Fancy seeing Aladdin at the Felixstowe Spa Pavilion? Your wish is Dennis Lowe Theatre Company’s command
- Credit: Archant
It wouldn’t be Christmas at Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion without the Dennis Lowe Theatre Company. Suzie Lowe talks about the show, her new daughter’s stage debut and carrying on her father’s legacy.
Only a few days until curtain up...
Yeah... I absolutely love it. This will be the third year we’re back (at Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion). It’s gone really quickly. We’re already planning for next year. It’s still home from home and still one of my favourite places ever.
How have rehearsals gone...
They’re gone ever so well, amazing. Obviously having my babe (nine-month old daughter Mila) there about 80% of the time I have to think quicker and work faster to get things done. I just have to be a little bit more on the ball.
She’s almost walking. She’s on her feet so you never know, next couple of weeks she might let go as well which will be nice. It’s funny because when I was a baby, a couple of months older then Mila, my dad (Dennis Lowe) did Aladdin at the Spa and made me costumes. I had a pair of ballet shoes made because at the time you couldn’t buy them small enough. We have those, so if she goes on she’ll be wearing my costumes from when I was a baby and my ballet shoes. If she’s not walking I’ll carry her on just so she gets to wear them. It wasn’t until we got into it that we suddenly went “hold on a minute, the timing of this is hilarious”.
You’re hands on with shows, how many hats are you wearing this time...
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Every single hat you can possibly imagine. I revised the script, chose the songs, directed and choreographed the show and then I’m also in it - I’m not sure if I’m pushing myself too much (laughs). It’s an ensemble part. I’m a dancer this year so if I need to be with my babe at any time it’s not the end of the world if I don’t quite make it on.
Has becoming a mother helped you find an ever higher gear multi-tasking wise...
Absolutely, she’s quite full on in that she’s very forward for a nine-month-old but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I feel like I could take on the world right now (laughs).
Tell me about Aladdin...
There’s lots of audience participation, which is one of my favourite things about panto; the audience’s reaction and all of that. We’ve got really strong and beautiful songs and fabulous dancing. We’ve got some lovely fairytale bits, a magic carpet ride and then there’s something that happens in the cave scene, a little surprise.
We’d done Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk and I love Aladdin, it’s one of my favourites, everything’s so glitzy and pretty and you know magical so I thought it’s about time.
Audiences are happy to see the Dennis Lowe Theatre Company back at the Spa each year since it reopened...
It’s unbelievable how well the show does over the Christmas period and I’m really thankful for everyone that comes... it’s them that keeps us going because obviously it costs a lot to put on a show, of this scale anyway and for this amount of time.
Next year’s panto is Sleeping Beauty written and directed by you...
It’s already on sale. We’re going to do a completely new script, not one of my dad’s revised scripts. He wrote the script once before and he didn’t like it so it was never used. I’m going to completely re-write the story and do a completely new show I’ve never done before.
There will always be aspects of him there, 100%, but yeah it’s very exciting. I’ve got a year to do it (laughs). With my dad’s scripts there’s always been his base there and I’ve maybe changed a scene, updated it to make it more current; written one new scene. Writing a whole new script is a completely different ball game. I’m just going with a blank lap-top screen and my thoughts.
What didn’t your dad like about his script...
He just wasn’t happy with what he wrote. He always felt other pantos were stronger. He always spoke about re-writing it and it never quite happened so I think it’s about time I did something about that. It’s a big story nowadays, a lot of theatres do Sleeping Beauty panto; it’s a quite big one to do. My dad was very good at it, he found it very easy.
• Aladdin, by the Dennis Lowe Theatre Company, runs from December 23-January 7, at Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion. Take a magical carpet ride as Aladdin’s dreams of marrying Princess Jasmine are scuppered by the wicked magician Abanazar who has tricked him into finding a hidden magic lamp. Our young hero will need your help if he’s going to win fame, fortune and the girl. Review online Saturday night.