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Search is on for young dancer to star in family show

The search is on for a local performer to join the cast of a laugh-a-minute family show featuring characters created by David Walliams.

The producers of Gangsta Granny, which comes to Norwich Theatre Royal on July 13-15, are looking for someone to play the role of Diane in the show opposite the professional cast.

The successful performer will have a short solo dance in the middle of the show as well as being part of the finale routine. They must be 16 years old in August this year but be able to play a character who is 11-12 years old.

The successful dancer will get a video link to learn the routine. They will not need to rehearse with the cast but will need to commit to each performance of the show in Norwich.

To apply for the role, just email gangstagranny@birminghamstage.com and the production team will get back with more information.

Alison Fitzjohn, of Birmingham Stage Company which is producing the show, said: “It is a fun role to play. It will also be great for an up-and-coming dancer to have a show like this on their CV. Gangsta Granny is creating a buzz around the country and audiences are loving the chance to see this favourite book brought to life.”

The show itself tells the story of Ben who usually spends Friday evening with Granny eating cabbage soup, cabbage pie and cabbage cake. But his weekly visit gets much exciting when Granny reveals a secret which sees the pair of them embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

To book, log onto www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000

 

Half-term fun outside and in

A host of children’s activities will be on offer at Cromer, North Walsham and Stalham community sports centres over the forthcoming May half-term.

The sessions offer youngsters aged between four and 12 the chance to take part in football fun days, shooting, skating and street-dancing, as well as summer sports days and multi-sports events.

The events will take place between Tuesday, May 30, and Friday, June 2, at the North Norfolk District Council-managed centres.

As well as these activities, there are countryside events taking place in Holt Country Park and Sadler’s Wood, North Walsham. The fun on offer includes shelter-building, a look at amphibians, reptiles and lizards and the chance to build and launch a water rocket.

All-day activities are priced at £10 while shorter sessions are priced between £2 and £3.50. To make things easier for parents, there is the added option of arranging early drop-offs and late pick-ups for just £2 at some of the events.

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for leisure, health and wellbeing, said: “These sessions offer great fun for children while keeping them busy and healthy.”

To download a brochure with more details, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/sports

To book the sports-centre events, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/book. Booking is not required for the countryside events at Holt Country Park and Sadler’s Wood, but children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. For further details of these activities, email anne-marie.gedge@north-norfolk.gov.uk or call 07920 576634.

Fundraising is no obstacle to Cromer DIY team

Workmates at Cromer Homebase are building up to a marathon obstacle course challenge – for a cause close to their hearts.

The team will tackle 150 obstacles over  a 13-mile course this weekend to raise funds for cancer charities.

Team spokesman Tracy Harding said: “So many of us through our families and friends have been affected by cancer over recent years that we wanted to do something. Compared to what they have been through 13 miles of obstacles is nothing. It will be hard, but we are all going to stick together, regardless of people’s fitness. It is a team effort.”

Partner Rachel Harding’s mum Karen needs regular blood transfusions for a bone marrow condition. A friend’s niece, Evie, aged just five, is battling leukaemia for the second time, and work colleague is having chemotherapy for bone cancer having earlier had breast cancer. Another team member, Eve Galasky, lost both her parents Libby and David Facey to cancer in the past five years.

The Dirty Weekend event at Burghley House in Lincolnshire will see thousands of entrants scaling walls, crawling through mud pits, climbing ropes and jumping on to airbags in the fun event.

Other Homebase team members tackling the Half Mucker assault course are Jackie Hancock, Dan Lee and Chris Kime, with guests Beccy Jeffers and Bethany Batson.

Their efforts, which should take four to five hours, will help the Bloodwise charity (previously Leukaemia and Lymphona Research) and Children with Cancer UK.

They are also running a fundraising family fun day at Forest Park holiday park at Northrepps on Sunday, May 28, from 2pm. It is open to the public with stalls, children’s games, music and an auction. The team hopes the race and fun day will raise hundreds of pounds for their causes.

To support their efforts visit their Homebase Rat Race page on the Just Giving website. The team is also encouraging people to visit www.dkms.org.uk to find out more about joining the stem cell donor register.

REVIEW: Running Wild is ‘a feast for eyes, ears and emotions’

The Children’s Touring Partnership took to the stage in Norwich last night with Running Wild, an adaption by Samuel Adamson of the Michael Morpurgo book of the same name.
This was a feast for the eyes, ears and emotions. Laughter, sadness and at times fear are felt through the scary rainforest adventure of of nine-year-old Lilly. The story has a serious message of both animal conservation and relationships and love, between humans and animals – elephant Oona, who is puppeteered by four people,  orangutans, a tiger, a crocodile and rainforest birds.
The audience is totally immersed into the sights and sounds of the Indonesian rainforest. The clever set design and lighting along with the sound effects add to the experience. The physical theatre skills of all the puppeteers was pure genius. You literally watch them breathe life into the puppets… they actually come to life before your eyes. I became so invested that I no longer saw the puppeteers.

The movements, motion and animal sounds are created by the cast and you just know that they must have spent hours watching and researching real animals in order to recreate and mimic.

A special mention must go to 12-year-old Annika Whiston, who played the lead role of Lilly and rarely left the stage. She portrayed the role beautifully and with great maturity. Every emotion and relationship she had I felt, bringing me to tears, more than once, much to my own daughter’s horror.

Morpurgo was inspired to write this modern-day Jungle Book by the real-life story of Amber Owen, who was on holiday in Phuket with her mother and stepfather in 2004, and enjoying an elephant ride on the beach when the Boxing Day tsunami hit.  The elephant ran inland and saved her life. When the author read of Amber’s story, he said it was “the one bit of hope amid the destruction”.

The production will be working during the tour to support the Born Free Foundation’s global elephant conservation projects.

There has been great take up by schools with a number of performances throughout the day times but it is most definitely not just for children.
There are still tickets available, if you have not seen it then I urge you to make the time. I promise you will not be disappointed. It will make you laugh and possible cry but most of all it will make you think.

A must-see piece of theatre.

 

Running Wild is on until April 29. Wed, Fri and Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat 2.30pm, Thur 11am. Tickets £7-£21.  BOX OFFICE 01603 630000.  www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

 

KIM and RUBY CHAMBERS

 

 

 

 

 

Pictures: Dan Tsantilis

Cromer’s first 60s festival totally groovy, man

Cromer’s first  60s Festival drew big crowds yesterday (Sunday April 23) to North Norfolk’s iconic Cromer Pier.

The St George’s Day celebration organised by North Norfolk District Council welcomed in excess of 3,000 visitors over the course of the day. Many came on vintage scooters and motorcycles and even more got into the spirit of the 1960s by dressing in period clothing.

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for culture said: “The success of Cromer’s 60s event really shows there’s an appetite for something new and fun along the North Norfolk coast to add to the already superb calendar of events in our area. We are definitely going to look into whether this can become a yearly event.”

The event ran from 10am-4pm and was officially opened by TV and radio presenter Helen McDermott. With vintage stalls and vehicles, a screening of the 1966 World Cup Final, live music and dance, Beatles and Thunderbirds exhibitions, food and happy hours in the Pier Bar with £1 a pint, the day was packed with fun.

Nigel Pearce, ward member for Suffield Park, Cromer, who championed the event, said: “It was amazing to see so many people having a great time while celebrating the 60s. The 60s are very special to me so being able to share some of my favourite things with other people was really great. Thanks to everyone who came along.”

Join the charge this bank holiday for the East Anglian Air Ambulance

The Archdeacon’s Charge, an annual sponsored fun run or walk founded by the Venerable John Ashe, Archdeacon of Lynn, will take place on Monday (May 1) at Wolterton Hall, raising money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) and the Diocese of Norwich Church of England.

All are welcome to walk or run the circuit. There will be a circuit of 2.5 miles available to walk or run, or if you feel up to a challenge you can complete the circuit up to four times completing a distance of up to 10 miles.

Alternatively, families can go along and enjoy a picnic and entertainment. There is plenty to do and see, such as a scenic walk around the grounds of a rarely-seen private stately home, food and drink on offer, classic cars, live music, craft market, and have-a-go activities such as archery.

Their Royal Highnesses’ Prince & Princess Michael of Kent will be attending this year, as special guests of Peter Sheppard and Keith Day, the owners of Wolterton Hall.

Holly Lambert, fundraising manager for EAAA in Norfolk, said: “We are honoured, once again, to be one of the chosen charities for the Archdeacon’s Charge, and always look forward to this fantastic event.”

See more at www.dioceseofnorwich.org/news/events/archdeacons-charge/.

Employers encouraged to shape next generation in North Norfolk

Employers will be given the opportunity to help youngsters increase their understanding of the world of work via a series of events organised by North Norfolk District Council.

Held in partnership with the New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network, they will crteate an opportunity for employers to meet staff from the district’s schools and colleges.

The events – which are free – will explain to businesses how to become an Enterprise Adviser, promote and highlight the benefits for businesses that work with young people, and build on the skills and enthusiasm of North Norfolk’s young people.

Businesses that want to find out how to prepare and shape the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs can book a place and then head along to The Atrium in North Walsham tomorrow (April 25), Cromer Academy on Wednesday (April 26) or Fakenham Academy on Thursday (April 27). All three events are at 4.30pm-6pm, and refreshments will be provided.

There will be the opportunity to network with businesses that are already working with schools in North Norfolk, and learn about the activities that businesses can deliver. These range from work experience and workplace visits – which will suit larger businesses – to mock interviews, mentoring and talks, which any business can offer, including small businesses and the self-employed.

Enterprise Advisers are volunteers who use their strategic knowledge and experience to help senior staff in schools draw up a careers delivery plan for students aged 11-18.

To find out more or to book a place, please contact the Economic Growth Team at economic.growth@north-norfolk.gov.uk or on 01263 5166009.

DJ Sara Cox joins the race on Ladies’ Night

Radio 2 and BBC TV presenter Sara Cox, a keen amateur horse rider as well as a professional DJ, is hosting a night of music at the seaside course’s July 19, Ladies’ Night.

Racecourse executive director Glenn Tubby said: “Ladies’ Night is always a special event in our summer calendar but Sara’s dance music will really be the icing on the cake. We are hoping fans of 80s music will turn out in force to enjoy their favourite sounds after an evening of racing action.”

Sara, a farmer’s daughter from Bolton, is well known for her festival DJ-ing as well as for her Sounds of the 80s show on BBC Radio 2 and also now for her live 24-hour danceathon which raised more than £800,000 for Comic Relief in March.

But she is also an equestrian sports fan. Sara has ridden in charity races at Goodwood and beat top jockey Frankie Dettori – a regular rider at Great Yarmouth – in a training ride ahead of the QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot.

Sara took part in a fun showjumping competition, Only Fools on Horses, for BBC Sport Relief in 2006. Now fully recovered, four years ago she broke a collar bone in a riding accident.

At Great Yarmouth Racecourse she will DJ after an evening of flat racing and play a set featuring dance-driven music ranging from the 80s up to today’s chart hits.

Sara said: “I’m really looking forward to my visit to Great Yarmouth racecourse. I’ll hopefully get to see some magnificent race horses before getting the Ladies’ Night crowd dancing with tracks from some of my favourite bands and artists from the 80s. Who doesn’t like 80s music? It was the soundtrack to my generation, with classic songs from music legends.”

Tickets and packages (£16-£34, with group discounts for 15 or more) and information available at www.greatyarmouth-racecourse.co.uk or call 01493 842527.