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Save Our Seagull - a year on

PUBLISHED: 15:09 08 February 2008 | UPDATED: 19:41 05 July 2010

IT is hard to imagine just how much progress has been made in saving a much-loved community theatre during the past 12 months.

On February 9 last year the Journal reported how organisers of the Save Our Seagull campaign were overwhelmed when more than 300 people turned out at a meeting to gauge support.

IT is hard to imagine just how much progress has been made in saving a much-loved community theatre during the past 12 months.

On February 9 last year the Journal reported how organisers of the Save Our Seagull campaign were overwhelmed when more than 300 people turned out at a meeting to gauge support.

A £10,000 fighting fund was needed to help to reopen the theatre in Pakefield and it was announced that Dame Judi Dench had agreed to be the organisation's patron.

Since then through the hard work of volunteers and keen supporters the theatre has gone from strength to strength.

Its first season of productions, First Flight, was a huge success last autumn and contained a wide selection of productions including concerts, dance shows and plays.

Takings at the box office were £1,800 and the vast majority of productions performed to near full houses.

One of the people behind the success of the theatre's return to the local art scene was John Hales who worked tirelessly as a performer, producer and behind the scenes.

Mr Hales was modest about his own involvement but wanted to praise the support of the community in Pakefield and Lowestoft and surrounding areas.

“It would have been a lot easier for people to say 'no' when I approached them for help but in nearly every case the answer was 'yes',” he said.

Supporters of the Seagull Theatre are not resting on their laurels, however, and recognise that more hard work lies ahead.

Attracting finance and sponsorship for the arts is never an easy task and supporters will always welcome offers of help from businesses and individuals.

Journal editor Russell Cook is a member of the theatre's advisory group and anyone who would like to support the Seagull Theatre can contact him on 01502 525831 or e-mail russell.cook@archant.co.uk

Meanwhile, the Seagull Theatre Club is holding an open evening of drama activities on Tuesday, February 19.

Members and non-members are welcome to attend the evening at the Marquis of Lorne, Carlton Road at 7.30pm.

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