Eastern Angles are well-known for their alternative Christmas offering to the traditional Pantomime, and this year the Theatre Company have excelled themselves as they turn their attention to Tudor Suffolk with Stoat Hall.
Sir Roger De Polfrey, the Duke of Suffolk, is owner of Stoat Hall, which he shares with his wife Aveline, and his two eccentric daughters, the beautiful and very intelligent Rosamund and Hedwig, the other one…
But all is not well at Stoat Hall, the stately home is in a state of disrepair and the family have no money to pay for the work to be done to their aging tower, and it’s huge crack! And, when Henry VIII announces that he is due to visit Stoat Hall panic ensues, the Hall is a mess and certainly not fit for a visit from the King.
Meanwhile the Secret Order of the Stoats are hatching a plan to topple Henry from the throne. The Stoats believe that Sir Roger De Polfrey Plantagenet heritage makes him the rightful heir to the throne and not the Tudor King.
Full of local references, Stoat Hall is hilariously funny from the offset. The talented cast bring the story to life, playing a variety of characters with ease. Beautifully written by Pat Whymark and Julian Harries Stoat Hall is like a comic breath of fresh air compared to the traditional festive offerings, and toughly enjoyable.
With some very clever use of a simple set and some extremely fast costume changes, plus a little audience participation Stoat Hall should definitely be in your list this Christmas!
Stoat Hall is at the Sir John Mills Theatre in Ipswich until 7th January. The production then transfers to the Seckford Theatre at Woodbridge School (10th – 21st January). For more information and to book tickets visit www.easternangles.co.uk or telephone the Box Office on 01473 211498.
Review: Wendy Cook, Ipswich24
Pictures: Mike Kwasniak: