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People power keeps orchestra in town

PUBLISHED: 20:08 18 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:55 05 July 2010

THE sounds of one of the world's most famous orchestras are set to continue to be heard in Lowestoft next year thanks to the support of locals.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has extended its prestigious link with the town's Marina Theatre for an historic fifth year, meaning victory for The Journal's campaign as east coast audiences will be entertained once more in 2009.

THE sounds of one of the world's most famous orchestras are set to continue to be heard in Lowestoft next year thanks to the support of locals.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has extended its prestigious link with the town's Marina Theatre for an historic fifth year, meaning victory for The Journal's campaign as east coast audiences will be entertained once more in 2009.

Ever since The Journal launched a “use it or lose it” campaign on the people of Waveney in February this year, encouraging them to Keep the RPO in Town by turning out to support the 2008 series, the great response has led to the continuation of the prized residency.

As first revealed in last week's Journal, theatre bosses announced the extension at Friday's sell-out summer concert.

Dubbed as the “Jewel in the district's crown”, the link - which was due to come to the end of a successful four year association in December - will now continue with another series in 2009 as the RPO return to Lowestoft for one of only three residencies outside of London.

Managing director of the RPO, Ian Maclay said: “I wish to thank the theatre management, local authority and in particular the residents of Waveney who have shown a great interest in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's concert series. We are delighted to be able to extend our residency at the Marina Theatre for a further year.”

Theatre manager Martin Halliday added: “It is tremendous news that the RPO have agreed to extend their association with us, it was a huge gamble for both the venue and the orchestra to take and I am delighted it has proved such a great success.

“To have the world's top orchestra resident in our town has already seen capacity audiences and tickets for the current season are in great demand. Since the residency began we have gone on to secure a huge array of top artistes, events and productions and this is a direct result of our link with the RPO,” he added.

Waveney district councillor, Stephen Ardley, whose portfolio includes the Marina, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that the association is to be extended even further beyond the initial three years.

“Since the link began our Marina Theatre has become one of the leading civic venues in the UK with a programme of artistes and events that would not be out of place in any major city - I would go as far to say that the venue has a better mix of entertainment than any venue in the region and provides a much needed boost not only to tourism and the local economy, but the entire cultural well being of the district.”

Programmes for the 2009 series will be announced in September. Tickets for the remaining two concerts in the current series, which are due to take place on September 19 and December 14, are available from the box office by calling 01502 533200.

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