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Players set to reach symbolic 50th panto milestone

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:03 10 January 2018

Polly Woodward will be in the lead role as The Lowestoft Players mark their 50th anniversary with nine performances of Cinderella. Picture: The Lowestoft Players

Polly Woodward will be in the lead role as The Lowestoft Players mark their 50th anniversary with nine performances of Cinderella. Picture: The Lowestoft Players

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Dance routines are being tweaked and vocals fine-tuned as the Lowestoft Players prepare for the curtain to go up on their 50th anniversary pantomime.

Craig Loxton is set to play the role of the handsome prince. Picture: The Lowestoft PlayersCraig Loxton is set to play the role of the handsome prince. Picture: The Lowestoft Players

With just a couple of weeks of rehearsals remaining, audiences will be treated to nine performances of Cinderella at the Marina Theatre from Saturday, January 20 until Sunday, January 28.

The Players have been providing an array of theatrical entertainment ever since their formation in 1967, performing at various venues in Lowestoft including the Sparrow’s Nest, Fisherman’s Bethel and the Marina.

The pantomime will see Howie Foster play the wicked stepmother, Baroness Hardup, while James Aitkin - Baron Hardup - just wants the best for his daughter. Picture: The Lowestoft PlayersThe pantomime will see Howie Foster play the wicked stepmother, Baroness Hardup, while James Aitkin - Baron Hardup - just wants the best for his daughter. Picture: The Lowestoft Players

Cinderella was, rather symbolically, the company’s very first pantomime at both the Nest and the Marina, meaning their choice of production to celebrate five historic decades is no coincidence.

Players chairman Stephen Wilson looks back on a glittering 50 years with great fondness and is euphoric about the group’s ability to make unrelenting progress over the years.

Lewis Caplin and Lawrie Groom will be doing their best to make Cinderella's life a misery as her ugly stepsisters. Picture: The Lowestoft PlayersLewis Caplin and Lawrie Groom will be doing their best to make Cinderella's life a misery as her ugly stepsisters. Picture: The Lowestoft Players

“Having been a member of the Players for almost 45 years, I’m really proud of the organisation that we’ve become,” said Mr Wilson.

“When I think of our starting point - when we were a small but positive and striving group - we really have made some incredible progress to become the society that we are today.”

John Marjoram will be appearing as the lovable Buttons for the third time. Picture: The Lowestoft PlayersJohn Marjoram will be appearing as the lovable Buttons for the third time. Picture: The Lowestoft Players

This year’s version of the classic tale will see Polly Woodward play Cinderella, who longs to one day meet a handsome prince (Craig Loxton). Perhaps her Fairy Godmother (Judi Mars) can help make her dreams come true.

Lawrie Groom and Lewis Caplin - as Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters - will be doing their best to make her life a misery alongside Howie Foster as the wicked stepmother, Baroness Hardup.

Baron Hardup, played by James Atkin, just wants his daughter Cinderella to be happy, while John Marjoram will be reviving his role as the lovable Buttons.

“Pantomime has been our bread and butter over the years; it’s those funds that keep us moving and the style of our pantos has grown from strength to strength,” added Mr Wilson.

“In this year’s panto there will be lots of ‘Playerisms’ for our supporters to look out for, and plenty of old favourites.”

For the list of performances and ticket bookings, visit the Marina Theatre website or call the box office on 01502 533200. For larger parties, call 01502 770020.

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