With more than 80 toy soldiers, 26 Santas, 10 reindeer and 50,000 twinkling lights, Suffolk's big Christmas show is back with plenty to offer this December at Snape Maltings concert hall.

The Co-op Juniors Christmas Spectacular is a family favourite, with audiences travelling from all over East Anglia to enjoy the glittering mix of music and dance.

And co-directors Lucy Allen and Oliver Brett are as excited as the cast of 94 to be back at the venue that has been their home for the last 15 years.

Oliver said: "We've had two years to develop this show, which takes us back to our roots of a song and dance extravaganza.

"We haven't performed in front of an audience since December 2019, so our talented young cast can't wait to get back on stage."

More than 800 costumes have been created for the show by an army of artistic parents and a completely new sparkly stage set has been built by the team, featuring festive arches, thousands of lights and golden Christmas trees.

Lucy said: "We want everyone to leave Snape with a warm festive glow, ready to celebrate this special time of year.

"Strictly Come Dancing has everyone talking about dance, and we've put together a rich selection of musical numbers and dance styles, there truly is something for everyone. From jiving to big band to tap dancing, synchronised marching toy soldiers to dancing reindeers and a high-kicking chorus line, it's an eye-popping, foot-tapping show."

But it's not all about aesthetics - there's a sense of tradition and family threaded through the show, including a nativity scene and a bedtime story about Santa and the North Pole.

And an important element of the show is the live orchestra.

For musical director Jo King, arranging and orchestrating 24 numbers to suit different dance styles and younger voices - the cast is aged between seven and 18 - is a challenge she relishes.

She said: "Working with a young cast is so rewarding and often surprising. Their talent, enthusiasm and energy makes my work easier, finding numbers that push them that little bit further and give them a chance to develop and experiment."

Christmas Spectacular, performed by Co-op Juniors Theatre Company based in Ipswich, is at Snape Maltings from December 3 to 12.

For tickets, call 01728 687110 or visit coopjuniors.co.uk/spectacular.