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Open gardens near Holt raises over £2000 for local charity

Hard-working volunteers for a Norfolk charity raised over £2,300 in just two days – by providing tea and cakes to visitors to one of the county’s most stunning open gardens.

Fundraisers for the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind put on an amazing display of baking at the Stody Lodge Gardens near Holt, with visitors to the gardens tucking into a range of cakes, scones, flapjacks and biscuits worthy of the Great British Bake Off.

NNAB fundraiser Donna Minto, who organised the teams of volunteers across the two days, said, “We were blessed with two sunny afternoons, which brought lots of visitors to the stunning gardens at Stody Lodge. Catering for so many people all in search of a traditional English tea was a big challenge for a team of volunteers, but they rose to it magnificently.

“We want to thank the Stody Estate for allowing us to provide the refreshments and raise money in this way – their generosity has seen so many Norfolk charities benefit over the years. We hope our teas were worthy of one of the most stunning gardens in the county.”

Visitors to Stody Lodge gardens enjoying afternoon tea provided by the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind.

NNAB-fundraiser-Donna-Minto-with-the-splendid-array-of-cakes-at-the-Stody-Lodge-open-gardens-tea

More than 80 tractors take a tour of Holt to raise money for prostate cancer

A tractor run to raise money for prostate cancer care will take place through the streets of Holt on Sunday 11th June.

The event, which will involve more than 80 vintage and modern vehicles, will start at Briston Recreation Ground at 10am. The tractor run will travel through Holt and the surrounding areas before returning to the recreation ground at around 12.30pm to continue the celebrations at a vintage fayre.

A display of steam engines and stationary engines will also feature at the event which is set to delight anyone with an interest in moving machines.

The man responsible for organising this exciting event is 80 year-old Brian Cottrell from Holt, who has organised a variety of events to raise funds for prostate cancer at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. This is a cause close to Brian’s heart as he has family members who have experienced prostate cancer.

Other entertainment on offer throughout the day, which will run until 4pm, includes performances from the Holt Ridge Morris Dancers and Highland Pipers. A variety of refreshments will also be available, including fresh doughnuts, candy floss and a licensed bar.

Louise Cook, NNUH Fundraising Manager, said: “We’re so grateful to Brian for organising this fantastic event to raise funds for our hospital. With such a huge variety of attractions on offer on the day, there’s something for all the family and it would be great if people in the local area wanted to come out and show their support.”

Emma McKay, Director of Nursing at NNUH, added: “We continue to be delighted by the imaginative things our fundraisers organise and take part in to raise money for NNUH. I’d like to thank Brian for his amazing efforts in pulling this unique event together and for his ongoing support for the hospital charity.”

Brian Cottrell can be contacted on 01263 711096 for more information on the event. Please note that only invited tractors and engines are able to participate in the tractor run.

Sheringham theatre’s tribute to movie legend Sir John Hurt

The acting talent of the late legend Sir John Hurt is being celebrated on the community theatre screen which he launched.

Sir John officially opened the digital projection system at Sheringham Little Theatre four years ago.

The actor, who died aged 77 in January lived in North Norfolk and was a supporter of the venue’s film and stage drama work.

During a week starting on Friday (May 26) the theatre will show a short season of some of his best work including an early role in the Tudor classic A Man for All Seasons, and leads in the poignant Elephant Man and spy drama Scandal.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “Sir John was a great supporter of our theatre, and we miss him very much, so we wanted to remember him through screening some of his best films at a place we know he was fond of.”

Sir John visited the venue regularly to chat to the actors appearing in the summer repertory drama season and during a launch event for the local-filmed movie In Love with Alma Cogan, in which he played a theatre manager.

He also played a “part” as the pre-recorded voice of the Magic Mirror in its Snow White pantomime in 2013.

Debbie added: “We are also hoping to display photographs of Sir John during his visits here – and would invite any members of the public who have memories or anecdotes involving Sir John to share them with us in a memory book we have in the foyer.”

Send any pictures or memories to: Sir John Hurt Memories, Sheringham Little Theatre, 2 Station Road, Sheringham, Norfolk, NR26 8RE or email debbie@sheringhamlittletheatre.com (The theatre cannot return original photographic prints, so please send copies – or scan and email them as 1 to 2MB jpegs).

Tickets for each film are £5 through the box office on 01263 822347, or visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

Sir John Hurt showing old and new technology when he launched Sheringham Little Theatre’s new digital projection equipment in May 2013.
PICTURE: RICHARD BATSON

 

 

Paul and Bluebell hit the road again

The fastest milk float in the East will be off on her travels again as Paul Thompson and Bluebell head to Cornwall in aid of Cancer Research.

The Sheringham-based singer/songwriter will be driving the souped-up vehicle all the way to Land’s End, performing gigs along the way on a tour which he hopes will raise £5,000 for the charity.

With a top speed of 19mph, Bluebell is 4/5mph faster than the average milk float – but Paul won’t have his foot down all the way. He expects Bluebell’s Busking Bonanza tour to take most of the summer, at a more sedate 10mph.

“I think it’s going to take about two months to get there because I’m playing lots of gigs on the way,” he said. “I am aiming to do about 30. I called it the Busking Bonanza but it’s mainly not busking. I will be doing some busking, but lots of the gigs will be proper gigs in pubs with gardens or festivals and artisan markets.”

Events lined up already are a classic car festival near Oxford and a session with radio legend Bob Harris for his online TV channel . Paul is also waiting to hear if he has nabbed a coveted spot at Glastonbury. A dream gig which, he said, would be “absolutely brilliant”.

The tour will start with a launch party at the Harnser, in Cley, on June 2 where there will be food from 7pm and music from 8pm. Paul and Bluebell plan to hit the road on June 3 – a poignant anniversary .

“My dad, Terry, passed away from cancer a year ago so I wanted to do something really positive to commemorate him. Having seen what cancer can do to someone I wanted to help the next generation,” he said.

Fitted out with a stage and solar panels to power the gear needed for Paul’s performances, Bluebell has most of the mod cons needed for the journey but Paul hopes to hear from people who can put on a gig, host him for a night or help to keep Bluebell charged up.

He is already grateful for those who contributed £80 towards his challenge as he busked outside Budgens in Holt, courtesy of Bakers and Larners, last Saturday.

Anyone wanting to follow Bluebell’s route can visit www.paulsmusic.co.uk for his blog and keep up with live updates on Facebook and Twitter. Donations can be made at http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paulsmusic.

PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO

 

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.

Art prize renamed in honour of film legend

Holt Festival is paying tribute to actor Sir John Hurt by renaming the art prize competition in his honour. And the Sir John Hurt Art Prize is now open for entries.
The honour has been made to celebrate the screen and stage acting legend, who, before his sad death in January had been a great enthusiast for the prize. He served on the panel of judges and presented the award to the winning entry as often as acting commitments allowed.
The Sir John Hurt Art Prize is open to artists everywhere. In previous years there have been entries by artists from all over the UK. There is a cash prize of £1,500 for the winner and in addition the winning artwork will be exhibited at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in the autumn.
All types of visual art are welcome but entries must be submitted before the deadline of midnight on Sunday, June 18, 2017. Judges will select a shortlist of 25-30 that will be exhibited at the Auden Theatre, Holt from July 23-30. The winner will be announced at a private view on the evening of July 23.

The exhibition is part of the Holt Festival Art Trail that also takes in many other galleries and exhibition spaces around the town.
Last year’s competition once again attracted an extremely high standard of entries with Norfolk artist Lara Cobden winning with her painting The Enchanted Garden, unanimously selected from almost 200 entries.
Alongside his amazing acting career the late Sir John Hurt was a gifted painter. At the age of 17 he attended The Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art and Design) and in 1959, he won a scholarship to Saint Martin’s School of Art (now Central St Martin’s) in London. He continued to paint throughout his life. He was also passionately interested in encouraging others, in recent years becoming Chancellor of Norwich University of The Arts.
Holt Festival Art Prize organiser and international art appraiser James Glennie said: “Holt Festival was keen to acknowledge the support and friendship Sir John offered the festival. It seemed an obvious move to rename the art prize in his honour.”
This year’s judges are well-known modern and contemporary British art specialist Robert Upstone, who spent 23 years as a senior Tate curator, Amanda Geitner, director of The East Anglia Art Fund, and Sainsbury Centre acting deputy director and head of collections Calvin Winner.
Entry forms can be downloaded from www.holtfestival.org <http://www.holtfestival.org>  http://www.holtfestival.org/whats-on/arts-prize/ <http://www.holtfestival.org/whats-on/arts-prize/>

Sir John Hurt is pictured here presenting the Holt Festival art award in 2014 to winner Francesca Perkins.

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