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Help needed to save children's theatre

PUBLISHED: 16:08 25 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:23 03 March 2010

A WELL-established Suffolk children's theatre company could be under threat unless a new artistic director can be found.

A WELL-established Suffolk children's theatre company could be under threat unless a new artistic director can be found.

The Shoebox Theatre Company in Martlesham has been giving talented youngsters the chance to take to the stage for 18 years.

But this year the annual show did not go on because an artistic director was not available.

Originally called Cabaret Youth, the name was changed when Evening Star theatre critic Carol Carver described the place where the shows were held as a shoebox.

Since it began several youngsters have gone on to bigger things.

Jon Courtenay, a former star of the Shoebox stage, is now an entertainer on the QE2 and has made a CD.

Others have gone on to the famous Yehudi Menuhin School of Music in Surrey.

Now committee members have said they will give it a go to see if they can get the venture back to its former glory.

In past years the shows have been so popular that around 20 or 30 children have been involved.

Committee member Lynn Lodge said: "In the past we have had major productions. The pavilion on The Square has turned into a proper theatre with a stage, and lighting and curtains.

"It is quite a feat to get it all in one room."

Mrs Lodge, who has three children who have been involved in productions, said: "It would be a shame if it had to close.

"There are so many children in such a wide age range from about eight to fifteen who can learn a lot of skills."

Paul Firman, president of the company, who set it up, said: "We need someone with a large amount of time to spare as it is a mammoth task.''

Anyone who can help out and who has some relevant experience should call Lynn Lodge on 01473 625477 or Elaine Ainsworth on 630247.

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