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Facelift for Felixstowe's FADOS

PUBLISHED: 17:03 03 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:50 03 March 2010

FELIXSTOWE'S oldest theatre group cannot wait for curtain up on its biggest performance yet – a £60,000 revamp of its headquarters.

FADOS has unveiled plans to give its rehearsal rooms a makeover to create a community theatre workshop, a lecture venue and open up the building for use by disabled groups wanting to be involved in the arts.

FELIXSTOWE'S oldest theatre group cannot wait for curtain up on its biggest performance yet – a £60,000 revamp of its headquarters.

FADOS has unveiled plans to give its rehearsal rooms a makeover to create a community theatre workshop, a lecture venue and open up the building for use by disabled groups wanting to be involved in the arts.

The group is applying to the National Lottery for a £45,000 grant and is aiming to raise £15,000 itself.

Felixstowe Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society began 55 years ago and is well-respected throughout Suffolk for the professional quality of its productions and the help it gives to aspiring writers and young actors and actresses.

It has rehearsal and storage premises at FADOS House, just off Walton High Street, while most of its shows are presented at the Spa Pavilion.

Treasurer David Wardle said plans had now been drawn up for the future of FADOS House and it was hoped to put in the lottery application either later this month or early June.

The project will involve:

n Installation of a heating system, rewire and re-roof the buiding

n Replace windows

n New floor with sprung wooden surface suitable for dance workshops

n Disabled access and toilet facilities

n Improve and upgrade other toilets

n Renovate car park, and improve scenery store and kitchen

n Buy lighting rig, portable staging and chairs

Mr Wardle said: "As a well-established local drama group, we are keen to expand in range and repertoire but cannot move forward unless our building is made fit for the purpose.

"We want the building to be fully used both by FADOS and by the community at large.

"We want to create a rehearsal space for youth work to enable us to enlarge the group in a greater spread of age and ability and so reach a wider section of the youth community.

"We also want to provide a venue for more frequent and innovative small-scale youth productions to encourage the disciplines of drama and channel their enthusiastic and creative energy."

The extra space would provide a place for drama workshops, lectures, and it was hoped groups for people with disabilities would use the venue.

It would also mean the town had more rehearsal space for other music, dance and drama groups, including newer groups like Brackenbury Players, UpFront , Dreamworks, Wellmade Theatre and Out on a Limb.

Mr Wardle said all sections of the community would benefit from the refurbished premises and it was hoped to encourage many older adults to also become involved with the shows.


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