Familiar sight to return to theatre

AFTER two years away, one of Suffolk's longest-running shows is set to return to the stage this autumn.

AFTER two years away, one of Suffolk's longest-running shows is set to return to the stage this autumn.

Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society's award-winning Sounds Familiar was one of the most popular staples of the Spa Pavilion's programme - eagerly anticipated by its dedicated followers.

But the last performance was in 2005 - which was the group's 50th anniversary performance - and now after a break it is returning to the Felixstowe seafront theatre due to popular demand.

Sounds Familiar was born in 1979, when local thespians, John White and his wife Pam had an idea of presenting an annual review show.

With small beginnings in village halls and schools - where the cast had to change in bakers vans and classrooms - the show grew in popularity, moving to larger venues every few years until it reached the Spa.

The show has three times won the NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) Eastern Award - in 2001, 2003 and 2004.

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This year's show runs from October 8 to 11 and will feature a great selection of songs old and new.

“This year will continue the tradition of a glitzy, variety show - a song and dance spectacular,” said a Spa Pavilion spokeswoman.

“Some of the pleasures to look forward to include, music from Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter, plenty of big chorus dance numbers, stand and sing.

“Fantastic costumes, and keeping with tradition, Sounds Familiar would not be complete without the famous policemen.

“And this year is no exception - there will be plenty more delights from the 'men in tights'.”

The production team this year will include Margaret Mudd, Mary Meredith, Simon Bowen and Mike Wren.

Mr Bowen and Mr Wren also directed the Ipswich Operatic's spring production - the acclaimed Singin' in the Rain at the Regent Theatre in Ipswich.

For further details on the show and availability of tickets people should call the Spa box office on 01394 282126.

What shows would you like to see revived? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk