'Tis the season to be musical.....

Christmas means music to many people. Even if they never go to a concert, church service or sing a note for the other eleven months of the year, come December most people won’t begin to feel Christmassy until they hear the first notes of a traditional carol – or the opening chords of a “Christmas Number One” piped over the speakers in a department store.

Who are the music makers who create the spirit of Christmas for us in Suffolk and Norfolk – and is it a magical time for them, or just a lot of hard work?


Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood - the rock'n'roll panto


24 November 2011 - 28 January 2012

This years Rock’n’Roll panto is well underway at the New Wolsey Theatre, (“oh no it isn’t… oh yes it is!”)…….

The team on Civic Drive have been very clever, carving a niche (albeit a rather large one!) for a pantomime audience who don’t want the sugary, romantic style of traditional pantomime but something more sassy, that appeals to older children, teenagers and adults.


Music with added Oomph

Pluck'n'Squeeze folk dance band

You might see them performing at a wedding, beer festival or barn dance…. and the Sloane family and friends can testify that they made one particular “big birthday” go with a swing when all ages were up and dancing at the ceilidh, organised at a Suffolk venue, for the occasion.

On Fjord Watch

Black Watch in Norway

To be on a cruise ship en-route to a Caribbean island, a Mediterranean port or a Norwegian fjord and have the address on the reverse of your cabin key-ring to be “Ipswich, Suffolk”, is a slightly surreal experience! 

How did a cruise line with such a strong Norwegian heritage come to be based in Suffolk? The best person to tell me was Nigel Lingard who began his shipping career in Suffolk in 1978 with DFDS, and is retiring from Fred. Olsen Cruises this November,

When We Are Married by JB Priestley. Framlingham Amateur Dramatic Society

When we are Married, FADS 2011

25 - 29 October 2011

If you go to see a play that you have seen performed several times, including a version with an all star cast, it is important to put aside all expectations and view the performance objectively. The first thing that strikes you when you enter the Headmaster Porter Theatre at Framlingham College is that Framlingham Amateur Dramatic Society (FADS) has created a realistic set that uses the large available space well.

Ruddigore, Ipswich Gilbert and Sullivan Society at Seckford Theatre.

Rose Maybud, with Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd disguised as Robin Oakapple  and his fo

I have finally got to hear the song with the lyrics “Stir it and stump it and blow your own trumpet.”  Why is this memorable? For the past six years I have attended an evening of talks organised by the Ipswich and Suffolk Small Business Association which is called Stir it and Stump it – now I know why! It is one of the songs in Ruddiore by Gilbert and Sullivan and that is latest production by the Ipswich G and S Society. 


"Invisible" at the New Wolsey Theatre, October 2011.


At one time, when a foreign language was heard on our streets, we assumed it was a tourist – nowadays the immediate response is to think “immigrant”. With asylum seekers, illegal immigrants and economic European migrants too often lumped together in the public mind, it is good to be reminded that each, however they arrived on our shores, is an individual with a story.


Keeping a Conference Running Smoothly – the role of the facilitator.


How often have you been to a conference in a great venue, with lovely food and potentially inspiring speakers, yet there was something missing? Perhaps the timing was out, the introductions clumsy or it was just, well, boring? Whether the conference is organised by your company, trade association, a charity, community group or statutory body, it must achieve its aims and objectives and be a positive experience for organisers, speakers and delegates.


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