Gallery: 100 years of Spa celebrated in style

HOW do you sum up what the Spa Pavilion Theatre in Felixstowe has offered countless audiences over the last 100 years? Well they managed it on Saturday.


HOW do you sum up what the Spa Pavilion Theatre in Felixstowe has offered countless audiences over the last 100 years? Well they managed it on Saturday.

Variety Show 100, which was produced to celebrate the theatre's centenary, gathered together the wealth of talent that we are fortunate enough to have here in the county - and my goodness haven't we got some gifted individuals.

Showcasing local theatre companies and performers, all of which are past and present users of the Spa, the evening took the packed house through various decades of theatrical genres in spectacular style.

Opening the show was Company of Four with their Music Hall set, which instantly lifted the spirits in the house with songs and audience interaction that the Spa is no stranger to. Including Neville Woolnough's hilarious rendition of Arthur Askey's Bee Song, the set did a highly commendable job of warming us all up for a cracking evening.

Gallery players followed, remembering the roaring twenties with a snapshot from their past production of Grand Hotel and a sneak preview of their forthcoming musical, Stephen Sondhiem's Follies, proving that they live up to their motto of “making theatre exciting”.

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Deben High School's superb Big Band Swing was next and their impressive musical and vocal ability demonstrated the extraordinary level of talent that's running through so many of the county's youngsters.

This was further supported by the Spa's own Summer Youth Project recreating a handful of catchy numbers from last year's production of Summer Holiday and The Co-Op Juniors knocking us out with their Pshycodelia set.

Felixstowe and Woodbridge Stagecoach filled the stage with their Abba Mania, which included some of the youngest members of the cast who presented one of my personal highlights of the evening.

We were treated to some wartime nostalgia from Stage Door Theatre Company's sell-out show When the Lights Go On Again, which they'll be presenting again at the Spa a little later this year. This was a ten minute slot which was packed with great songs, wonderful voices and a lot of laughs.

Dennis Lowe Theatre Company did what they do best by giving us an eyeful and earful of some of the highlights from the 80s. Raising the energy levels with dazzling song and dance numbers from The Wedding Singer and Dirty Dancing.

Next was the streetdance troupe from Suzanne Lowe's Streetwise Inc dance studios, who knocked the energy level a notch higher with their funky and high octane tribute to the late king of pop, Michael Jackson.

With some side-splitting interludes from the irrepressible Phil Corey and Mike Henderson, the celebration was closed with a final set from the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society, fresh from their recent musical The Producers. Their selection of songs from Musicals of the New Millennium lived up to their impressive reputation and took us to the finale featuring the entire cast.

The whole show was kept on track by compere and local BBC broadcaster Luke Deal whose warm and affable personality topped off an evening of outstanding entertainment.

Roll on the next 100 years!