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Children flock to test Seagull's studio

PUBLISHED: 16:32 19 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:19 05 July 2010

THE Seagull Theatre, at Pakefield, which was saved from closure following a public campaign, is fulfilling its role as a community arts centre for the Lowestoft area.

THE Seagull Theatre, at Pakefield, which was saved from closure following a public campaign, is fulfilling its role as a community arts centre for the Lowestoft area.

It is being used by a wide section of the community both during the day and at evenings and weekends.

From Monday pupils from Lowestoft's Purple Academy for Performing Arts, or PAPA as it is affectionately known, have been able to have their lessons in a proper dance studio within the Seagull.

Sarah Jessup, company director is really excited about the move as for the past 17 years that she has been teaching dance in Lowestoft she has always had to rely on using rooms within schools that are not purpose made for dance.

“The move to the Seagull gives us a more permanent base and a purpose built studio,” she said.

PAPA has two different but complimentary sides, a fun modern dance and theatre skills side that concentrates on learning new skills without the pressure of exams along with the opportunity to perform and a ballet and tap side offering ISTD exams and the opportunity to perform.

“Pupils can take lessons across both sides or on just one,” said Ms Jessup.

All of PAPA's current lessons south of the bridge are moving to the Seagull on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays with the north Lowestoft lessons remaining at the Benjamin Britten High School, on a Thursday.

Along with Sarah other teachers on the PAPA teaching team include Angela Freakley, ballet and tap, and Claire Haylock and Jenni Cook, modern dance.

The academy will shortly start preparing for their Easter Review which they hope to stage at the Seagull.

Telephone Sarah Jessup on 01502 587786 for further details of cost and timetable.

Other organisations that regularly use the Seagull include Whitton Life, Street Level Media and Eye TV.

The Great Yarmouth and Waveney Primary Care Trust also use the Seagull theatre for training and counselling sessions.

Drama companies using the theatre include the Lowestoft Players, Quaysiders and the Eastern Angles.

The Eastern Angles, who tour all over eastern England, will next be at the Seagull on Tuesday, October 7, with a co-production with Tiata Fahodzi showing African dramas In Time and Walking Waterfall.

The Seagull is also being booked for children's clubs and wedding receptions as once again it becomes a focal point for the Lowestoft community.

Those interested in hiring the complex can contact Lowestoft Enterprise on 01502 580909.

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