Top secret at Spa

BOSSES at Felixstowe's seafront theatre are keeping mum about a hit show set to be staged at the venue – but promise it will be a sell-out.Details of the West End smash hit which is due to play the Spa Pavilion for one night only are top secret, but management at the theatre hope to be able to take the wraps off soon.

By Richard Cornwell

BOSSES at Felixstowe's seafront theatre are keeping mum about a hit show set to be staged at the venue – but promise it will be a sell-out.

Details of the West End smash hit which is due to play the Spa Pavilion for one night only are top secret, but management at the theatre hope to be able to take the wraps off soon.

All they will say at the moment is be patient – and theatregoers will be thrilled.

General manager Paul Ryan said the opportunity to stage the show had come about because the council-owned theatre is managed by Clear Channel Entertainment, previously SFX and before that Apollo.

Clear Channel is the world's leading producer and promoter of live entertainment and produces shows such as Chicago, Grease and the new West End version of The King and I.

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"In a landmark move, Clear Channel Entertainment will be staging a one night special performance of one of their new touring shows this autumn at the Spa

Pavilion as part of its national tour," said Mr Ryan.

"The show will be touring the country's premier venues, and other tour dates confirmed so far include the Regent Theatre, Stoke-On-Trent, the Opera House in Manchester, Liverpool Empire, Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, and the Grand Opera House in York.

"The show will running for a week or two in the major city venues, but as a special event for the people of Suffolk, Clear Channel will be staging the show for one night only at the Spa.

"While details of the show and cast can not be revealed for a few weeks, until contracts have been signed, the show will definitely be a sell out smash hit!

"This represents a breakthrough for the Spa Pavilion, and for Felixstowe, as it means that leading producers are starting to see the Spa as a venue capable of staging such major pieces."

The show – which could well feature a big star – will be the highlight of the 913-seater venue's autumn season.

Tourism chiefs at Suffolk Coastal council had hoped that the huge investments in the theatre over the past five years would start to pay off with bigger shows.

Refurbishment has included new toilets, new seating and redecoration to make it glitzier, new entrance from auditorium to bar, lift, improvements to the backstage facilities, electronic box office and other upgrades.

Clear Channel manages theatres across the country, including Hammersmith Apollo, Manchester Apollo, Scarborough Futurist and the Princess Theatre, Torquay, as well as hundreds of venues in the United States.

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