The historic Southwold summer theatre, relaunched by an award-winning local producer last year, is busy making plans to try and keep the season alive, returning to the seaside town following its first-year success.

Theatre on the Coast, run by Matthew Townshend Productions, is hoping to be a much-needed tonic to self-isolation when it returns to Southwold in August.

Theatre on the Coast replaced Suffolk Summer Theatre which had run in Southwold and Aldeburgh since 2011 before closing in 2018. Thanks to an incredible response from residents and holidaymakers in 2019, a bumper line up has now been announced for this year.

Matthew Townshend said: “We have been absolutely thrilled by the praise we have received for the theatre season following its relaunch; it’s allowed us to expand our repertoire this year to include a range of shows suitable for audiences for whom we haven’t had an offer before.

“From comedy and drama to music and workshops, a circus and celebrities right through to two new premieres showcasing some incredible new talent, we really have something for everyone.”

The season is now planning to open in August and run until the middle of September.

The season will open at Southwold Arts Centre with Hollywood star Robert Powell in his one man show Charles Dickens: A Celebration.

Included in the line-up is a comedy from Suffolk writer Jan Etherington. In All for One, a grandmother summons her son and grandsons for a crisis meeting. As she is Queen of England, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

A second new commission, Attagirls! from noted historian and writer Stewart Ross, tells the stories of three young women from very different backgrounds who choose to come to Britain during the Second World War and ferry every imaginable type of aeroplane across the country to keep the RAF front line supplied with machines.

Matthew said: “It is still something of an untold story and has enormous relevance not only for the 75th anniversary of the end of the war but also for East Anglia with its huge number of air bases.”

Joining the season is local circus company Monkey Business which will be running workshops for families and younger people as well as presenting daytime shows, featuring their skill as comic and aerial performers.

Also included is a revival of Privates on Parade, the hilarious, no-holds barred musical play by Peter Nichols and Denis King about soldiers and officers of an entertainment troupe stuck in Malaya after the end of World War II.

The season will also play host to at least four of the short plays chosen from the INK festival, making the summer theatre a platform for new writers.

Tickets go on sale in April.