Juniors bring festive glow

THERE is something profoundly comforting about the Juniors' Christmas shows since they decamped from the Regent to the Maltings a few years ago.However bad things are outside, once you get inside the hall everything is full of festive spirit and fills you with a warm glow.

THERE is something profoundly comforting about the Juniors' Christmas shows since they decamped from the Regent to the Maltings a few years ago.

However bad things are outside, once you get inside the hall everything is full of festive spirit and fills you with a warm glow.

This year it gives the audience the opportunity to forget about all the economic worries outside - at least for two hours and five minutes!

The show, as ever, is unashamedly old fashioned. It is the kind of Christmas show that used to fill the TV schedules 35 years ago - all it really lacks is Val Doonican in his armchair!

But while it might be very traditional, that is no criticism. Old fashioned entertainment, when done well and with affection can be an uplifting experience.

And this is done very well with a great deal of affection so it works splendidly.

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The spectacular gives a huge cast the opportunity to show off their great talent - from the youngest members of the Junior Singers to experienced singers like Julie Locke.

There is a good mixture of Christmas numbers like Merry Christmas Everyone and Jingle Bell Rock through to routines which could be performed at any time such as the Stars and Stripes segment and - my particular favourite - the Country Hoedown.

The band is kept very busy throughout and the set has been designed with a chain screen allowing the musicians to be seen by the audience when the lighting is trained on them.

What must also be remembered is the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes - we might delight in the performances on stage but they would be nowhere near as memorable without the striking set, the superb lighting and the wonderful costumes.

And what a lot of costumes there are! Youngsters changed several times during the show. The dressing rooms must have been a frenzy throughout!

It's a wonderful show, a wonderful night out - well worth the drive out from Ipswich on a cold night.

Paul Geater.

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