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Actors show true spirit

PUBLISHED: 17:26 19 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 March 2010

AWARD-winning Suffolk theatre company BATS said today that the show went swimmingly - despite their venue being maliciously flooded just hours before show time.

AWARD-winning Suffolk theatre company BATS said today that the show went swimmingly – despite their venue being maliciously flooded just hours before show time.

Mystery still surrounds the apparently deliberate attempt to sabotage Brantham Amateur Theatrical Society's (BATS) presentation of the Elves and the Shoemaker.

Vandals gained entry to Brantham Village Hall on the night of February 14 and blocked all the sinks, leaving the venue flooded in a foot of water just hours before the company were to take to the stage for the fifth night of their sell out pantomime.

Describing how the company vowed not to be beaten by the mindless attack, launching a massive clear up operation before going on with the show, BATS chairman Keith Nixon said: "I think it focused everyone so when they went out on Friday night, they went out fighting.

He added: "We still have no idea how it happened. It could have been sabotage, somebody wanted to hurt the show. I don't know anybody who would want to do that but there are some strange people around."

BATS went ahead with evening performances on Friday and Saturday and a matinee.

There was no sign of a forced entry to the hall and management are worried that one of the numerous keys to the venue could have gone astray and a copy been cut.

Thousands of pounds worth of electrical equipment, a fully stocked bar and BATS priceless collection of costumes were stored in the hall, but a child's Playstation is believed to be the only item to have been stolen.

"If they had pushed over a rail with the costumes on that would have been it, we could never have laundered them all in time but they just turned the taps on," added Mr Nixon. "It's strange."

n Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Capel police station on 01473 613500.

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