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Memories set to flood back for actors

PUBLISHED: 02:03 11 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010

MEMORIES are set to come flooding back to members of an amateur dramatics group who are performing a play they last produced 19 years ago.

The Debenham Players have come full circle with their production of the colourful musical, The Paper Town Paperchase, by childrens' author, David Wood, which opens today.

MEMORIES are set to come flooding back to members of an amateur dramatics group who are performing a play they last produced 19 years ago.

The Debenham Players have come full circle with their production of the colourful musical, The Paper Town Paperchase, by childrens' author, David Wood, which opens today.

For director Jean Buckle, it will bring back happy memories of her first experiences of the am dram group she joined on arriving in Suffolk from her home in the north of England.

"I remember turning the pages of music then," said Mrs Buckle, who promises the production will be "for children of all ages".

She said: "It was remembered so fondly that we decided to revive it instead of doing the usual pantomime, and go for it again."

With the stage laid out like a gigantic desk, the biggest purpose-built waste paper basket in Suffolk, a forest of ultra violet paper clips and a giant pair of scissors form just some of the outlandish props for the fantasy tale about a town made out of paper which is condemned to burn at the hands of a fire-breathing dragon.

Except the dragon has run out of puff "and turns out to be a nice sort of dragon really," said Mrs Buckle.

Actor Conrad Lord, who plays the dragon, also starred in the original production (although he played a different part) and it was actually seen by his fellow cast member, medical secretary, Saffron Barnes, who was just four-years-old at the time.

"The one thing that sticks out is the salamander dragon," said Saffron, who plays Carbon in this production.

"It was massive back then and it was awe-inspiring because I was very little."

Audience participation is promised to be a feature of this production, which comes complete with songs and routines, backed by a five-piece orchestra.

The play continues until Sunday at the Debenham Leisure Centre. Tickets, from £4, are available from Debenham Post Office. Performances start at 7.30pm and there is a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.

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