Eastern Angles to bring some Christmas magic to the summer

Richard Mainwaring, Violet Patton-Ryder, Matt Joplin, Geri Allen , in rehearsal for the Eastern Angl

Richard Mainwaring, Violet Patton-Ryder, Matt Joplin, Geri Allen , in rehearsal for a previous Eastern Angles Christmas show Stoat Hall written by Julian Harries and Pat Whymark. Last year's postponed show is being resurrected as a slice of summer silliness - Credit: Mike Kwasniak

Eastern Angles is bringing some much needed laughter and what would have been seasonal cheer to its newly reopened and refurbished theatre in June – thanks to the inspired invention of writer/actor Julian Harries.

Julian, for many years the ‘architect’ of the Eastern Angles Christmas show, has adapted what would have been last year’s extravaganza into a summer sleuthing caper entitled ‘Sam Snape and the Curse of the Chillesford Chough.’

Written by Julian Harries and directed by Eastern Angles artistic director Ivan Cutting, Sam Snape is a tribute to those trilby hat wearing 1940s detectives brought to life by Humphrey Bogart in films like The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep as well as the novels of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett‎.

Julian Harries in Common Ground's latest farce A Sidecar Named Despair Photo: Mike Kwasniak

Julian Harries in rehearsal for a previous show. His latest production Sam Snape will open the newly refurbished Eastern Angles theatre in June - Credit: Mike Kwasniak

In Julian’s world Sam Spade becomes Sam Snape – a cross between a cynical gumshoe and a rather adventurous Father Brown.

Julian explains: “Sam Snape, is a local vicar who’s also a private investigator and part time Wall of Death rider. He finds himself in the middle of an adventure that will take you across the wilds of Suffolk.

"Does our eponymous hero have enough time to solve the mystery of the exploding sheep, take down a posse of local hoodlums, break the dreaded curse and get back to the vicarage for tea and cake? Only time will tell.”

He said that the show will combine the golden age of Hollywood with Suffolk’s own rich history and its deep reservoir of myths and legends. 

“Sam Snape and the Curse of the Chillesford Chough will take the spirit of the Christmas show and turn itself into an off-the-wall summer treat with the daft comedy that people love as well as some great original live music that will help people put the last year and a half behind them.”

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Director Ivan Cutting added that the expanded and refurbished theatre building that been given a new lay-out to make the live theatre experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

He said: “The raked seating is gone (for now) and in its place are cabaret style tables bookable in groups of 2, 3, 4 or 6. Drinks and ice-creams will be available to pre-order and delivered to your table, there’s extra ventilation, a reduced capacity and, of course, plenty of hand sanitiser.

"Plus, the brand-new Eastern Angles Centre provides a one-way-system in and out, giving everyone plenty of room to socially distance.”

Last year's postponed Christmas show Sam Snape and the Chillesford Chough becomes a daft summer show for Eastvern Angles

Last year's postponed Christmas show Sam Snape and the Chillesford Chough becomes a daft summer show for Eastvern Angles - Credit: Eastern Angles

In addition to the live performances the show will also be available online as a live stream.

The four camera set-up has been designed to put the virtual audience as close to the action as the people sitting at the tables will be. The cast will also be wearing mics, so the dialogue will be crystal clear.

Ivan is also promising some behind-the-scenes bonus footage too to keep viewers entertained at home before curtain up.

He said: “It’s wonderful to be re-inventing our Christmas show for June. But, with our new buildings and funding we now have outside spaces, walkways, and a new configuration to make people feel safe.

"But even more exciting is our four cameras, simple to access digital streaming and fantastic crew to make the experience at home just as good as being there  – and you won’t get picked on by the cast.”

The show runs from Thursday June 10 to Saturday June 19. Tickets start from £10 and are on sale to friends and members from Monday May 10 with general booking opening on Monday May 17. All live performances will take place at the Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich with online live-streaming tickets available for audience members who wish to watch from home. Tickets can be booked online.

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