Suffolk Oscars coming to town

DUST off your best frock and get that acceptance speech ready because Suffolk's own answer to the Oscars is on its way.It is time for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to spread its sparkle as theatre groups from all over the region compete for the East Suffolk Theatre Amateur Awards (ESTAA).

By Victoria Knowles

DUST off your best frock and get that acceptance speech ready because Suffolk's own answer to the Oscars is on its way.

It is time for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to spread its sparkle as theatre groups from all over the region compete for the East Suffolk Theatre Amateur Awards (ESTAA).

The awards were launched at Tower Ramparts and former Blue Peter presenter and patron of the ESTAAs, Peter Purves, was there to lend his support.

"I was asked to get involved and it seemed like a very good idea. It is something different and hopefully it will help raise awareness about amateur theatre in the area," said Peter.

Jacqueline Cumiskey, a director of the ESTAAs, said the idea was born when she was watching the Oscars on television.

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"I used to watch them and always thought that my ideal job would be to organise something like that. Then I looked around and realised we could do with something like that in our area and so I decided to organise it.

"I am quite excited about it and thrilled by the response we have had from local businesses. Hopefully it will be a really good event for the area and a chance to celebrate amateur theatre," she said.

The ESTAAs, which are being sponsored by Global Sound and Light in Ipswich, aims to publicise, promote and recognise the work of volunteers in the world of amateur theatre and will also raise money for six charities in the area.

Suffolk businesses have been asked to sponsor an award and the Evening Star will be jointly sponsoring the People's Choice award along with Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre.

The public will get a chance to place their own votes for one of the eight awards and on February 1 2003 in Tower Ramparts some of the groups nominated for awards will be performing.

There will also be a ballot box for people to post their votes and decide who gets to make that all important acceptance speech.

Sponsors of the event include The Evening Star, Theatre Train, Senn Heiser, Tower Ramparts, BT exact, and BT Brightstar.

The charities which will benefit from the ESTAAs will be Age Concern Suffolk, Disability Care Enterprise, Suffolk MIND, St Elizabeth Hospice, Victim Support and the Vicky Hall Memorial.

WEBLINK

www.estaa.co.uk

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