years, England had been in the throes of a very turbulent time in her history. With Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector and England effectively a Commonwealth still suffering from the divisions of religion and politics that had ripped families and counties apart, entertainment had been driven underground and theatre companies disbanded and forced to seek other employment.

But with the restoration of Charles II and the English monarchy in 1660, there dawned a new age of enlightenment and the pursuit of pleasure. Charles opened up the theatres and restored leisure pursuits such as cock fighting, hawking and at Newmarket – horseracing.

Robert Palmer’s small troupe, based in Newmarket, has been reduced to playing for pennies at Bartholomew Fair – but with Charles’ impending visit to his new palace, Robert is instructed to produce a play fit for the king. Will he manage to find something in time – and the players to perform it well? Or risk being thrown into the Tower in disgrace with his reputation in tatters?

Meanwhile, we meet Aphra Behn, the first English woman to earn money from being a writer, who with the help of Robert’s players tells her own story of her rise from obscurity through spying for the king, travelling, adventuring, surviving marriage and the plague to finally becoming the most famous and successful female writer of the 17th Century.

This play is being toured in 2022, with performances at three different venues – Two Sisters Arts Centre, Trimley St Mary, Felixstowe, Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, and the National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket.

*If it rains, we will relocate to the John Lambton Rooms.

‘The Muse of Newmarket’ Performance Dates:

Two Sisters Arts Centre, Trimley St Mary, Felixstowe

  • Thursday 12th May 2022, 7:30pm
  • Friday 13th May 2022, 7:30pm
  • Saturday 14th May 2022, 2:30pm

Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich

  • Saturday 15th May 2022, 6pm

National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket (open air performances)

  • Saturday 21st May 2022, 4pm
  • Sunday 22nd May 2022, 2:30pm
  • These timings include a 15 minute interval

Cost of entry to The Muse of Newmarket:

Tickets are available to purchase online by clicking here or from the National Horseracing Museum on the day. If you prefer to buy tickets over the telephone, please call 01394 279613.

Tickets are priced at £14 for adults, and £12 for over 60s and students.

About the National Horseracing Museum:

The National Horseracing Museum is a 5-acre site in the heart of Newmarket – the long-established home of flat racing.

As an important part of the horseracing industry, we tell the story of horseracing from its earliest origins to the global phenomenon it is today. The museum contains stunning works of art, contemporary sculptures, science and breeding galleries, and some of the world’s most famous racing trophies, unique bronzes and artefacts.

Part of the museum is based in the former sporting palace of King Charles II, built over 350 years ago when the ‘Sport of Kings’ was in its infancy. Using the latest interactive and audio-visual displays, the museum takes a different look at the sport, examining the physical attributes of the elite equine athlete and the importance of the thoroughbred pedigree via our science gallery.

We also re-train retired racehorses in the Rothschild Yard, making NHRM one of the very few places in Newmarket where you can meet retired racehorses. There are daily tours too.

Whilst you’re here, why not make a day of it and book a table for lunch at The Tack Room restaurant, or order a picnic from The Bakery to enjoy in our beautiful grounds.

Event Information

21st & 22nd May 2022

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£14 adults; £12 over 60s & students