Top acts at Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre in new season include Sean Lock, Blake and the RPO

THE Marina Theatre has unveiled its new season – and people can look forward to a host of big names, West End musicals, comedy, music and the return of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Opening on Tuesday, December 18 is the pantomime Aladdin, starring Coronation Street star Nigel Pivaro.

And the new year will see a host of shows to entertain audiences, including the musicals Buddy, Blood Brothers, The Rise and Fall Of Little Voice, starring Beverley Callard and Ray Quinn, and – from the director of Dreamboats and Petticoats – Carnaby Street which features 1960s music and nostalgia.

The comedy stars set to bring laughter to Lowestoft include Jack Dee, Sean Lock, Rich Hall, Lee Nelson, Pub Landlord Al Murray and Ken Dodd.

Other acts set to appear in 2013 include Chas and Dave, Sally Morgan, The Fureys, George Hamilton IV and Blake.

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In February, The Grand Opera of Belarus visits Lowestoft for the first time, presenting Puccini classics Madam Butterfly and La Boheme, while the Russian State Dance Ensemble of Astrahan brings an evening of Cossack dance and music.

Two stars of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, Pasha Kovalev and Katya Virshilas, take to the stage in April with other popular performers and shows returning, including Charlie Landsborough, The Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Steeleye Span, That'll Be The Day and Eagles tribute band Talon.

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The world-renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) enters a ninth year of association with the Marina on March 22 with guest violinist Tasmin Little performing Bruch's Violin Concerto No.1.

June 14 brings a return of the RRO's Last Night Of The Proms before an evening of music dedicated to composers Lerner and Loewe, Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim in September.

Rounding off the year, the centenary of Lowestoft born composer Benjamin Britten will be celebrated with an evening featuring his own work and music which is believed to have inspired him on November 29.

As part of the new season the Marina is also hosting a regular series of afternoon matinees specially aimed at an older generation.

They start in January with local historian John Holmes presenting over 400 slides of old Lowestoft, followed in February with nostalgia-based musical show Happy Days Are Here Again.

In addition to film matinees, other entertainment for afternoons includes Syd Little's Music Hall, We'll Meet Again, Vince Hill and There'll Always Be An England.

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