Rain

Rain

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

Gallery: Emotion-charged night as final curtain comes down at Spa Pavilion

06:00 09 January 2013

Emotions ran high as the last ever panto was performed at the Felixstowe Spa Pavillion this evening.

Emotions ran high as the last ever panto was performed at the Felixstowe Spa Pavillion this evening.

Archant

IT’S hard to believe that Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion theatre might never stage another show.

shares

The auditorium has echoed to gasps, gales of laughter, cheering, tears, sharp intakes of breath, and thunderous applause and standing ovations for more than a century, but has now become the latest statistic for the world of showbiz in which many towns’ theatres are struggling to survive.

It is reckoned a venue is closing every week – and very few new ones are being opened.

The top-of-the-bill high-earning end of the showbiz whirl is enjoying huge dividends. Arenas like the 02 can pack in 20,000, paying up to £50 a ticket for a star comedian.

At the lower end, small, community theatres, far from the big cities, are losing money, suffering from falling audiences, over-priced entertainment, and a diet of tribute bands, performers who have seen better days or cannot fill such big venues.

Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion has now closed its doors – its owners Suffolk Coastal no longer prepared to pay the £250,000 a year it costs to run the venue, and unable to afford the estimated £8 million needed to refurbish it to a standard which will attract regular theatre-goers and better shows.

It was appropriate that it was the Dennis Lowe Theatre Company which performed on the last night, the final curtain on their panto Aladdin being the moment the theatre went dark.

The company had been playing at the Spa for nearly 50 years presenting pantos, Easter shows and children’s summer holiday season matinees. Its founder, the late Dennis Lowe, would not have been able to believe his beloved Spa could close – and would have been heartbroken to see his adopted town without a venue for live entertainment.

shares

0 comments

Sycamore Close, Ipswich

A man who brandished an axe when baliffs came to his Ipswich home to collect a court debt has been jailed.

Burglary at Palmerston Road, Ipswich

Thousands of pounds worth of jewellery, including an engagement ring and a family heirloom, were stolen from the home of a young Ipswich family.

Inside the cannabis factory in Powling Road which Shefget Marku tended

An illegal immigrant who was found in an Ipswich house which had been turned into a cannabis factory has been jailed for eight months.

Nitro Circus in action. Photo: Mark Watson

Strap in Ipswich, you’re in for a wild ride when Travis Pastrana’s world famous Nitro Circus Live lands at Foxhall Stadium this summer.

Tim Mason.

Tributes have been paid to Mr Mason following his death. He worked “passionately” to help homeless people and those with learning difficulties, and helped convince the Government to reinstate a life-extending cancer drug. He was 58.

1968 file picture of an annual rally of Cub Scouts from Ipswich, Woodbridge and Felixstowe held at the Hallowtree Camping Site.  The picture shows the County Commissioner for Suffolk Mr J D Pearce, with some of the cubs.

Cub packs across Suffolk will be marking the organisation’s 100 year anniversary in 2016 – and we are looking for your memories and pictures.

Man put woman's photos on online dating site

A 24-year-old Suffolk man has been fined for posting topless photos of a woman on an internet dating site.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A shoplifter with more than 20 previous offences to her name has been given a conditional discharge.

Nitro Circus in action. Photo: Mark Watson

What a breathtaking show. At least I think it was, I watched parts of it peering through my fingers.

Stock image of A14 delays between Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds.

Police said the collisions have caused widespread delays in west Suffolk.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24