Theatre boss outlines vision to bring big names to Spa Pavilion
A seaside theatre which has been closed for more than two years could begin staging shows again by late autumn.
New owner of Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion, NRG Theatres said its management team was currently putting together a programme with the aim to open in October or November with hopefully some big names to surprise people.
Yesterday NRG, which bought the venue for £1 from Suffolk Coastal council launched its vision for the 913-seater venue – and a month-long public consultation exercise to get people’s views on how they would like to see the theatre develop.
All options are open, but the management team is clearly looking at the possibility of extending the building – perhaps adding a 200-seater studio or community theatre space to the current auditorium for smaller, more intimate shows, or even putting in a second tier of seating to create a 2,000-seat venue in order to attract big names from TV and music.
One of the initial projects could see the current restaurant turned into a cafe and bar, with the old kiosks on the ground floor become a new restaurant.
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Chief executive Ray Anderson said much would depend on the feedback from the public, and also funding being available.
He said: “The feedback is very important to us because it will enable us to find out what local people want here. We want to make sure the Spa becomes successful – we want to know what people want to see so that we put on the right shows.”
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Along with the panto, the aim is to bring comedy and music shows, big names if possible, and to also use the theatre as a venue for conferences, working with the town’s hotels, and also possibly for filming of sitcoms for TV and comedy shows.
He said: “I have got a vision of making this theatre not only popular in Suffolk but, with my TV connections, it could become famous throughout the country and the world.
“Theatres around the country have had a tough time but those which find success do very well – I want this to be a place which stages shows by the big names of music and comedy, and is a desirable place for people to come for entertainment, a coffee or something to eat.”