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Suffolk born West End star to host musical charity gig in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 19:00 29 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:25 30 August 2019

West End star Reece Kerridge is organising a night of entertainment  in Ipswich called “Inspire Suffolk” on behalf of Cruise Bereavement  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

West End star Reece Kerridge is organising a night of entertainment in Ipswich called "Inspire Suffolk" on behalf of Cruise Bereavement Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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West End star Reece Kerridge is organising a night in Ipswich called “Inspire Suffolk” on behalf of Cruise Bereavement  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNWest End star Reece Kerridge is organising a night in Ipswich called “Inspire Suffolk” on behalf of Cruise Bereavement Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Raised in Woodbridge and inspired by Elvis Presley, Reece Kerridge made his way to London to strive for success in the world of musical theatre.

Learning ballet from the age of three at the Coral Stebbings School of Theatre and Dance, Mr Kerridge quickly realised that his talents lie in singing, acting and dancing.

After finishing his GSCE's at Farlingaye High School and completing a three year course at Laine Theatre Arts, an independent performing arts college in Surrey, he then secured his first role in Our House.

Based on the music of 1980s ska group Madness, the musical premiered at the Cambridge Theatre in 2002 and was the winner of the 2003 Olivier Awards for Best New Musical.

From a very early age, Reece Kerridge developed a love of dancing and performing. Picture: COURTESY OF THE KERRIDGE FAMILYFrom a very early age, Reece Kerridge developed a love of dancing and performing. Picture: COURTESY OF THE KERRIDGE FAMILY

After a triumphant audition process, Mr Kerridge was then offered a part in The Book of Mormon written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The Book of Mormon was a massive hit both sides of the Atlantic winning nine Tony awards and a Grammy award in the US.

Now, Mr Kerridge wants to give something back to the area he grew up in and raise money for a charity that's close to his family's heart, Cruse Bereavement.

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The Norfolk and Suffolk based charity offer support and advice when facing the death of a loved one and to enhance society's care of grief stricken people, something which Mr Kerridge and his family relied upon through their own personal experience a few years ago, as he explained: "My uncle passed away in tragic circumstances and for my mum it was soul destroying. She went to Cruse Bereavement and specifically asked them for help."

Reece Kerridge from Woodbridge starring in Shrek - The Musical as Lord Farquaad. Picture: REECE KERRIDGEReece Kerridge from Woodbridge starring in Shrek - The Musical as Lord Farquaad. Picture: REECE KERRIDGE

The charity will be celebrating its 60th year this October and to coincide with the anniversary, Mr Kerridge is organising an evening of West End entertainment in honour of the support his family received.

He said: "They are self funded so they don't get given money and they have recently set up a fundraising department to raise money to keep them going. I want to do this for my mum in aid of them."

Having finished performing in Shrek - The Musical this year after a 14-month tour, An Evening with Reece Kerridge and Special Guests will be showing at the Inspire Suffolk venue on October 6 in Ipswich. Entertaining the audience with a medley of musical numbers as well as compering a singing competition, where the winner will perform on the night and is currently holding auditions for, in a bid to get the community actively involved.

Mr Kerridge explained: "It's a celebration of friends and laughter, celebrating the charity, celebrating my family. And also celebrating all the songs that we love to sing and telling stories from my time backstage in the West End."

After enjoying huge success in his West End career, Reece Kerridge loves his job and can't imagine doing anything else. Picture: REECE KERRIDGEAfter enjoying huge success in his West End career, Reece Kerridge loves his job and can't imagine doing anything else. Picture: REECE KERRIDGE

After bringing his one man show to Ipswich, he will be treading the boards again in Bournemouth in the pantomime "Aladdin" this Christmas alongside The X Factor and Celebrity Big Brother star Amelia Lily.

Mr Kerridge, 25, is hoping to raise at least £1,500 for the charity that has proved to be a positive influence in his family's life.

"I never take from anyone, I love to give to people. I never expect anything back. But I want to give back, I want to give back to people."

For more information and to book tickets, please click here.

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