Felixstowe: Summer Youth Project stages The Wedding Singer at Spa

YOU are cordially invited to the Felixstowe Spa Pavilion’s tenth anniversary Summer Youth Project - The Wedding Singer.

Each year budding stars aged nine to 23 work with a professional team to stage a full scale musical for a paying public. With the seafront venue’s current operators set to hand back the keys next January and no way of keeping it open in sight, this year’s show may be the last.

“It’sawful,” says 18-year-old Harriet Bacon of Kesgrave, who’s performed in every one of the SYP shows.

“I’ve gained so much experience from doing these shows. I’ve gradually worked my way up to the main roles, the first one I did for SYP was Annie; I was one of the six orphans.

“All these other young people who want the same; they’re not going to have the same experiences I’ve had and it’s really sad to think you’re not going to get that talent walking through those doors any more.”

Set in the 1980s, Robbie Hart (Wade Ablitt) lives in his grandmother’s basement in New Jersey and sings in a wedding band. His dreams of being a singer-songwriter are long gone, replaced now by a burning desire to settle down with the right girl.

When his fianc�e leaves him at the altar, Robbie becomes a wedding planner’s worst nightmare, taking out his bitterness on stage until his eye and heart turn to a new friend, Julia (played by Harriet), but she’s engaged to a wealthy Wall Street broker.

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“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s pretty much the same as the film just with songs added. I really love the show; I went to see my friend Dan, who used to take the lead roles in SYP, in it a few months ago. There’s all the ‘80s music as well which is really feelgood,” added Harriet, who starts a one-year foundation course at performance college next month.

She has a few busy months ahead of her, splitting her time between studying, appearing in this year’s Dennis Lowe Theatre Company pantomime and working at clothes store Quiz in Tower Ramparts.

“It’s going to be quite strenuous, really stressful but it’ll be alright, it’ll keep me fit over the Christmas period.”

She can always rehearse among the clothes racks.

“A lot of my colleagues do say they see me having a little dance now and again, I don’t realise I’m doing it,” laughs Harriet.

SYP co-ordinator Bridget Rutherford says 2012 is a great year for celebrations and all involved are pleased to have made it to their tenth anniversary.

“Although cast numbers are slightly down on previous years The Wedding Singer is a fantastic production and a show which will appeal to people of all ages. It must also be said that while many of our past cast members have gone on to perform on the professional stage they still have fond memories of their time spent at the Spa Pavilion in Felixstowe.”

The Wedding Singer runs at Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion from August 22–25.

For breaking regional, national and world entertainment news follow me on Twitter @WhatsonWayne

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