Mad March of top acts

MANIC March saw Ipswich audiences spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment.The town's theatres have been packed to the rafters as a series of big name and popular shows have been staged.

MANIC March saw Ipswich audiences spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment.

The town's theatres have been packed to the rafters as a series of big name and popular shows have been staged. Entertainment reporter HELEN JOHNS takes a look back at the stars who visited.

FROM musicals about Margaret Thatcher, to transvestites, classical ballet and stand-up comedy, there has been plenty taking to the stage in Ipswich this month.

March got underway with two very different shows being staged at the town's two biggest theatres, The Regent and New Wolsey.

At the Regent, the acclaimed Russian State Ballet of Siberia arrived to perform both The Nutcracker and Swan Lake to packed audiences.

At the New Wolsey, the life and times of Margaret Thatcher was staged as a comedy musical.

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Next up at the Regent, dance of a very different kind took to the stage when the touring musicals Rocky Horry Show and Footloose arrived in town.

A cult favourite, Rocky Horror draws in packed audiences around the country with it's story of transvestites and creepy castles and saw former Dad's Army and EastEnders star and Suffolk resident Ian Lavender make his Regent Theatre debut.

Footloose takes the audience to small town America and the show, which is a stage version of the 1984 film that starred Kevin Bacon, is a vibrant, colourful and energetic show fill of complex dance routines and well known songs.

At the New Wolsey, Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca made a return to Ipswich following his appearance in a sell out show by the Buena Vista Social Club at the Regent last year.

Music shows at the Regent this month have included concerts by Bryan Ferry and Russell Watson.

Watson has made a triumphant return to the stage this year after being forced to cancel his tour last year when it was discovered he had a brain tumour.

The singer, who is known as the 'people's tenor', underwent major surgery after the tumour was discovered but has now returned to performing and was welcomed to Ipswich by more than 1,700 fans for his sell-out concert.

Former Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry stopped off at the Regent as part of a nationwide tour that has seen him perform music from his latest album, Dylanesque, as well as music from his extensive back catalogue.

Comedy has also been in demand this month, with the Regent hosting appearances by Lenny Henry and Ricky Gervais and will see the arrival on Russell Brand on Sunday.

At the New Wolsey, a special Mother's Day edition of regular stand-up comedy night Mek Mi Laugh saw Richard Blackwood return to town.

What was your favourite show during March? Are you impressed with the acts who are coming to Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

……to come from Tracey by 2pm

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