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Magical start to Christmas

There’s one place guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit, as Snape Maltings Concert Hall stages a musical extravaganza set to wow Suffolk audiences from Wednesday 14th December.

Featuring a young cast of over one hundred, Enchanted – a Christmas Spectacular! is a totally new show with an entrancing new story. Two specially designed stage sets feature a magical oak tree and castle, backed by huge video panels.

The Ipswich-based Co-op Juniors Theatre Company are celebrating their 70th anniversary with a music and dance show more ambitious than they’ve ever staged before, with the addition of some breath-taking illusions.

The story features a young girl’s search for her destiny after she’s given an enchanted book. Her quest is to find the book’s missing pages and reveal its secret, helped along the way by a Fairy Godmother and Enigma, a magical sorcerer – who turns out to have some secrets of his own.
They time travel through a portal to a world of music, dance and spellbinding adventure to discover the secret of the enchanted book before evil can triumph.

The group’s famous high-energy dance numbers feature a myriad of musical styles and over 800 stunning costumes.

“We love to surprise our audience every year,” say co-directors Pauline Walker and Jeannie Ingram. “This Christmas we have more spectacle, more magic, more jaw-dropping moments than ever before! The cast are working terrifically hard with a team of choreographers and our musical director Nigel Virley. And our volunteer support team of parents and friends are amazing!”

Alan Ayres, who writes the script, revealed that a professional magician is training the cast for some spectacular illusions during the show.

“We’ve been designing the video and stage set special effects for months, and the wow factor of the magic illusions will have people asking ‘How on earth did they do that?’ ”he said.

“Three of our cast travel through time to different locations, all of which have a musical and storyline theme. We’ve kept all the best elements of the show and sprinkled some magic dust on everything else to come up with something totally original for all the family. It’s a great alternative to panto!”

• Enchanted – a Christmas Spectacular! opens at Snape Maltings Concert Hall for 12 performances from Wednesday 14th until Sunday 23rd December. For performance times and a preview video, visit www.coopjuniors.co.uk. To book, call 01728 687110. Seats from £10 to £24, with group discounts.

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