Felixstowe: Spa’s song and dance spectacular gets royal seal of approval

This Saturday’s song and dance spectacular A Toast Unto Her Majesty is a real family affair.

Three different generations of the Burrows family will appear in the show at the Spa Pavilion this Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Vernon Burrows, 66, of Woodbridge, first performed with the Company of Four more than three decades ago and is part of the singing chorus this time.

Twin daughters Gillian, 39, of Kesgrave, and Joanne, 39, of Martlesham, joined in the early 1980s. They are returning as senior dancers after time off raising their family who are also performing.

Gillian’s daughters Georgia, 11, and Anna, eight; and Joanne’s eight-year-old daughter Katie joined the juniors about 18 months ago, performing in a pantomime and Christmas show.

Vernon’s eldest daughter Louise, 31, of Woodbridge, also performed with the company in years gone by but isn’t appearing in A Toast.

“It was so nice when the three girls were young because the whole family could go down,” said Vernon’s wife Penny, 66, who’s content to work behind the scenes. She and Vernon run the Friends of the Company of Four which raises vital funds for the group. “The grandchildren can’t wait [to perform].”

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“The girls [Gillian and Joanne] haven’t been there for a while but they came back because of the show and have done well,” added a proud Vernon.

The Queen herself has given the award-winning company’s latest show the royal seal of approval.

She was invited to A Toast Unto Her Majesty show. Other commitments meant she couldn’t attend, but she did send her best wishes to the 70-plus strong cast and crew for a “most enjoyable and successful occasion”.

Starting in the 1950s, the company will sing and dance their way through every decade of her reign to what was some of the most popular music of the day.

The company won the award for best regional pantomime from Noda for their production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 2011. They also won best programme for their summer production of Lionel Bart’s Blitz! the same year.

This latest show opened to rave reviews at Woodbridge’s Riverside Theatre a few weeks ago.

“We believe we’re the only amateur musical theatre society in the area to be celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a full scale song and dance spectacular,” said the company’s Mike Brown.

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