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

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



Oliver! tribute to Sheringham trouper Mike

A popular “am dram” actor is to be remembered in a youth production of a favourite musical.
Mike Thame, a keen amateur actor and big supporter of the Sheringham Little Theatre, will be honoured in an all-singing all-dancing Oliver! next Easter but the hunt is on this month for the main characters and chorus.
Mr Thame died in May aged 76 after many years appearing on local stages and raising funds for the Sheringham venue.
The fundraising show in April is dedicated to his memory, and one of the young actors he inspired will be taking the classic role of Fagin which Mike portrayed in 2010.
Sam Thompson, now 17, who played Fagin’s young sidekick the Artful Dodger when he was just 10, said he wanted to re-run the show and to play Fagin as tribute in memory of Mike.
He said: “Mike was always really encouraging to me. I was the youngest Artful Dodger and he looked after me, helping me be more confident on stage. He was an amazing man and I am honored to pay tribute to him.”
Sam’s mum, theatre director Debbie Thompson, added: “As a family we were very sad about the loss of Mike. We have fond memories of him and Oliver, which was our first community production and also saw my daughter Katy as a flower girl and husband Simon directing.
“Mike inspired confidence among the young members and had such a wonderful sense of humour. He even managed to work a Norwich City scarf and an ‘up the Canaries line’ into the show.”
Mike’s widow Joan, a trustee at the theatre, said the show honouring her husband “means a great deal to me and the opening night will be very emotional”.
Mr and Mrs Thame were both involved in a drama group in London, so when they moved to Sheringham in 1976 they soon got involved with the town’s Players.
Mike, a retired advertising executive and former salesman at Norfolk Homes, acted and directed for the group over many years.
Mrs Thame said: “He loved it, and when they discovered dry rot in the theatre Mike staged Whitehall farces to raise funds. They lasted 10 years and raised thousands for the repairs.”
Oliver! will be raising money for the theatre’s extension project.
It will run for a week from Saturday, April 8, but with no show on April 9.
Auditions will be held at the theatre on Sunday (November 27) from  10am. There are chorus roles open to anyone who enjoys singing, dancing and acting, but those looking to fill the main parts of Dodger, Nancy, Bill Sykes, Mr Bumble and Bet are being asked to prepare a song, details of which are on the website or call 01263 822347.

Mike Thame as Fagin.

Mike Thame as Fagin.

Sam Thompson

Sam Thompson