The theatre community has come together with a generous donation to an Ipswich-based drama group ahead of its upcoming pantomime.  

Eagle-eyed panto goers who saw 2023’s New Wolsey Theatre’s rock n roll production of Goldilocks and The Three Bears will notice a familiar four-legged friend in Springfield Follies’ version of Aladdin. 

The Wolsey donated its camel and a magic lamp to the long-running group, who were in need of a noble steed for their lead character.  

Ipswich Star: The camel featured in the New Wolsey Theatre's Goldilocks and the Three Bears Rock N Roll Panto. Picture: Mike KwasniakThe camel featured in the New Wolsey Theatre's Goldilocks and the Three Bears Rock N Roll Panto. Picture: Mike Kwasniak (Image: Mike Kwasniak)

Writer and director Clarissa Place said: “As a huge fan of pantomime to have a piece of the brilliant Rock N Roll show in our production is incredible and I cannot wait to see audiences' faces.   

"The theatre community is a really supportive place and we really appreciate the Wolsey’s generous gesture to help us put on a brilliant show. 

“We cannot wait to bring everyone along on a magical journey to Ips-a-bar with our modern and also very Suffolk twist of Aladdin.” 

The Springfield Follies began in 1948 after founding members Bert Taylor, Vic and Elsie Sharman and members of the Springfield Junior School’s parent and teachers association wanted to find a way to raise funds for a new stage. 

The group marked its 75th anniversary last year with its production of Beauty and the Beast, which was its first panto since the pandemic. 

Lisa Whight, chair of Springfield Follies, said: " We always welcome new members of all ages and abilities. We pride ourselves in giving everyone a chance.

"Follies was very fortunate to survive Covid, with so many local amateur groups folding. So we are always very grateful for any donations or sponsors to keep us running into our 76th year."

Any donations from the show will be made to the Bumblebee Children’s Charity and to the Cancer Wellbeing Centre at Ipswich Hospital.  

Springfield Follies will perform Aladdin at Kesgrave Community Hall on Saturday, January 27 and Saturday, February 3 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £10 for adults, £7 for children and £30 for a family and are available from the 2nd Stop Charity Shop in Kesgrave or by calling 07471580608.

To find out more about the group visit their Facebook page Springfield Follies @springfieldfolliesipswich.