A rural theatre is set to transform the arts and entertainment scene on the Suffolk coast this summer.

The Big Barn Theatre at Old Hall Farm, renowned as the home of the Southwold Maize Maze, will offer theatregoers a new 200-seat outdoor experience unlike any other venue in the county.

Work is underway to convert the former cattle barn into the bespoke entertainment space ahead of the launch of local director Matthew Townshend’s Theatre on the Coast tour.

The venue has been chosen to premiere this year’s show, “Summer Holiday”, running in Southwold from August 9 to August 13.

The show is based on the 1963 Sir Cliff Richard Classic of the same name, following a group of young men on their hilariously heart-warming journey through Europe.

Bella Hall, founder of Old Hall Farm, said: “The Suffolk coast has always been a popular destination and its popularity continues to increase.

“As such we have been looking at ways to diversify our offering and all of us loved the idea of creating our own theatre.

“It has been amazing working alongside Matthew on the project and we are all confident of putting on a fantastic show, raising the roof as we sing along to Sir Cliff’s summer classics.”

The barn was first converted into a covered seating area for the adjacent café in 2020 and has also hosted a makers’ market and antiques fair.

It is hoped the barn will host further events in the future after the temporary theatre space is dismantled.

This is set to be the biggest and best year yet for Theatre on the Coast, with further shows also taking place in Sheringham and Great Yarmouth.

Matthew, who runs Matthew Townshend Productions, which boasts both regional and national credits, said he “can’t wait” for the theatre to open.

He said: “The Big Barn Theatre is going to offer our audiences something truly special.

“Not only will we be sticking to our roots of providing summer theatre fun on the coast, but we will be doing so in a venue that is completely unique.

“Summer Holiday will take our audiences back to the halcyon days of the British summer holiday and our tourism industry – great days people like the team at Old Hall Farm are helping bring back.

“The Old Hall Farm team are doing a fantastic job and I can’t wait to see the final results and launch a summer season to remember.”

Tickets for the Sir Cliff Richard classic, sponsored by Suffolk Secrets, are selling fast, with theatre fans urged to book now to avoid disappointment.