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Youngsters take on new show for latest performance

Talented youngsters will be taking on a new show when Norfolk Youth Music Theatre stages its latest production.
Director Adrian ConnelI was recently tipped off about a show, The Battle of the Boat, that had just been written and was yet unpublished. It had some performances by the National YMT at the Rose Theatre in London to trial it.
He said: “After contacting Ethan Maltby, the composer, to discuss performing the show I realised we had both gone to the same school and Ethan grew up three miles from where I did. It also turned out that I had been his chaperone in Edinburgh in the 1980s when he was a 16-year-old percussionist in the National YMT playing for Whistle Down the Wind. I knew his mother and a trombonist who regularly plays for the Norfolk YMT had played for the Rose Theatre production of The Battle of Boat.”
(The cast includes Aylsham High student Eleanor Diss, from Briggate, Isobel Holroyd, from Aldborough, Megan Howlett, from North Walsham and Mabel White, Aylsham.)
The Battle of Boat is a courageous tale of a group of children trying to find their place in a world at war in 1916. Frustrated by their inability to join the soldiers in battle, the children decide to do whatever it takes to help in the war effort.
However, they soon have to tackle their own conflict in the form of a local gang of bullies who will stop at nothing to see every plan they form fail.
Adrian said: “It’s heartwarming, funny, emotional and exciting and a true celebration of the steadfast British spirit that shone through during WW1.”
The script uses the language and emotions that young children use, particularly from the wartime era. It’s deliberately simple and littered with the nonsense youngsters get up to. Despite its innocence the music is extremely difficult.
Maltby and co-writer Jenna Donnelly began their writing partnership in 2010 with a commissioned piece for the opening of the Kent Youth Games. They went on to write the percussion-musical DrumChasers in 2011, narrated by Stephen Fry.
The show will run November 1-4 at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, 7.30pm nightly, with a 2.30pm matinee on the Saturday. Tickets are £12, concessions available.
Norfolk YMT is taking the show to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018.

REVIEW: Beautiful, The Carole King Musical, Theatre Royal

Well, that was a surprise.

I knew a couple of Carole King songs, the well-known ones she released – You’ve Got a Friend and Too Late. What I didn’t know was how many songs she penned for others before she became famous in her own right as a singer. Sixties hits such as Will You Love Me Tomorrow by the Shirelles, The Locomotion by Little Eva, Some Kind of Wonderful by the Drifters and One Fine Day were all down to the talented singer/songwriter who sold her fist tune, It Might as Well Rain until September, aged 16.

I had no preconceptions about the show and the programme doesn’t give too much away other than the muscial playlist. I also didn’t know that much about Carole King. Even though I was born in the 1960s the music of the decade passed me by as a child.

Now I do. The musical opens with her performing at Carnegie Hall, then Carole takes up the story, and the audience is taken back to her early musical years as a teenger, meeting husband and writing partner Gerry Goffin at college and their journey to success. Bronte Barbe and Kane Oliver Parry excelled in the lead roles, their musical prowess lighting up the stage and their love during the early days as a husband-and-wife team shining through.

And I didn’t expect the humour. It was really funny. The script raised many a laugh from the audience, there was also plenty of light-hearted action from The Drifters as they performed their hits.

There were also some goosebump moments – You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling by The Righteous Brothers (written by King contemporaries Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, played by Amy Ellen Richardon and Matthew Gonsalves) was a real rousing number and Carole’s first foray into performing with Too Late was poignant given the ending of her marriage. Barbe also belted out A Natural Woman, a showstopper indeed.

A little mention, too, for Carol Royal as King’s mother Genie Klein, a great role, superbly played. In fact, the whole cast were superb, thoroughly deserving their first night standing ovation.

If you have tickets, consider yourself lucky. You won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t got one to this sell-out show, try getting a return, it’ll be worth your while.

GAY WEBSTER

Business as usual after fire at Eaton pub

Two fast-acting bread delivery drivers have averted a fire disaster at Eaton’s historic Cellar House pub.

The grade two-listed building, which also houses Eaton Post Office, was open for business as usual today after a blaze broke out in an upstairs office shortly before 3am this morning.

Pye Baker drivers Paul Goodwin and Jamie Hamilton were delivering bread to the 19th-century pub in the early hours when they heard an alarm sounding.

Matt Cowling, Pye Baker manager, took up the story: “When they went towards the door they could hear that it was an inside smoke alarm. They looked around a bit and smelled what they thought was burning so they called the fire brigade and waited ’til they arrived”.

Crews from Earlham and Carrow raced to the scene and put out the blaze, which is believed to have started in a tumble dryer, and damage was contained within one room, according to pub manager Ben Topping.

A pub spokesman said they sent their heartfelt thanks to both Pye Baker and the fire service, adding: “You were guys were brilliant.”

Pub landlady Victoria MacDonald phoned the bakery later in the day to thank the two delivery men.

Photo of fire engines at the scene:  The Cellar House


 

If you’re after a show that has everything, this is for you.

Norwich Theatre Royal hosts Willy Russell’s award-winning, long-running musical, Blood Brothers.

It follows the story of twin brothers, Eddie and Mickey, who were separated at birth during the 1960’s in Liverpool.

Their lives were at opposite ends of the spectrum, one being raised by a wealthy middle-class family ¬- and the other in a life of trouble and poverty. One of the brothers has an amazing life of luxury, while the other has very little to his name. Having grown up as friends but never known about each other, they find themselves realising the truth in a devastating twist of fate.

The cast remained the same throughout, playing the characters from 7 years old (or nearly 8 according to Mickey), right through to adulthood. Cleverly showing the vulnerability of being a carefree child, to the severity of having to deal with adult life.

Sean Jones (Mickey) and Mark Hutchinson (Eddie) played the roles of the boys, with all ages of the characters being executed in a realistic and moving way, showing a real contrast.

Lyn Paul played the twins mother, Mrs Johnstone, and had a real motherly presence throughout, not to mention her amazing vocal talents that suited this character perfectly.

Dean Chisnall narrated the show, with the most captivating vocals. Although he was subtle with his stage presence, he was always there to tell the story in a demanding way. A real star of the show for me.

The minimal set had everything it needed to set the scene and show contrast between the boy’s lives.

Blood Brothers was the first show I ever saw in London’s West End as a school girl and it has made a huge impact on me ever since, it gave me my love for musicals. Nearly 20 years later, I was hopeful that it would make as much of an impact on me now as it did back then, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The story of nature vs nurture develops in a wonderful yet heart breaking way. It will strike a chord with anyone, no matter what age or background, there is something for everyone to take away from this story.

If you’re after a show that has everything, this is for you. From laugh out loud moments, to touching scenes with tear jerking devastation. There is no other show like this. Not one person still in their seat as it came to an end, and I’m sure not a dry eye in the house.

Blood Brothers will be running at Norwich Theatre Royal from now until 23 September.

Tickets available here http://bit.ly/2xdMGRr

Amie Croxton

Children get inspired to help Children in Need

Primary schools all over Norfolk will be bringing colour to the lives of less fortunate youngsters with a charity effort through Inspired Youth.

The group is staging a Pudsey Challenge from November 13-17 in 10 primary schools across North, South, East and, West Norfolk as well as hosting an event in central Norwich.

It is estimated 300 Year 2 students will be taking part in the two-hour sessions which will involve decorating 100 Pudsey Bears.

Inspired Youth project delivery manager Melissa Dunning called on the business community to help reach their fundraising goal.

She said: “We are looking for 100 business people to give an hour of their time to come to the schools and help support the decorating of the bears.”

There’s also the chance for businesses to sponsor the events for £50 and have their name added to a giant Inspired Youth cog from its logo or to donate pens, glitter and the like for the events.

The bears are A1 size and three children plus a business helper will be assigned to decorate each bear using arts and crafts. There will be special prize for the best bear awarded on Friday.

The aim is to raise £500 for Children in Need.

To pledge an hour of support email Admin@inspired-youth.co.uk. Also use that email if you have items to donate for decorating the berars/

To pledge £50 sponsorship for Children in Need go to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/pudsey100 or send a cheque payable to Inspired Youth projects, Inspired Youth, Henderson Business Centre, 51 Ivy Road, Earlham, Norwich, NR5 8BF.

On Twitter use @inspired__youth, @BBCCin and #pudesy100 to promote the event


Norwich North MP Chloe Smith is supporting the event. She is pictured her with Inspired Youth CEO Natalie Davies

Suspicious man seen at time of Eaton burglary

Police are keen to find a man wearing dark clothing who was acting suspiciously at the time of a burglary in Eaton.

A watch was stolen from an address in Hardwick Close at around 10pm on Monday  September 4.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have any information and in particular, anyone who may have seen the man.

Anyone with information should contact DC Hayley Jennings at Norwich CID on 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

 

Support for women through that ‘tricky period’

Homeless women and females on low incomes will benefit from a new service set up to provide free sanitary products at Norwich’s main libraries.

The Tricky Period project involves the libraries taking donations of products and handing them out to people who cannot afford them, with no questions asked about proof of eligibility.

Staff at Tuckswood, Earlham, West Earlham, Mile Cross, Plumstead Road, St Williams Way and The Millennium libraries have been taking in donations of tampons, sanitary towels and carrier bags for the last few weeks ready to start the scheme on Thursday, September 28.

Community librarian Caroline Varney-Bowers is behind the project. She said: “I became aware of a project called The Homeless Period where homeless women struggle to afford these items and did some further research about period poverty. I found this is also an issue for young women from low income families and sometimes leads to girls missing school during their period.

“Library staff have been hugely supportive of starting up this service and we have already had some donations.”

Order forms will be available in Norwich Libraries at the staff desk (at The Millennium Library this will be the ground floor joining desk). Customers can tick the products they require and hand in their form at the desk and receive the items they need.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “It’s fantastic that our library staff have set up this service which will help vulnerable women and girls in Norwich. As well as the problem of affordability, this could potentially improve women’s health, as there are risks associated with not changing sanitary products regularly. The Tricky Period may also help to reduce period related truancy from school or time off work. I would encourage library users to support the project by making donations of supplies.”

Norwich foodbank is supporting the project as they are acutely aware that many who access their services find it very difficult to ask for these items.

Norfolk County Council’s Library and Information Service works closely with the council’s Public Health team on the Healthy Libraries project to improve awareness, information and support around health and wellbeing to people living in Norfolk.

This also includes supporting and promoting public health campaigns around issues including dementia awareness and reducing childhood obesity. Libraries work with local and national organisations to host events which encourage people to improve their health and wellbeing.
The service is available during library opening hours.

Just Regional is keen to support this initiative and we have offered to our offices as a point for anyone who would like to donate sanitary products. Just drop your donations off to our HQ in Penfold Street, Aylsham, NR11 6ET and we will make sure they get to the libraries in Norwich.

Editor Gay Webster said: “This is something which most women take for granted, that they have access to sanitary pads and tampons. It’s only right that all women have that choice and we are happy to be part of this worthwhile scheme.”

Police appeal on man in Norwich CCTV photo

Police are appealing for help to identify this man (see photo below) who was pictured on a CCTV camera following the theft of a bike in Norwich.

The theft happened near a property in Bates Green between 7pm and 9pm on Friday July 28.

The stolen bike is described as  a green Carrera with white stickers and white wheel rims.

Anyone who may recognise the man, whom police would like to speak to in connection with the theft, or anyone with information, should contact PC Chris Paton at Earlham Police Station on 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.