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Young talent takes on literary classic as musical

Norfolk’s young talented actors are maing up the cast in a new production for Norfolk Youth Music Theatre.
The musical of Jane Eyre is based on the famous romantic novel by Charlotte Brontë, the musical tells the story of orphan Jane from her unhappy childhood to falling in love with the master of Thornfield Hall, Edward Rochester, who employs her as governess to his ward.
Their union seems doomed, Jane flees, disaster strikes Edward – but there is a happy ending.
The lead role of Jane is played by former Aylsham High student Ellen Smith, who is currently studying drama, history and film at Paston College, as well as getting involved with Far East Theatre Company’s performances.
She has performed with the Norfolk Youth Music Theatre many times, including Rita O’Grady in Made in Dagenham, Cosette in Les Miserables and Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors. Ellen has also performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival twice with NYMT and with Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society.
Ellen, 17, is currently in the process of auditioning for drama schools across the country. She said: “Acting is something I enjoy more than anything, and being a part of such a lovely, talented company makes the experience even more enjoyable. Jane Eyre is such a fantastic part to tackle, I will need to draw on all of my emotions when portraying this iconic character.”
Amy English, 17, is also a former Aylsham student, now studying drama and performing arts at Paston, where she is involved in the show Illyria. Doctor Who fan Amy said: “I am a huge fan of the show, but most of all I love acting, and hope to go to drama school and pursue a career in theatre.”
Current high school student Elizabeth (Libby) Lumb is playing Adele in Jane Eyre.
The 12-year-old has appeared in a few shows previously, such as The Sound of Music and The King and I at Aylsham High School, and was part of the choir in the touring West End production of Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat.
She said: “I love acting and want to continue as long as possible. I  also like walking my dog, Douglas, and having fun with my friends.”
Sophie Millington, 10, and Jeremiah Humphreys-Piercy, 16, are also starring.
Sophie, who plays the young Jane, is in Year 5 at Town Close School and loves acting, singing, dancing and Brownies.
“I play the violin with Norwich Suzuki Group and I also play the piano,” she said.  “As well as taking part in school productions, I have performed in Bill Kenwright’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, and have sung with Blake at Cromer Pier, Rebeca Newman at Norwich Playhouse, and Classical Reflection at Sheringham and Trimingham.
“My biggest interest is theatre and performing and my favourite sport is netball.”
Jeremiah plays magistrate Mr Eshton. He studied at CNS where he began to enjoy drama, playing John Hale in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and Banquo in Macbeth.
He currently attends Paston Sixth Form College, where he is studying A-level drama and is appearing in the college’s production of Illyria this month. Jeremiah enjoys making films and YouTube videos in his spare time. He hopes to go to drama school and start an acting career

Music and lyrics for the production are by Paul Gordon, book and additional lyrics by John Caird. It is directed by Adrian Connell.
For tickets contact the Norwich Playhouse box office on 10603 598598 or visit www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk

Growing local stage talent … and a killer plant in Sheringham

An alien plant living in a flower shop has an appetite for a frightening fertiliser – human blood.

But the story combining horror with horticulture is helping young acting talent grow too.

Little Shop of Horrors runs at Sheringham Little Theatre from September 27-29, using a cast of 11 youngsters drawn from the venue’s youth drama group.

Co-director Harry Williams, 23, from North Walsham, said the young cast had enjoyed rehearsing the show during the summer because it was “silly with lots of jokes and space for wacky characters.”

He has been performing with the group since he was eight and has appeared in the venue’s summer drama season pantomime. Now Harry is making his debut at directing – while also playing one of the three versions of the hungry plant. Jess Chamberlin shares the directing and choreography.

The other cast members in the show, set in America, are; Charlie Randall as timid flower shop worker Seymour, Lucy Connor as his co-worker and love interest Audrey, Sam Thompson as shop owner Mr Mushnik, Jack Jarvis as Orin the dentist, plus Emily Sidnell, Pippa Randall and Emily Reiner as a trio of urchins.

Mr Williams said the cast had a mixture of experience and it was great to see the newcomers learning from the regulars who had previously taken leading roles.

The team, in their teens and 20s, has also had to make three versions of the plant, Audrey II, to map its alarming growth.

The show is also brimming with 1960s music, and has a three-piece “orchestra pit.”

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “The show is done completely by the youth group – giving them great experience of the stage, management and creating props and scenery, which is a brilliant opportunity for them.”

The show is on at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 from the box office on 01263 822347 or visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

Picture: Matt Coomber                                      Charlie Randall who plays flower shop worker Seymour in the Little Shop of Horrors at Sheringham Little Theatre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theatre panning for gold in search for Lost Boys actors

The search is on for some Lost Boys to join a the pantomime cast at Sheringham Little Theatre for Peter Pan.

At least a dozen Lost Boys are needed, as well as four youngsters to take the speaking parts of John and Michael, Wendy’s brothers who join the magical journey.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said the panto provided opportunities for youngsters to join the professional cast and gain experience.

“We normally get lots to auditions but can only take a few. However, this year there are many more opportunities, which we are thrilled about because we like to get the community involved,” she added.

One youngster who has reaped the benefits of getting involved in youth drama productions is 12-year-old Joe Oxtoby from Bacton. “Being involved in the theatre has really boosted my confidence, given me life skills and I have made a lot of friends,” said Joe. He has also gone on to win coveted summer school places with the National Youth Music Theatre and the National Youth Choir. Joe’s ambition is to be a commercial airline pilot – with the stage as a hobby in the wings.

Youngsters keen to be among Pan’s panto Lost Boys should be aged eight to 16 and should enjoy acting and singing, though no experience is necessary. The part of John is aged about 12 and Michael six to eight. Girls have not been left out. There is also a need to find a Tiger Lily, aged about 16, who is a strong singer as well as a good actress.

Peter Pan runs from December 7 to January 1, and sees the “boy who never grows up” helping Wendy and her brothers fly to London, via Norfolk – encountering pirate Captain Hook and two troublesome crocs Tick and Tock along the way.

Cast members need to be available from October.

Auditions are on September 18 at 10am at the theatre. Hopefuls need to come dressed to move and with a song prepared. They will be taught a short dance routine and given a piece to read. There is no need to register in advance.

For more information see updates on the theatre website www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

Picture: Richard Batson

Picture: Richard Batson

 

New acting classes for adults in North Walsham

A chance to learn acting skills, develop confidence and meet new people is shaping up with a new group for adults, hosted by Arts North Norfolk at the Atrium.

The classes will take place every first and third Monday of the month starting in March. The sessions will cost £3 each and run from 7-8.15pm. A free introductory session will be held on February 29.
The sessions are in response to many requests to start the group up and activity will focus on acting technique, theatre games and exercises. Beginners and those who have tread the boards before are welcome to come along and join in.

Joseph Ballard, director of Arts North Norfolk and professional actor and theatre director said:
“Like our Community Choir, the group has been set up to welcome anybody of any ability to come along and have fun. Group members will shape what we do in the future – from styles of acting learnt and even shows later down the line.”

Arts North Norfolk currently runs North Walsham Community Choir and the drama club and youth theatre for children and young people which takes place on a Tuesday. More event and workshop listings can be found at www.artsnorthnorfolk.org.

To sign up and to book tickets for events, call 01692 218060 or pop into No. 1 Market Place, North Walsham (open Wednesday to Saturday).
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