Am dram groups turn fashion models

THEY may be used to dressing for the part, but members of 16 amateur theatre groups will be putting on the style for a special show next week.The companies are joining forces with students from Deben High at Felixstowe to stage a fashion show with a dual purpose – to boost fundraising for the school's arts college status bid, and to launch the new winter seasons of shows.

THEY may be used to dressing for the part, but members of 16 amateur theatre groups will be putting on the style for a special show next week.

The companies are joining forces with students from Deben High at Felixstowe to stage a fashion show with a dual purpose - to boost fundraising for the school's arts college status bid, and to launch the new winter seasons of shows.

Models will take to the catwalk to present the very latest styles, while the audience will also enjoy youngsters from Deben performing All that Jazz, music from Deben Jazz Band, and comedy duo Laura Malloy and Bradley Hatterall.

The event is taking place at the Elizabeth Orwell Hotel, Hamilton Road, on Wednesday November 10 at 7pm and is being organised by ESTAA, the East Suffolk Theatre Amateur Awards.

Proceeds from the evening will go to Deben's application to become a Specialist School for the Arts - it needs to raise at least £50,000 to do this and so far has raised £48,000 and is planning to make its application in March.

Gaining the specialist status will generate extra cash for the school to be used not just in performing arts and other art-based subjects, but across the curriculum to benefit all the school's students.

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It will also enable a small theatre to be built at the school for use by the whole community, including the town's many theatre and dance groups.

Deben has chosen to go for arts status as it is an area in which it is already strong and is a holder of the Arts Mark Gold achievement award.

ESTAA chairman Jacqueline Cumiskey said everyone was very excited about the winter theatre season - which includes more than 25 shows in the area, such as Felixstowe Musical Theatre's Puss in Boots, Humpty Dumpty by Dennis Lowe Theatre Company, Trimley Saints Players' Dick Whittington, and Alice in Wonderland by the Co-op Juniors.

She said: "Since our inception there has been a great deal more interest in amateur theatre - the judging and annual awards ceremony has led to a greater standard within the amateur theatre groups.

"The knock-on effect being that the audience sees a much more professional show within the local community.

"Not only are we seeing an increase in audience numbers but more people going to see one or more winter productions.

"The amateur theatre members are all volunteers and deserve our support as they education and entertain us after months of rehearsal, sweat and tears."

Clothes at the fashion show will include items from Coes, Co-op, Etam, Games and Giggles, Pronuptia, Simply Splendid, Tammy Girl and Wahoo Clothing.

Tickets cost £5 each from reception at Deben High, Garrison Lane, or by ringing 01394 671119, or via web@estaa.co.uk

WEBLINK: www.estaa.co.uk

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