Ballet stars return to the Marina

JONATHAN REDHEAD One of the world's top ballet companies returns to Lowestoft next week for a series of performances.

JONATHAN REDHEAD

One of the world's top ballet companies returns to Lowestoft next week for a series of performances.

The return of the Moscow City Ballet, after a great success last year, also marks a major investment in the Marina Theatre.

Waveney District Council has pumped £100,000 into the 750-seat venue for a counterweight flying system, which will enable it to offer world-class ballet, opera and musical theatre as well as providing top facilities to local theatre organisations.

The Russians will be the first group to use the stage system, which will help move scenery and light bars and lift performers without being seen and replaces equipment up to 100 years old.

Theatre manager Martin Halliday says it is appropriate that the Muscovites are the first to use the equipment, when they perform Sleeping Beauty and the Nutcracker, as it was their appearance last year which helped turn the theatre's fortunes around.

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The Russian company's success on the east coast last year, had helped Mr Halliday attract the Royal Philharm-onic Orchestra for a three-year residency.

"We are absolutely delighted they're back," Mr Halliday said. "They really marked the turning point in the theatre's recent history."

He said: "If one of the world's top touring ballet companies comes to Lowestoft, a lot of promoters are looking and thought 'Hang on - why are they going there?'"

"We just said to local people 'If you support it there's no reason why you can't have more'. And they did.

"It had a huge knock-on effect. It's a massive thing for us to have them back."

Mr Halliday also said that the theatre had a host of star attractions lined up for next year and the names would be revealed in a few weeks.

Tickets are still available for the Moscow City Ballet performances.

Sleeping Beauty is on Thursday, November 11 at 7.30pm and The Nutcracker is performed on Friday November 12 at 7.30pm and Saturday November 13 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. For details contact the box office on 01502 533201.

1980s' pop idol Matt Goss has postponed his scheduled concert at the Marina Theatre on Sunday, November 21, because of ill health.

Ticket holders will be able to use their tickets on the revised date. Fans are unable to go to the revised concer will be offered a full refund.

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