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Seagull continues to soar in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 09:35 27 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:38 05 July 2010

A THEATRE saved from permanent closure by a major fundraising campaign is celebrating the dawn of a new era by appointing a manager.

The Seagull Theatre at Pakefield will now be run by entrepreneur John Hales, who plans to return it to the successful days of yesteryear, while improving and expanding its use.

A THEATRE saved from permanent closure by a major fundraising campaign is celebrating the dawn of a new era by appointing a manager.

The Seagull Theatre at Pakefield will now be run by entrepreneur John Hales, who plans to return it to the successful days of yesteryear, while improving and expanding its use.

Mr Hales is busy planning the full season ahead, together with fundraising events, and is keen to hear from volunteers to help him behind the bar, backstage or in its organisation.

A key aim is to help fill the gap left by the closure of The Brewery in Oulton Broad, which gave a plat-form to local bands and singers to promote themselves. His plan is to hold an acoustic night once a month, as well as a gig. Mr Hales has already booked a hip-hop night for April 3 and an improvised comedy night on March 18. And he has secured a full programme of classes and activities, starting on Monday, March 9.

Workshops will be offered at the Seagull by the likes of the Purple Academy of Performing Arts, Star EFX, Jordan Ayers Dance and the Seagull Silver Surfers.

Mr Hales also plans to start the theatre's own classes, including stage combat classes with Andy Wishes, adult acting courses with Agnes Lillis and The Bill star Tony Scannell and pre-school music classes with Lisa Amer. Street dancing also features on a Sunday after-noon, alongside contemporary dance and mime classes for children and adults on Tuesdays.

The Tempo School of Dance is introducing Strictly Seagull, by presenting ballroom and Latin American dancing on a Friday afternoon, and the Lateral Artistes, a drama group from Kirkley High School, will continue to occupy the theatre on a Thursday from 4pm.

The theatre this week saw the premiere of the new Eastern Angles production, Return to Akenfield.

Amongst the many other events booked is a Gardeners' Question Time, on today (6.30pm), provided by Promoting Pakefield and sponsored by Harrod Horticultural. Admission is £2, with tickets available from the Ferini Art Gallery in Pakefield. And on Saturday, March 7, Black Ram Theatre Company will perform Twelfth Night.

Mr Hales was asked to fill the managerial role by the mystery benefactors who helped save the theatre with their monetary support.

He said he was thrilled to see the building slowly coming back to life again.

“We've been given a chance to make our vision of what it could be, when the town fought to save it, come true.” he said.

“Personally, I'm grateful for the opportunity to give something back to a place that has been so important to me and so many other people.”

For more information about courses call Mr Hales on 07939 396602. For tickets call the box office on 01502 589726.

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