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REVIEW: Don’t Dress for Dinner, Sheringham Rep

The Summer Rep season at Sheringham Little Theatre is always a delight of treats throughout August and this year is no exception.

Don’t Dress for Dinner launched the summer season at Sheringham Little Theatre on Thursday, July 26, and shows now run until September 5.

Set in the French countryside two hours from Paris, Don’t Derss for Dinner is a fast-moving, hilarious, typical farce, full of double meanings, mistaken identities and amorous intentions. The story centres on a married couple and a weekend where they are both intending to spend the time with their respective lovers, unknown to each others.

Into the mix comes the cook, Suzette (Lauren Verrier), whom Bernard (Steve Banks) has employed for the evening while he is entertaining his lover Suzanne (Sarah Langton). His wife, Jaqueline (Naomi Bullock), was meant to be visiting her mother but was secretly spending time with her lover, Robert (Matt Jamie). Plans go awry and they all end up in the same house trying to keep their respective secrets, which results in hilarious confusion and sharp banter.

A very entertaining and fun evening which the audience enjoyed and appreciated. If you have missed this production there are more to come from the rep company at Sheringham Little Theatre.

Kevin and Sandra Stone

 

 

 

From patients to pottery

Work experience students Evie Cowling, Sophie Smith and Kitty Foss spoke to Jane Bond about how a pottery hobby has escalated into selling her plates, bowls and more to friends and businesses

 

Retired theatre nurse Jane Bond never expected to make a second career of her hobby when she discovered a love for clay after a six-week pottery course.

Now, a year on from finding her creativity streak, she is supplying a top Norwich restaurant with plates, dishes and bowls as well taking on commissions.

“It wasn’t something I had thought of doing before,” she said. “Perhaps the creativity streak is something to do with the caring side as a nurse.”

Her hobby became a passion and, after posting photos of her pieces on Facebook, she instantly had requests from various friends asking her to make something for them.

But it was at Worstead Festival last year, where Jane’s talents suddenly had a larger audience. She said: “I help out each year behind the scenes in hospitality and washing up for the chefs in the kitchen theatre. I was a bit cheeky and asked if the chefs would use my plates to hand round the food they were cooking.”

They attracted the attention of Roger Hickman, the owner and head chef of his highly-commended, fine dining restaurant in Norwich and he asked her about providing tableware for him and to contact him after the festival.

“I didn’t didn’t have the confidence at the time to ask him about it,” she said, and time lapsed. Six months later, he posted a picture of Jane’s tableware online and got in touch to order more than 100 pieces, from serving dishes to amuse bouche bowls.

It was a big change from making single items for friends, so she decided it was time to invest in her own kiln. She’s now thinking of buying another to keep up with orders.

So far she has not had to advertise her wares, using social media and word of mouth to spread the word. She said: This keeps it close to home and more bespoke as she thinks it’s extremely important that “it doesn’t become a production line”.

Last Christmas, at a small fair in Worstead, Jane noticed the amount of artistic talent within the village and how there wasn’t really anything or anywhere local to showcase their talents.

So, at this year’s Worstead Festival, she has got together with like-minded artisans to launch Made in Worstead, which will be held on the Sunday, July 29 (Saturday, July 28, will be a produce show).

The idea isn’t just to sell their work, but also to attract more artists from the area to get involved and start to build a bigger community of local people who enjoy art. Jane made it clear that it’s important to her that it stays “handmade and original” to make the group different and unique.

She has various plans for the future, both personal and for the artisan crafts group, including her own studio so she has more space to build up her collection. She has many ideas for the group, such as a Christmas fair in the church and organising demonstrations and workshops in the village hall.

The overall aim is to get people involved so that they may even find something they love doing, just like she did with pottery a year and a half ago, which has become so much more than just a hobby.

PICTURES: SOPHIE SMITH

 

New exhibit to raise awareness of wetland habitats

A Norfolk visitor attraction is doing its bit to help save wetland habitats by launching a new Wetland Discovery Area for visitors.

On Thursday, July 19, Pensthorpe Natural Park, in Fakenham, opened the doors to its latest new attraction, the Wetland Discovery Area, which is intended to educate visitors about the importance and fragility of wetland habitats and to inspire them to help protect them.

The new £70,000 educational area demonstrates the different wetland habitats around the world such as lakes, rivers and garden ponds, and has been part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A large pond-dipping facility, thought to be the largest in Norfolk, gives visitors a ‘hands on’ opportunity to see domestic wetland habitats in action, whilst the popular Pensthorpe flamingos are back on public display as their new home, illustrative of tropical lagoons more commonly found in southern Spain, takes pride of place within the new area.

Wetlands occur on every continent of the world, except Antarctica. Many of these wetland areas are home to species which both permanently live there or travel to take advantage of their food supplies. Unfortunately, in the last 100 years about half of the world’s wetlands have vanished yet they are still hugely valuable for wildlife. Whether for water provision, hunting territory, breeding sites or plant growth, wetlands are vitally important.

Bill Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe, comments: “We want to tell the story of wetlands as a habitat. They are diverse, complex, teeming with life, yet, most worryingly, under threat, so the more we can do to make people aware of their unique place within the ecosystem the better.

“We want to take our visitors on a journey of both guided and self-led exploration, starting with interactive pond-dipping in the Wetland Discovery Area and finishing at the Wetland Hide where they can observe nature in action. If we can communicate the beauty of these habitats effectively, we hope to inspire a passion in our visitors to protect them.”

The new area is the latest addition to the 700-acre reserve since it opened its Wetland Hide in April this year.

The new Wetland Discovery Area opening comes within the same month as Pensthorpe Natural Park sees its 30th anniversary and its 15th under the care of current owners Bill and Deb Jordan (pictured below).

For more information about Pensthorpe visit pensthorpe.com or call 01328 851465.

Norfolk Police urge people to stay safe over warm World Cup weekend

With Norfolk being promised more warm weather across this World Cup weekend, officers are reminding people to stay safe and think about personal safety.

Temperatures having been soaring across the county over the last couple of weeks and with sights set on the 3pm kick off on Saturday (7 July) officers are warning people not to put themselves at risk during all the excitement.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard said: “This is an exciting weekend for Norfolk, not only because England are in the quarter finals of the World Cup but also because we have a number of events being held across the county.

“In Norwich many people will be out to enjoy the Lord Mayor’s celebrations. If you are heading into the city please plan your day ahead, make use of public transport and be aware of any road closures which will be in place for the procession which will now start at 6pm, an hour later than originally scheduled.

“If you are heading out to enjoy the sunshine elsewhere please ensure you secure your vehicle and remove all valuables from display and from the vehicle where possible. At this time of year opportunistic thieves will be on the look-out for homes and cars with open windows and unlocked doors.

“For those who will be watching the football on Saturday we know an increased amount of alcohol and intensified emotions can sometimes lead to an increase in public order offences. We encourage everyone to enjoy the World Cup, but want to remind people to be considerate and tolerant of others.

“If you go out to watch the match we want you to have a good day out and make sure you stick with your friends. Excessive drinking leading to anti-social behaviour can have very damaging consequences for those concerned, and sometimes for their families.

“Norfolk has specific policing plans in place. Officers will deal robustly with any issues, but we hope there will not be a need to do so. People need to take responsibility for themselves and their friends. Make sure you plan ahead, if you’re going to watch a match at a pub pre-book safe transport home and do not accept lifts from strangers.

“There will be an increased police presence during the match in the city and town centres throughout the county to minimise the risk of any alcohol-related disorder.”

Chief Inspector Barnard is also warning people heading towards the broads or the coast this weekend to stay safe near the water: “Norfolk is well known for its maze of open waterways and on a hot day the water may look an inviting place to cool down. Please remember the rivers around the broads are unsuitable for swimming in and have hidden dangers such as a sudden change in depth, decreases in temperatures and unseen objects and currents, which can cause even the strongest of swimmers to get into difficulty very quickly.”

You can get more information about home and personal security across the summer months on the Norfolk Constabulary website at www.norfolk.pnn.police.uk

England Manager Gareth Southgate. Fans will be out cheering his team on across the city and county on Saturday.

REVIEW: Cromer Summer Show

The summer show at the Cromer Pier pavilion opened with fast-moving fun and plenty of laughs.

The show runs for 14 weeks from opening night giving audiences a unique experience  of the only end of the pier variety show in the world.

This year, in the shows 41st year, compere is comedian and impressionist Steve Terry. The jokes came thick and fast and he had the audience joining in, all in good humour.

The show dancers are legendary and always give a magical performance, very skilful and fast moving. The children from the Marlene school of dance were charming as ever in their performances.

Vocalists are Emily Yarrow, who is in her sixth year of performing in the summer show, and newcomer Harvey James. Emily’s lovely voice shone in songs ranging from pop to opera, which shows why she is so popular. harvey has a powerful voice and sang a very moving version of Anthem from the musical Chess.

The comedy is provided by a young man called simply “G”. He has so many voices in his repertoire that its like a whole show in one man – he is very funny. Illusionists Zooka and Suzie Q are a fast-moving duo who amaze. Suzie Q is suspended in air with no visible means of support. How do they do that? The scenery and lighting, as usual are out of this world, along with the marvellous costumes and music. A show not to be missed.

The show runs until September 22. See www.cromerpier.co.uk

 Kevin and Sandra Stone

Pictures: Dave (Hubba) Roberts and Andreas Yiasimi

Dramatic video of marsh rescue

The dramatic moment a police drone found a man stuck in marshes after being reported missing from Brancaster beach has been released.

Peter Pugh, aged 75 and from Brancaster, had been walking with friends and family at approximately 5.10pm on Saturday,  June 16, when he became separated from them.

Norfolk police, assisted by HM Coastguard, Hunstanton and Wells Inshore Lifeboat and Norfolk Lowland and Search Service, began searches of the local area throughout the night and into Sunday, June 17.

At approximately 2.35pm the Norfolk Police drone, being piloted by Sergeant Danny Leach, spotted Peter stuck in very dense reed beds and marshland at Titchwell. Sgt Leach was then able to guide a team from HM Coastguard and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service to him.

The team pulled Peter from a deep muddy creek before providing first aid until the Coastguard rescue helicopter arrived to winch him out.

Peter was then taken by air ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn where he is being treated for hypothermia.

Sergeant Alex Bucher, who helped co-ordinate the search operation, said: “This is a great example of multi-agency working at its best and through our teamwork we were able to successfully locate Peter and return him back to his family on Father’s Day.

“There is no doubt that without the police drone we would not have been able to locate him in the time we did. The police drone allows us to search areas that are difficult to access and within close range where a helicopter may not be able to get.

“Approximately 50 people were directly involved with this search operation and it was through their dedication and hard work we were able to save this man’s life.”

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said: “What a fantastic example of what can be achieved when our agencies work together and our police have the right tools for the job.

“Having pledged to give our officers the 21st century tools, including drones, that they need to keep our county safe, it’s incidents like this that demonstrate just how relevant that pledge was and continues to be.

“Now, almost a year since Norfolk Police launched its initial drone trial, this is yet another remarkable achievement. Well done to all involved.”

You can see the dramatic footage here  https://vimeo.com/275784037

 

Gretel takes a new direction at Sheringham Little Theatre

Directing a drama is a tick on the “bucket list” of battling cancer patient Gretel Brice.
She is at the helm of a youth musical production of the classic story Little Women, an empowering tale of a strong mum fighting adversity to bring up her daughters.
And, with her own daughters Megan and Matilda in the cast at theatres in Sheringham and Great Yarmouth, the show is a poignant and inspirational one for the family, as well as other people with cancer.
Gretel, 49, has had a busy 30-year career in social services, mental and alternative health,and followed her passion for music and dance as a teacher.
But, while running her own complementary health business, a diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer in March last year, saw her become a patient rather than a healer.
Her treatment included losing many organs in a life-saving 10-hour operation plus four months of chemotherapy.
“It was tough. I lost my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, and my whole body felt as if it was being poisoned but I was not prepared to lie in bed and suffer,” said Gretel, who lives near Happisburgh.
“I gardened my way through the impacts of chemo to push it through my system and alleviate the symptoms more quickly,” she explained.
As Gretel got stronger, friend Debbie Thompson, director of Sheringham Little Theatre, asked her to chaperone youngsters at the panto.
It led to Gretel choreographing a youth production of Bugsy Malone this spring, and now to direct Little Women from July 5-7. She also teaches dance and drama at St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, where the show will be staged on July 8.
“I was still in pain through Bugsy and have suffered some memory loss through the chemo – so remembering the dance steps meant extra work and lots of determination,” said Gretel.
“But dancing makes my soul dance, and the more I did it, the easier it became. It has been therapeutic – physically, mental and emotionally – and has rebuilt my confidence.”
Book tickets at www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com, 01263 822347.

PICTURE: RICHARD BATSON

‘Learning to live again’ Tiff Youngs exclusive

Claire Mutimer and Suzy Coulson, of The Backstory podcast, with an exclusive interview with Tiffany Youngs, wife of international rugby star Tom, about her cancer diagnosis, treatment, terminal prognosis, shock remission and the impact it has had on her four-year-old daughter and family.

At the age of 28, Tiff Youngs appeared to have an amazing life – recently married to Tom Youngs, the England, Lions and Leicester Tigers rugby player, with a new baby girl Maisie and a lovely family home in Leicester.

However this was all about to be turned on its head when she found out in 2014 that she was suffering from Hodgkin Lymphoma.

The latest Backstory podcast, which went live today (May 22), tells the remarkable story of how Tiff dealt with three years of ill health and numerous different treatments, including a stem cell transplant, only to be told the devastating news in May 2017 that her cancer was terminal.

Tiff said she told her daughter: “I said you know mummy hasn’t been very well, unfortunately mummy has got to go to heaven….and she was like ‘Oh OK so I never see mummy again’.” She was, at one point, given between four weeks and a year to live.

In the interview, Tiff talks to Claire about her health and emotions, and the extraordinary turnaround which sees her now in remission from the disease. This conversation with her daughter was quite different. “I said you know mummy was ill and lost all her hair, mummy’s all better now and so mummy isn’t going to heaven any more….and you suddenly just saw a different person in her…just a spring in her step,” she said.

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the development of lymophocytes (a type of white blood cell) in the blood, bone marrow and lymph glands. It affects the immune system and is often first diagnosed on finding swollen lymph nodes in your armpits or groin. Around 12,000 people are diagnosed with a type of lymphoma every year. Hodgkin Lymphoma refers to the specific lymphocytes which are affected.

Tiffany’s husband Tom plays for Leicester Tigers Rugby Club, is the current club captain and has received 28 England caps, as well as Lions success. Younger brother Ben also plays for Leicester and England. Ben opted to miss the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand following Tiff’s terminal prognosis in order to support Tiff and Tom. The brothers grew up in Aylsham. Youngs Park in the town is named after the family after they donated land for the park.

Tiff’s backstory podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, Acast and other podcast directories.  Find out more at thebackstorypodcast.co.uk or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you would like more information then you can get in touch with Claire and Suzy on hello@thebackstorypodcast.co.uk or by calling 07990 582683/07595 335855.

Tiffany with husband Tom and daughter Maisie

Picture: Claire Mutimer