2 Sisters re-opens: Championing live performances

2020 16 Sept Two Sisters Harry's Bar still“Harry’s Bar celebrates ‘The Few’” at 2 Sisters

It is now possible to see live performances again. The 2 Sisters Arts Centre has opened its doors to audiences who want to see real people performing or acting.

During the long months since Lockdown started on 24th March 2020, the word ‘zoom’ has come to mean something other than the thing aircraft and space rockets do. Millions of people have embraced this social media platform as their new doorway to personal communication, family quiz nights, Book Group discussions, Pilates, online cultural activities and many other. It has to be said, it’s a wonderful thing. Over the Summer, 2 Sisters streamed live music events via Zoom starting with ‘The Alfie Buckley Quartet’. Other Zoom events followed including, ‘The Story of Doo-Wop’ which was fabulous. However, many of us have missed real live performances and in September, Suzanne Hawkes opened the doors again to a live Jazz Night with ‘The Good Things’, swiftly followed by ‘Yalda Davies and her friends in concert’:

IMG_3451 Yalda Davies and friends

Suzanne explained everything is performed in a Covid secure environment which complies with current legislative requirements. When I spoke to her via Zoon, she expanded on how she managed to do this effectively.

Individuals are met at the door by staff in visors, who take their temperature and  explain the necessity for face masks:

  • Hand sanitiser is available and a necessary requirement.
  • Chairs and tables, which have been cleaned and sprayed in advance are socially distanced.
  • Drinks for the interval are pre-ordered.
  • All entrances and exits by the audience are organised, calm and orderly.
  • The doors remain open to allow the air to circulate.
  • Audiences are limited in number, of necessity.

These procedures are part of all live performances.

IMG_3468Socially isolated tables allow a maximum of four affiliated members of the audience

Last week saw the opening of a new play, ‘Harry’s Bar Celebrates ‘The Few’, written by Suzanne. It will continue to run during the forthcoming week from 22nd to 26th September and although the final performance is now sold out,  there are tickets available for the remaining dates which may be viewed on:


Ticket Source also gives details of some of the forthcoming productions of ‘Fagin’s last hour’ and ‘Marley’ performed by the actor James Hyland, who delivered a tingling performance  at 2 Sisters in February with  his performance of  ‘The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. Definitely worth going to see.

At the start of Lockdown, I  wondered how 2 Sisters would financially sustain itself amidst the restrictions brought in due to Covid – 19.  The ambitious and exciting programme it was offering over the Spring and Summer months fell victim to the unsparing progress of Covid – 19. Any organisation, large or small,  needs money just for the overheads, let alone anything else. The 2 Sisters is a small emergent Arts enterprise subject to any adverse winds. Suzanne explained how the Centre has been financially supported since Lockdown, thereby enabling it to remain open. She applied to different funding streams and in June, Trimley St. Martin Parish Council made a charitable donation to the organisation, as did District and County Councillor Stuart Bird. This was followed up with a substantial grant from the Arts Council. All three of these grants have been  vital to the well-being of 2 Sisters and have helped Suzanne to re-open her doors. When we spoke, she thought  the Arts Centre to be the only centre in the Ipswich and Felixstowe district who is currently delivering live performances.

After Harry’s Bar’, the next live performance will be on Friday 2nd October when the Luck Brueck-Seeley Quartet arrive, this is followed by Belinda Gillett and Peter Hepburn on the 16th October and Triangle on 23rd October 2020. For those who live out of Village, parking continues to be available inside the gates of Great Street Farm which is just down the road from The Mariners.  Some of the October and November events may be live streamed in addition to being performed to a live audience.

There is something both invigorating and reassuring about live performances. The reassurance of people providing theatrical and musical experiences for our delight and pleasure is so well established, we never thought about it until this year when od one day, everything stopped. As the fate of many performance venues hang in the balance, 2 Sisters are doing their best to stay relevant and vibrant to the not only the two Trimleys but also to Felixstowe and the surrounding district.


If you have any comments or would like to be part of this Trimley St. Martin project, please contact me at:


LR  19/09/2020









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