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Sounds like some luscious numbers

PUBLISHED: 13:22 12 October 2001 | UPDATED: 15:18 03 March 2010

Sounds Familiar, Ipswich Operatic Society at Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe until Saturday.



WHAT a good idea, they thought, back in 1979 - autumn revue, songs from shows, keep our hand in for the big spring thing, give the up-and-comings some stage experience, please our audiences.

Sounds Familiar, Ipswich Operatic Society at Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe until Saturday.

WHAT a good idea, they thought, back in 1979 - autumn revue, songs from shows, keep our hand in for the big spring thing, give the up-and-comings some stage experience, please our audiences.

It was a good idea, a smashing one, and the 21st Sounds Familiar, like all its predecessors, is mightily pleasing to its audience.

The glamorous, shimmering, sophisticated opener in a glitter of scarlet and silver is just gorgeous and in we dive for a huge helping of luscious numbers. It is a beautifully dressed and staged affair.

Familiar faces are welcomed by the regulars, none so much as the knobbly-knee policemen, the society's famous men-in-tights act. One familiar face much missed is regular compere John White, currently on the sick list, but coming off the substitutes bench is genial Alan Humphrey, usually MD and now conducting himself charmingly through the role of host.

The programme covers an immense range of styles, and the very best numbers are towering peaks of delight, notably Jane Bowen and the men in Paul Simon-derived African sounds and rhythm, and Suffolk's own Streisand, Stephanie Malton, with her Parade stunners.

An Irish collection, exquisitely done, features David Hockley and Tracy Wilkinson, and the subsequent send-up celebrating one Michael Flatfeet is a joy.

A funny, clever, WI ditty is beautifully targeted by Margaret Mudd, Bridget Jackaman and Angela Rankin, and Roger Jackaman, Michael Jewell, Jonathan Mudd and Peter Page are among the stars who reveal why the reputation of Ipswich Operatic Society is sky-high.

Their talent and work have reaped their reward – in the months ahead the company will bring both Evita and Copacabana to Ipswich – premieres awarded to only the very best among amateurs. This week's show is evidence that those top shows are going to be very special indeed.

Carol Carver

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