Follies enjoy diamond day

ONE of Ipswich's oldest amateur theatre groups, The Springfield Follies has celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a reunion party.Lisa Richardson, spokeswoman for the group, said: “Old and new members attended and swapped stories of old pantomimes and variety Shows, as well as the characters that have graced the Follies stage over the years.

ONE of Ipswich's oldest amateur theatre groups, The Springfield Follies has celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a reunion party.

Lisa Richardson, spokeswoman for the group, said: “Old and new members attended and swapped stories of old pantomimes and variety Shows, as well as the characters that have graced the Follies stage over the years.

“There was also a slide show of photographs covering shows the Springfield Follies have put on in the past 60 years.”

The Springfield Follies started as a concert party at Springfield Junior School in 1948, to raise funds for the school.


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Miss Richardson added: “It was founded by members of the Parents' and Teachers' Association, most notably Bert Taylor and Bob Sharman, along with the school's headmaster, Mr Leslie Stow, who had a great enthusiasm for drama.

“Shows and pantomimes were performed at the school for many years, involving parents and local people.

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“With a popular following across Ipswich, the Follies started to outgrow Springfield, and by the late 1960s were invited to perform at the new Copleston, Chantry, and Westbourne High Schools.”

Today the group performs its pantomimes at Kesgrave Community Centre.

Miss Richardson added: “Some of the current members have been with the group for over 40 years or more, providing a blend of experience and new ideas. What has also been constant throughout the life of the Springfield Follies is its friendliness and members feeling that it is like belonging to a big family.”

Are you a member of the Springfield Follies? What does the theatre group mean to you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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