New season: Angles Theatre

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor The dedicated bunch of volunteers which brought this Georgian theatre back to life a couple of decades ago were determined to put it at the heart of Fenland artistic life.

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor

The dedicated bunch of volunteers which brought this Georgian theatre back to life a couple of decades ago were determined to put it at the heart of Fenland artistic life.

And, happily, it's an ambition which can be seen in the programme of the Alexandra Road venue, which blends homespun community entertainment with quality touring shows to tempt visitors from further afield.

The season gets off to a lively start from September 1 until September 9 with an in-house production (by the Ratz group) of that tuneful Sixties favourite Summer Holiday. Directed by Kevin Shippey and running nightly with a matinee on the final day, this musical is packed with sinaglong Cliff classics including Living Doll, In the Country and of course, Summer Holiday.

There's a treat for fans of acoustic guitar music on September 13 with a visit by the acclaimed duo Jacques Stotzem and Phil Hare. Tickets are £10 (concs £8).

Arabian Nights, a quirky fundraiser on September 23 (a camel racing night - on film, we hasten to add!) looks a lot of fun for £7.50, with proceeds going towards improving the auditorium.

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Professional ensemble Company Collisions are at the venue on September 29 with Nothing Left to Lose, a celebration of those people who challenge the bullies with little more than bare hands and bravery. Adapted from the outdoor production of the Tin Soldier, tickets are £10, concs £8.

The following night there's a chance to hear Norfolk singer Roger Dean with his widely-acclaimed tribute to the Man in Black, the Johnny Cash Story. Roger, a born storyteller as well as singer, draws from the vast repertoire of Cash's 500-plus songs and includes such favourites as Ring of Fire, Big River and A Boy Named Sue. Tickets £10 (concs £8) will be in heavy demand for what will be a highlight of the new season.

October 6 sees a quiz night, followed the next night by Sheffield's Reform Theatre Company making a welcome return with Loaded. Tickets for this darkly comic and gripping play from award winning writer David Brown are £10 (concs £8).

From October 11-14 there's another RATz production, Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays by theatre legend Alan Ayckbourn and directed by Emlyn Moment. Can you help the detectives solve the mysterious goings-on? It'll run nightly at 7.30pm with a 2.30pm matinee on the Saturday.

Actor Raymond Sargent makes a welcome return to Wisbech on October 20 with The Warrior and the Poet, his one-man show about the final years of that fascinating and enigmatic figure Lawrence of Arabia. Tickets £10 (concs £8).

The youngsters aren't forgotten on October 24 with a couple of half-term dance workshops - Groovy Tots and We Will Rock You - for under-10s, and a musical theatre workshop two days later for ages 10 to 16.

A nostalgic treat for fans of West End musicals on October 25, with An Audience with Edmund Hockridge. This well-loved musical star has been delighting audiences ever since the early 1950s and you can share in his stage and screen memories. The £6.50 tickets for the 2.30pm includes afternoon tea too.

The youngsters of RATz have lined up a spooky stage treat for October 31 - Halloween. Fright Night will aim to do exactly that. Gulp! (£6.50, concs £5).

Still in ghostly mood, on November 4, Robert Lloyd Parry of Nunkie Theatre Company presents two classic spinetinglers by that master storyteller MR James in A Pleasing Terror.

Performing arts students from the College of West Anglia - Isle Campus Wisbech are put through their paces on November 10-11 for their first In Performance showcase of the academic year.

That's followed from November 14-18 by Dad's Army, a comedy adapted for the stage original writers Jimmy Perry and David Croft and performed by popular local amateur thesps, the Wisbech Players.

After a couple of fundraisers - karaoke (November 24) and Chairman's Champagne Gala Evening (November 25) - you can relive that momentous winter of 1952-3 with Cold War Remembered (November 29). Shown in conjunction with Wisbech Events Forum, this film recalls the catastrophic Fenland and Norfolk coastal floods.

December 2 sees accclaimed singer Tony Jacobs joined by Jim Barry at the piano for The Gershwin Years, which celebrates the golden era of popular song and paying tribute to George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart and many other great songwriters of that era.

After the Christmas Bazaar and Coffee Morning (December 9), it's time for plenty of chances to make sure you shall to the ball with RATz's production of seasonal favourite Cinderella (December 15-30). Directed by and featuring two experienced dames, Kevin Shippey and Emlyn Moment, it has choreography by Cynthia Maxey and, as ever, you'll need to book early for this community favourite.

Tickets and more information from the box office on 01945 474447 or www.anglestheatre.co.uk

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