Strictly star casts magic on Panto!

Panto cast Announcement: Genie of the Lamp with Latin Magic!

Granting wishes with a touch of Latin and ballroom magic in this year’s Marina Theatre pantomime will be Robin Windsor as he cha cha chas into the role of Genie of the Lamp in Aladdin.

The Strictly Come Dancing professional is in constant global demand having achieved world championship success, prior to partnering Anita Dobson, Patsy Kensit and Deborah Meaden in the popular Saturday night TV programme which made him an instant favourite with viewers. Robin partnered with Lisa Riley in the 2012 series, lifting the glitter ball as Strictly champions!

He started his dance training in Ipswich at the age of three and has gone on to perform and choreograph across the world, including a period in St Lucia as Entertainment Director, Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, both in Australia, headlining Burn the Floor in London’s West End, national tours of Puttin’ on the Ritz, Keep Dancing and Here Come the Boys at the legendary London Palladium.

Robin recently headlined a nationwide tour of Come What May, a high-energy musical extravaganza and received an Honorary Degree from Suffolk University for his services to dance.

Pantomime producer Paul Holman said:

“I’m delighted Robin will be performing in pantomime this December at the Marina Theatre. He has such energy and charisma, he’s perfectly cast as Genie of the Lamp, a role he has performed before in Bridlington and Redditch. Robin has also played Gaston in Beauty and the Beast at the Pavilion in Worthing, so he’ll bring some strictly swagger and attitude to the role too!”

Leading the cast in the title role will be Anthony Sahota.

Anthony Sahota shot to recognition in the BBC talent competition Let it Shine where Gary Barlow auditioned young hopefuls for his stage musical The Band. Making it through to the finals, Anthony’s talent was rewarded with offers of recording contracts, however he took the decision to concentrate on his studies and a degree in engineering was his reward!

Never shaking off the thrill of performing, Anthony was directed by Andrew Lloyd Webber in Whistle Down the Wind, appeared in the Bollywood musical Bring on the Bollywood and spent most of 2022 touring the UK in the David Walliams hit Billionaire Boy  before appearing in the pantomime Aladdin at Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone.

Joining them will be popular returning star, Lowestoft’s favourite Terry Gleed as Wishy Washy and back by popular demand Alexander Lee – who wowed audiences as Fleshcreep in Jack & the Beanstalk, will take up the role of Abanaza. Completing the principle cast actress Mia Longman will play the princess.

Aladdin takes off at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft from 12 December to 1 January 2024. Book your tickets here.


Flying System Upgrades

Our auditorium will be closed for over six weeks this summer while the flying system over the stage is replaced.

Following surveys and consultation over the last few years, our existing flying system will be removed and replaced with a new, modern system. The fly’s allow for quick and safe re-rigging of stage lamps as well as the ability to hang scenery and backcloths for productions, and maintain a permanent cinema screen which can be flown out of sight during live shows. A new system will allow us to continue this work safely as well as keeping pace with advances in stage technology.

Upgrades for this work are supported by funding from our principle stakeholders, Lowestoft Town Council.


A Year of Birdsong and Birdsongs

BBC wildlife presenter and London singer bring birdsong show to Suffolk theatre

What happens when a wildlife ranger meets a stage performer birdwatching on the east coast? Well, they create a theatre show inspired by their feathered friends.

Ajay Tegala – the BBC nature presenter, author and ranger – and London singer Anthony Harris, bring their show A Year of Birdsong and Bird Songs to Lowesotft.

With costumes, choreography and a cacophony of calls, birds are nature’s performers, leading dramatic and theatrical lives. The UK is blessed with a changing cast of winged visitors throughout the four seasons.

From our smallest to our tallest, loudest caller to most complicated singer, Ajay passionately shares fascinating facts, anecdotes and admiration for Britain’s birds. From pigeons in the park to seabirds soaring thousands of miles around the globe, the show looks at the lives and songs of our avian actors through the cold winter months and the sunny summer days as they battle to fly, feed and fledge young.

Between the stories, sounds and footage, Anthony warbles his way from classical to opera, folk to pop, choral to show tunes, in celebration of skylarks, nightingales, woodpeckers, owls, geese and even an ugly duckling.

“The show puts the audiences to the test in a fun way, giving knowing nods when they hear the sounds of the familiar birdsong, and a sense of ‘Oh that’s what it is!’ when they discover some of the lesser known calls,” said Ajay who works as a National Trust ranger.

Stepping through the seasons, A Year of Birdsong and Bird Songs navigates the wintry cold landscapes in to the bustling dawn chorus of spring, with Ajay sharing his unique footage.

From his time conserving rare British wildlife, and working on BBC Springwatch and Winterwatch, Ajay has had many weird and wonderful encounters of the feathered kind. Paired with Anthony’s singing – and love for encouraging audience participation – their show will have audiences tapping their feet, listening, learning and larking around!

Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, Suffolk on Friday 9th June at 7.30pm. Book now


New Play Commissioned for 70th Anniversary of Historic Flood

2023 marks 70 years since the well-documented flood of 1953 which saw devastation across many parts of Lowestoft and the East Coast. To mark this event and look ahead to the town’s future relationship with the sea in the face of climate change, we are leading a community project that will see the commission of a new live drama written by Lowestoft based playwright, John Hales.

Tony Calladine, East of England Regional Director, Historic England, said: “It’s important that these powerful events are recognised and remembered, sharing community memories and experiences. I’m looking forward to seeing how these creative activities and dramatic performances can bring a shared understanding of the impact of this devastating flood and the lessons we learn as we look to protect the historic places we love in the face of climate change.”

Flooding Back to a Resilient Future has seen a series of free workshops and community activities take place over the last few months to collect stories and reminiscences from people who remember the major flooding events of 1953 and 2013. Working with local schools the project has also provoked children and young people in the town to consider the impacts of climate change and imagine a future flood and how that may impact them.

Personal stories, photographs, archive material and creative responses to flooding and climate change are being drawn together to inspire a brand-new play written and developed by John Hales. Nominated for a BAFTA ‘Breakthrough Brit’ in 2014 for his feature film  Freak of Nature John’s stage plays include the The Response (Seagull Theatre, SOHO Theatre) and a varied career of writing, directing, acting, and community theatre work both locally and nationally.

The Production – professionally produced and performed in collaboration with Spinning Wheel Theatre company on the Marina Stage – will dramatize a future flooding event in Lowestoft focusing on community reliance and drawing on past experiences in the town.

Alongside performances of this new work scheduled for July 2023, there will be an exhibition of archive materiel relating to the 1953 flood and creative works from the community generated throughout the project.

Emma Butler Smith, Marina Theatre Chef Executive: ‘This project will enable us to engage with a broad cross-section of Lowestoft’s community both commemorating historical events and looking forward to a future by the sea in face the potential impacts of Climate change. John Hales is a fantastic writer who we have worked with on projects in the past, notably when he directed our community co-production of Oliver! in 2018 so it will be wonderful to premier a new play by him on our stage.’

This project is funded by Historic England through the Lowestoft Heritage Action Zones, in partnership with East Suffolk Council.

Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Economic Development, said: “The tidal surge of 1953 took a devastating toll on much of the east coast. Lives were lost, properties destroyed, and its impact was felt acutely in our coastal towns.

“It’s important that we commemorate and learn from these momentous events of our past in order to look forward.

“It will be fascinating to see those memories interpreted for the stage with the creative input of people living locally 70 years on.”

Do you remember the major flooding events of 1953 or 2013? If you have photos, videos, news cuttings or an interesting story to share, the Marina Theatre would like to hear from you. Send any submissions to



image: Flooding in St Johns Road, Lowestoft 1953. Newsquest Archive