1960s soul star leads galaxy of top acts at Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre new season

SOUL DIVA: Former Motown star Martha Reeves will be appearing at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft in

SOUL DIVA: Former Motown star Martha Reeves will be appearing at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft in September. Also lined up for the new season are Madness frontman Suggs, right/left/below, ex-Westlife singer Shane Filan and poet and humourist Pam Ayres. pictures: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

One of the giants of 1960s soul is set to appear in Lowestoft, it was revealed this week.

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, who had a string of hits, including Dancing in the Street, Heat Wave and Jimmy Mack, are among the star names of the latest season at the Marina Theatre.

Other highlights of the new programme include a host of top comedians and singers, along with drama, music, live and encore screenings, cinema and the town's first international horror film festival

Martin Halliday, chief executive Marina Theatre Trust, said: 'We're delighted to announce our new season and over the next few weeks we will be distributing some 65,000 copies of our brochure, copies of which are also now available to collect from various outlets across the area.

'The coming months will be an exciting period as we host the return of live opera, build on our growing reputation for top comedy and welcome some top international artistes and events – some performing for the first time ever in our region.'

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As reported last week, a number of top comedians are set to appear at the Marina over the next few months, including Jimmy Carr, Omid Djalili, Jimeoin, Paul Chowdhry, Mark Steel and Marcus Brigstocke.

Also included in the new season are comic Jim Davidson, poet and humourist Pam Ayres and, from just across the border, Keith Skipper with his own unique brand of Norfolk humour.

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Comedy drama for the season includes the Olivier Award-winning play Morecambe, the stage version of the popular ITV sitcom Rising Damp and, for families, David Wood's adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic tale George's Marvellous Medicine.

Musical highlights include the return of Joe Longthorne, Jane Macdonald, Elkie Brooks, Foster and Allen, Showaddywaddy and Joe Brown, with former Motown diva Martha Reeves and the Vandellas appearing in Lowestoft for the first time in September.

Also making their Marina debut are former Westlife singer Shane Filan and Madness frontman Suggs.

On Sunday, July 6, the Marina will host a special show paying tribute to the late David Gwyn, who died in February.

Known locally in his role as general manger at Pontins in Pakefield, Mr Gwyn brought some of the finest big bands to the region over the years.

The tribute show – A Night with the Big Bands – will be hosted by Graham Henry and will feature the bands led by Jeff Hooper and Jonathan Wyatt.

Live Opera also makes a return to the Marina, with a selection of productions planned.

The musicals lined up include a host of top theatre performers in The West End Experience, the return of the Glenn Miller musical Bugle Boy, The Definitive Rat Pack and the return of That'll Be The Day.

Currently celebrating a tenth year in residence, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will present a spectacular night of music and song from the James Bond films on July 11 and its ever-popular Last Night Of The Proms concert takes place on September 19.

The Marina's cinema will continue to present a mix of mainstream and more specialist film as well as live and Encore screenings from the National Theatre.

A spooky time is promised later this year when the Marina hosts its first Horror On Sea East Film Festival, which will showcase a selection of independent horror films from the UK and overseas from November 7.

?For more information or to book tickets for any show, ring the box office on 01502 533200 or visit www.marinatheatre.co.uk

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