It's a diamond year for Follies

IPSWICH theatre group the Springfield Follies is to celebrate their 60th year of performing with a production of Pinocchio.This year the group will be performing the pantomime at the Kesgrave Community Centre, from January 26.

IPSWICH theatre group the Springfield Follies is to celebrate their 60th year of performing with a production of Pinocchio.

This year the group will be performing the pantomime at the Kesgrave Community Centre, from January 26.

Springfield Follies chairman David Cranwell said: “The script, written by Doreen Moger, is a wonderful version of this favourite children's tale, in which Geppetto, the Woodcarver, longs for a son.

“The Star Fairy will grant his wish on condition that his puppet, Pinocchio, proves to be worthy and good. However, Evil Nicky is determined that this should not happen.

“Adventures take the audience to Stromboli's circus, to meet clowns, Macaroni and Spaghetti, and on to, and into, the sea and inside a whale. Finally Guardian Conscience, Jimminy Cricket, guides everyone to a happy ending.”

The pantomime is produced and directed by Ian Daniels and Tim Naish.

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

“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. 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.”

Now performing regularly at Kesgrave Community Centre, the group's pantomime and a variety show, held in May, raise money to support charities.

Tickets are £6 for adults, £4 for children and £17 for a family ticket and are available from Julie Daniels on 01473 819051.

Have you been a member of Springfield Follies? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Springfield Follies website