The Co-op Juniors Theatre Company is the largest amateur theatre group in the UK. Based in Ipswich, Suffolk, in the last year we entertained audiences of over 14,000 with stunning, high-energy musical productions. With a heritage of over 75 years, we have performed accross all east Suffolk’s top venues and are a festive fixture at the world-famous Snape Maltings Concert Hall with our annual Christmas Spectacular!

An amateur group with professional productions values, the Co-op Juniors provides children and young people accross Suffolk the opportunity to develop performance skills and take part in stunning musical theatre productions. Our family atmosphere and co-operative ethos bring together around 100 young performers each year and, now in our eighth decade, have been a home for generations of Ipswich performers, many of whom have gone on to have international performance careers.

Where are they now?

The company is enormously proud of the many past members who have been successful in progressing into a career in performing arts and musical theatre.

Many of them acknowledge that the experience and inspiration gained from their involvement with the Juniors has proved to be invaluable.

Gary Avis
After graduating from the Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts, Gary joined The Royal Ballet Company in 1989. He was promoted to First Artist in September 1993 and Soloist in September 1995. He left The Royal Ballet in January 1999 to co-found Tetsuya Kumakawa’s new company and toured Japan for almost 3 years.

In 2002 he joined English National Ballet as a First Soloist and later re-joined The Royal Ballet Company in September 2004 where he currently is Assistant Ballet Master. Gary often finds time to work with the company as a guest choreographer and shares his knowledge of dance and performance.

Sam Biscoe
Sam is currently working on cruise ships.

Joanne Clarke
Jo studied at the Royal Ballet School and graduated to the English National Ballet where she spent 7 years.

Bridget Cloud
Bridget danced professionally for 7 years after graduating from Laine Theatre Arts and also spent some time teaching in Dubai.

Lewis Copland
Lewis moved to Paris and now dances both at Disneyland Paris and Disneyland Tokyo.

Leigh Daniels
Leigh also graduated from the Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom and has performed in many shows including the national touring cast of West Side Story.

Hayley Dye
After leaving the company in 1997, Hayley graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with a BA Honours Degree in performing arts. You may have seen Hayley in Anglia Railway TV adverts.

Samantha Gaunt
Sammy danced from the age of 3 with the company and performed with the National Youth Ballet

before graduating from Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts. She has since been performing on cruise ships.

Mary-Kate Ingram
Mary-Kate graduated from the Royal College of Music in London where she gained her BMus. She’s a qualified string player with the viola being her preferred instrument and currently plays professionally in a string quartet. Mary-Kate has also played with the Juniors’ band on occasion.

Vince Redmon
Vince was one of the first company members to dance professionally, joining Sadlers Wells in 1983. He then joined the Rambert Dance Company, touring the country. He had the honour of appearing in two Royal Variety Performances and now divides his time between teaching and choreographing.


The backstage team of up to 80 volunteers ensures that every show runs smoothly.

Chaperones and dressers change as many as 800 costumes for a big production, so it’s a busy job! Technicians ensure that the lighting and sound work perfectly and enhance the show, while the stage crew build and operate the scenery and arrange props.

For the huge Christmas Spectacular! three articulated lorries transport the set, lighting and sound, with another truck for costumes and three coaches for the cast and production crew.

Co-op Juniors Theatre Company

Appeal Fund

Your donation helps to secure the future of the Co-op Juniors Theatre Company and Academy, and its important role for Suffolk's young people and the arts. Find out more...

The Co-op Juniors Theatre Company are grateful for the support of the East of England Co-operative Society

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