Phantom Bantam

Common Ground Theatre Company will be premiering its fifth Christmas Show, entitled Phantom Bantam of The Opera, at The John Peel Centre, Stowmarket, on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th December. The show will then tour to Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Aldeburgh, ending with its customary residence at the New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich.

“Wonderfully whacky originality” Libby Purves (Suffolk Magazine)

The Paris Opera, 1895. Young soprano Christine Daae and her childhood sweetheart Raoul are made for each other, but the mysterious Phantom that haunts the opera house is madly in love with her too. Deep in the cavernous bowels of the building he is hatching an evil plot. But meanwhile, “as cluck would have it”, something else is hatching in his eggsistential nest.

“A glorious piece of Christmas fun” Andrew Clarke (EADT)

This year we’re really mixing up our genres – combining the gothic splendours of Gaston Leroux’s classic tale, Edgar Allen Poe’s early detective horror, Murders in the Rue Morgue, mysterious tales of the “East”, such as W.W. Jacobs’ The Monkey’s Paw and J. Milton Hayes’ The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God, and not forgetting the classic Mating and Breeding of Poultry by Harry M. Lamon

Join us as we ruffle the feathers of this classic yarn – and be prepared for a chicken-y twist in the tale.

“Surreal and very silly indeed” Michael Gray (Public Reviews Hub)

Cast includes:

Julian Harries Well-known to East Anglian theatre audiences for his Eastern Angles xmas shows over many years, for his Widow Twankey in the New Wolsey’s Aladdin, and many appearances at the Mercury, Colchester, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, and Southwold and Frinton Summer Theatres. He is currently playing Dr Jake Houseman in the UK and International tour of Dirty Dancing (which plays at the Ipswich Regent on 20th-25th March, 2017)

Tracy Elster –  For Common Ground Theatre Company, Tracy has appeared in The Tinderbox,  The Prisoner of Zenda, The Perils of Pinocchio, The Bell and Gallows Song (our first ever show). She has appeared in three of Julian and Pat’s Eastern Angles Christmas shows – The Haunted Commode, Crampons of Fear and Mystery of The Blood Beast Horror of Wolfbane Manor Mystery. Other theatre credits include Still Small Voice & Headlands with The Hal Company, Between The Cracks for Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Our Big Land with Romany Theatre Company, The Three Lives of Anna Thomasian, Firefly Women’s Writing Group,  Berlin, Broadway & Beyond for Light Path/New End Theatre, Dancing at Lughnasa & Oliver Twist with Eastbound Touring Theatre Company.

Joe Leat For Common Ground, Joe has appeared in Justin & The Argonauts, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Prisoner of Zenda. He played Mother Superior/Mr Facsimile in The Mystery of St Finnigan’s Elbow (Eastern Angles Xmas show, 2014-15). Other credits include Casanova, A Christmas Carol and Mindgame for Spinning Wheel Theatre Co. The 39 Steps and Murder By The Book with Suffolk Summer Theatres (2016 season)

Roger Parkin – This is Roger’s first show with Common Ground. His theatre credits include Manwhore at The Old Red Lion, Soggy Brass at The Southwark Playhouse, The Glass Protégé at the Park Theatre, San Domino at The Arcola, The Merry Wives of Windsor at The Dell (RSC), Watson in Sherlock Holmes at Leicester Square Studio Theatre/The Kings Head, and Next Time I’ll Sing To You at The Orange Tree Theatre.

Eloise Kay – Also making her Common Ground debut, Eloise’s credits include A Series of Unfortunate Breakups for Some Riot Theatre, The Glorious Damnation of Eddie Small for Zut Alors Theatre, Mirror Me with Hello Theatre, Macbeth for Young Shakespeare Company, The Blonde Bombshells of 1943 with Ovation Theatre and Pretty Shrewd for Vienna’s English Theatre.

Tour Dates:

The John Peel Centre, Stowmarket
Friday 23rd December, 7.30pm
Saturday 24th December, 4pm & 7.30pm
Box Office: 01449 774678 /

St Mary’s Hall, Walton (nr Felixstowe)
Tuesday 27th December – 4pm & 7.30pm
Wednesday 28th December – 4pm & 7.30pm
Common Ground Box Office – 07807 341364

Bredfield Village Hall, (nr Woodbridge)
Thursday 29th December – 4pm & 7.30pm
Friday 30th December – 4pm & 7.30pm
Common Ground Box Office – 07807 341364

Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh
Sunday 1st January – 4pm & 7.30pm
Monday 2nd January – 4pm & 7.30pm
Common Ground Box Office – 07807 341364

New Wolsey Theatre Studio, Ipswich
Wednesday 4th January – 7.30pm
Thursday 5th January – 7.30pm
Friday 6th January – 7.30pm
Saturday 7th January – 4pm & 7.30pm
Sunday 8th January – 3pm & 7pm
Box Office – 01473 295900 /

For more information visit or call 07807 341364.