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  • Writer's pictureThe Lowestoft Players

Multiple reasons to celebrate

Members of The Lowestoft Players have multiple reasons to celebrate following the success of our first ever pantomime staged at our own Theatre.

Pantomime success

It was a slight risk performing a pantomime in May but last month the Lowestoft Players’ production of Beauty and the Beast – a pantomime fit for the platinum jubilee was performed to a seventy five percent capacity audience.

The panto was originally due to be staged in January 2022 at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft but it had to be rescheduled due to Covid. Unfortunately the Marina Theatre was unable to accommodate us at a later date during the year due to their busy programme, so the choice had to be made of staging the panto at our Theatre, the Players Theatre, or postponing until January 2023.

It was decided that the colourful musical and dance pantomime extravaganza couldn’t wait and the decision was made to go ahead in May. What a great decision this was as the panto received a great reaction and high praise from the audience who didn’t seem to mind at all that it was performed slightly out of season. The audience didn’t disappoint either when it came to participating raising the roof with their shouts of “He’s behind you!”

“We think it is fair to say that everyone had a wonderful time – the audience and the cast” said Sally Jermyn, front of house volunteer at the Players Theatre.

A scene from the highly praised Lowestoft Players’ spring pantomime, Beauty and the Beast – a pantomime fit for the platinum Jubilee. Credit: Nicholas Garrod

Panto raffle raises funds for development

Prizes were donated by members of the Lowestoft Players for a panto jubilee raffle. So many prizes were donated that there were enough to hold a draw at each of the 11 performances.

“Sincere thanks to everyone who donated and bought tickets” said Stephanie Garrod, raffle organiser. “Through people’s generosity we raised an amazing £610. This has been deposited in the Theatre Development Fund and I’m sure that the money will soon be put to very good use.”

Pops (Stephen Wilson) and Dame Julie Jubilee (Jimmy Atkin) from the Lowestoft Players’ spring pantomime helping to sell raffle tickets to raise funds for the Players Theatre. Credit: Sally Jermyn

Noda Award

The National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) East have recognised our efforts during the Covid 19 pandemic by giving a special Covid Warriors award for our 2020 online production of a Very Merry Little Christmas Spectacular.

As we were unable to stage any shows during the pandemic, to keep spirits high and to raise funds for the society, a free to watch on line production was recorded. The show was filmed around various landmarks of Lowestoft with choir members singing and recording themselves at home.

The film featured festive song, dance and comedy sketches. On location scenes were recorded by friends and members of the Lowestoft Players Andrew Groom and Ryan Takman. The pair also edited the film.

“We had great fun recording” said Ryan Takman “Even though there was a biting easterly wind on the coast in November 2020. Editing took hours and hours as we had to precisely synchronise multiple recordings which had been provided by others. The result was well worth it though.”

A comedy sketch from the Lowestoft Players’ on line production A Very Merry Little Christmas spectacular featuring the four old ladies from Lowestoft – Hilda (Stephen Clark), Ada (Stephen Wilson) Cissie (Gerald Wilson) and Nellie (Nick Garrod). The production has received a special award from NODA East. Credit: Ryan Takman

Re Light My Frontage

Much to everyone’s delight planning permission has been granted for an external lighting and signage scheme to improve the frontage of our Theatre, the Players Theatre.

“This really is fantastic news” said the newly appointed Chair of The Lowestoft Players Nick Garrod. “Not only will the illuminations greatly enhance the look of the building, the scheme will show the people of Lowestoft, and others passing by, that our building is a credible Theatre and we are serious about making live entertainment easily accessible to the local community.

“Whilst the Theatre is not being used by The Lowestoft Players we have a great range of incoming acts.

“Sadly, it's unlikely that the scheme will come to fruition just yet as the cost is currently prohibitive. We are very much hoping that grants will become available to help with the cost” added Mr Garrod. “We are a self-funding charitable organisation. We are keeping everything crossed!”

With a nod to our previous fundraising appeal for a new heating and ventilation system at the Players Theatre, aptly named ‘ReLight My Fire’ the new scheme has been given the nickname ‘ReLight My Frontage!’

The next production from us will be Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical, based on the 1980s film of the same name. It will be staged at the Players Theatre in October. Tickets for this and all incoming acts are available from the Players Theatre website or by contacting the Box Office on 01502 770020.

Nick Garrod, incoming Chair with Jenny Wright, outgoing Chair of the Lowestoft Players, showing the design for the new ‘Relight My Frontage’ scheme for the Players Theatre, Lowestoft. Nick is holding the image for the scheme as it will look by day, and Jenny the scheme as it will look during the evening. Credit: Martin Wilson


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