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A fab night of music at Theatre Royal

I never got to see the Beatles perform live, possibly due to the fact that I wasn’t born until 1966.

My discovery of the Fab Four came much later when, as a 12-year-old, I found a stack of LPs and a portable record player belonging to my stepmum, a huge fan who also never got to see them live.

So last night’s performance Let It Be at the Theatre Royal was a right treat for us both.

The show looked back at the musical history of the “mop tops” through the recreation of signature performances such as the Royal Variety Show and Shea Stadium, interspersed with newsreel and adverts from the time. How we chuckled as the newly-married bride lit up with the voiceover slogan “time for a Capstan”.

The four performers were faultless musicians, swapping from guitar to piano and back. The joke back in the day was that Ringo Starr wasn’t the best drummer in the world, he wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles. You certainly couldn’t have said that about Ben Cullingworth as a believable Ringo. He was joined on stage by Richard Jordan as John (he passed the test with my stepmum, John was her favourite), John Brosnan as George and Emanuele Angeletti as Paul.

The first half was a tour through the Beatles’ back catalogue from early days to the Sgt Pepper years, the second half an imagined reunion for John’s 40th birthday taking in each band member’s solo material. This included a stunning version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps with the guitar solo masterfully played by ‘George’. George didn’t event play that on the original, it was Eric Clapton.

The audience ranged in age but had one thing in common, they knew the words to all the songs and were encouraged to sing along and get up, clap and dance.

A couple of crowd pleasers ended the concert – Let It Be and Hey Jude – before a standing ovation. A truly uplifting evening of music from one of the worlds best and biggest bands.

“Kill* for a ticket” – Patsy Webster (stepmum)

(*Don’t actually kill someone, obviously. The show runs until Saturday and tickets are still available. www.theatreroyal.co.uk)

Gay Webster

Pictures: Paul Coltas

No Great British Prom at Blickling this summer

The Great British Prom will be taking a break this year with a view to returning to the Blickling Estate in 2020.

Lisa Ward of organisers Revival Productions said: “We have been running this type of concert for many years and experience shows us that sometimes it’s good to have a break, with a view to coming back with renewed vigour.

“The Great British weather worked against us last year, however, we know that this event has become a firm favourite in the Norfolk calendar and so we are planning to come back bigger and better in 2020!”

Jo Bosch, visitor experience nanager at Blickling said “Our summer concerts are something we look forward to all year and are a highlight of our annual programme. 

“Classic Ibiza promises to be even bigger and better this year and we really welcome the approach our partners at Revival Productions are taking in asking what their loyal supporters would like to see at the Great British Prom event at Blickling in 2020.”

Revival Productions are asking the Great British Prom audience what they’d like to see for 2020. The traditional proms event or perhaps something different? You can have your say by visiting the Great British Prom Facebook page and commenting there, or email info@revival-productions.co.uk with your thoughts.

Lisa added: “Tell us what you’d love to see! We have a year to plan something very special for our Norfolk audience.”

Classic Ibiza will be returning this year on Friday August 9. For full event details please visit www.classicibiza.co.uk or call 01283 841601.

 

Blickling Great British Prom 2017, Photo by Simon Finlay Photography.

Norfolk drink/drug driving results shock

Nearly 190 people were arrested during the Christmas drink and drug driving campaign in Norfolk, with more people testing positive for drugs than alcohol.

Norfolk police have just released the results of the month-long campaign, launched on 1 December 2018, which targeted drivers getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs. A total of 189 drivers were arrested.

A break down of the results shows that 1,140 breath tests were carried out with 72 people providing positive readings, while 97 people failed drug tests out the 180 conducted.  In addition, nine people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen while 11 people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

During the 2017 campaign, 947 tests were carried out with 81 drivers providing positive readings. Of the 172 drug tests conducted 56 drivers failed. In addition, six people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen while 12 people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

This year again saw specific time slots at Norwich Magistrates’ Courts being reserved to deal with those caught drink or drug driving. This effectively meant that offenders could lose their licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed whilst facing additional fines.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, Head of the Roads Armed Policing Team (RAPT), said: “It’s disappointing to see that people are still prepared to take the risk and get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, although it does appear to be a minority of motorists.

“A notable difference during this campaign is that there have been more drivers tested positive for drugs than alcohol. While this is a concern, drug driving is something we actively target all year round. It’s also a reflection of our increased ability to carry out roadside tests for cannabis and cocaine.

“Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower and therefore increasing the chances of being involved in a collision.”

 

A roadside drug-test device.

 

 

‘Vote for Cringleford’s Acts of Kindness’ plea

Cringleford Hub’s mission to unite the new community has led organisers to launch a year-long Acts of Kindness project in 2019 – and they’re appealing for your votes.

The scheme aims “to promote mindful compassion in order to help everyone to lead happier, healthier, more connected lives.”

Organisers are urging residents to vote for the project in the Aviva Community Fund 2018 scheme at www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/campaign/getinvolved before the November 20 closing date.

A hub spokesman said: “Having a year-long project promoting and enabling opportunities for individuals, families, groups, clubs, businesses and organisations to ‘pay it forward’ in our rapidly-expanding village, will enable the practice of kindness to become a habit; a way of being.”

Funding from the Aviva scheme would help create a “pledge register” for the Acts of Kindness, publicise the project and buy items for craft activities, gifts and props to take out to local organisations.

“Cringleford Hub’s story has grown out of the conviction that people can have a real and beneficial impact on the communities where they live and work and beyond, with practical and committed loving service,” the spokesman added.

The hub currently runs a community café, a weekly toddlers’ group, a children’s film group, in conjunction with Cringleford Parish Council; a weekly worship group, and community events from picnics to art trails.

Free support afternoon in Cringleford for carers

A care home in Cringleford is inviting the local community to a free event offering support and advice to family carers.

On Wednesday  November 14, from 1.30pm–4pm, the team at Care UK’s Cavell Court on Dragonfly Lane is welcoming people to its first ‘Communication for Carers’ event, designed to help local family carers to get to know each other and share ideas and experiences.

Gina Brown from Age UK Norwich will be hosting the interactive workshop and will discuss the different types of dementia, behaviour changes in loved ones, and tools for effective communication.

Carers are also encouraged to bring their loved ones along to the event, who will be able to take part in a range of activities delivered specially by Cavell Court’s lifestyle team.

After the event there will be a Q&A session with Gina and the opportunity to meet the friendly team at Cavell Court, as well as take a closer look at the care home.

Cavell Court home manager, Jennie Rodger, said: “Here at Cavell Court, we strongly believe that being informed and sharing experiences can make a real difference to those caring for a loved one, and it can often be a great comfort to hear that others understand your situation.

“Our free advice events always prove to be incredibly popular with local people so I’m hopeful that our first Communication for Carers workshop will also be a success. We look forward to welcoming Gina to Cavell Court for what promises to be an interesting and inspiring afternoon of information and guidance.”

For further information on Cavell Court, or to book your free place, please call customer relations manager, Samantha Woods on 01603 856 835, or email samantha.woods@careuk.com.

Cavell Court.

 

New youth production of musical favourite

The award-winning Norfolk Youth Music Theatre’s is bringing its latest production, the Lionel Bart musical Oliver! to the Maddermarket from October 31 – November 3.
Younsgters from Norwich, Aylsham and North Walsham are amonf those involved in the production, based on Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist. It features many much-loved classic songs including Food Glorious Food, Where is Love? Consider Yourself, and Reviewing the Situation.

Callum Adkins, 18, who plays Mr Bumble, said: “Oliver is my favourite musical. I went to Aylsham High School and was in four of the school musicals, including King and I in my final year, where I played the King. I have just finished studying drama, business and film studies at Paston College, where I got 2 As and a B. I am currently in my gap year and am once again applying for drama schools this year, as my dream is to become a stage and screen actor.”

Georgia Stannett, 17, was also a pupil at Aylsham High, where she appeared in many shows, including Guys and Dolls and The Sound of Music. Ted and Lottie Lake, from Cringleford, are also looking forward to show. Ted, 11, who is playing the Artful Dodger, was recently Fat Sam at Sherringham Little Theatre’s production of Bugsy Malone. Lottie is eight.

Sophie Millington, 10,  said she was really looking forward to performing in Oliver! her second production with Norfolk YMT. “As well as taking part in school productions I have performed in Bill Kenwright’s touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and have sung with Blake, Tenors Unlimited, Rebeca Newman and Classical Reflection.  My biggest interest is theatre and performing and my favourite sport is netball.  In the future I would love to be in more of Adrian’s shows and hopefully become a performer when I am grown up,” she said.

For tickets ring the box office on 01603 620917 or visit www.maddermarket.co.uk

Cast members Sophie Middleton, Callum Adkins, Ted Lake, Lottie Lake and Georgia Stannett

 

 

Just Regional celebrates first decade!

Yes that’s right, it was 10 years ago when the first issue of Just Aylsham first popped through letterboxes.

For those who don’t know the story, business owner Lee Todd was keen to see a local magazine full of local stories for his home town and so the idea of the hyperlocal Just name was established.

The Aylsham magazine was soon joined by one dedicated to North Walsham and the business then expanded along the coast, into other parts of Broadland and finally around the outskirts of Norwich.

Today, the Just magazines hits 50,000 dooormats in 10 areas, with free pick-ups in libraries, information centres and shops.

Just Regional serves 10 towns and city suburbs in Norfolk with four-weekly titles (three-weekly in Aylsham) and also covers all of those communities with Summer and Christmas special publications.

Built on a belief that hyperlocal news can be presented using high specification paper, quality journalism, excellent photography and professional sales, the business has grown from two part-time staff to 10 office staff and 120 distribution staff with their offices in Aylsham, a location central to all of the areas covered.

Lee said: “We’ve done an incredible job in Norfolk showing how hyperlocal can work, in a competitive marketplace, both for advertisers and readers.

“A lot of publishers have talked about hyperlocal for a long time – we have actually done it and made a success of the model.

“However we couldn’t have done it without our advertisers who have supported us right from day one. A big thank you to them and a happy anniversary to us!”

A big fan of the publications is BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad, who said: “Just Regional produce outstanding magazines run by wonderful people who love and champion their towns and villages. As the owner of a local business who has worked with Just Regional, these guys really get behind you and believe in you. Over the past decade they have woven themselves into the fabric of the communities they represent”.

The first issue of Just Aylsham from October 2008.