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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 www.maddermarket.co.uk

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

 

 

REVIEW: Dangerous Corner, Sheringham Little Theatre

Sheringham Little Theatre had the first performance JB Priestley’s classic drama, Dangerous Corner last night.

The play is performed by members of the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society, affectionately known as CSODS.

The action takes place in the drawing room of Freda and Robert Caplan’s country house. The other guests for the evening are Gordon and Betty Whitehouse, Olwen Peel, Charles Stanton and novelist Maud Mockridge. The men are all members of the same publishing firm with Olwen as an executive.

The drama opens with the women sitting listening to the end of a radio play which concludes with a gunshot and a woman’s scream. Maud expresses an interest in the group of friends, remarking how close-knit and cosy they all appear.

When the men enter the room a chance remark leads to a discussion about the suicide of Robert’s brother Martin. The group decides to tell the absolute truth about Martin and the different relationships they all had with him and each other, which turns out to be very revealing.

The drama builds up over the play with twists and turns. The actors give a riveting performance, superbly acted, which keeps the audience guessing as what the outcome will be. With clever scenery, beautiful costumes and talented actors this is an evening not to be missed. Dangerous Corner is on at the Little Theatre Sheringham until October 20.

See more at www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com.

The Cast : Robert Caplan Played by Paul James, Freda Caplan played by Philippa Baillie, Gordon Whitehouse played by David Duncombe, Betty Whitehouse played by Emma Wright, Charles Stanton played by Samuel Starsmore, Olwyn Peel played by Kerry Davis, Miss Mockridge played by Thelma Torr.

Kevin and Sandra Stone  (Just Regional Magazines)

Talented youngsters perform Great War musical drama

Young actors have stepped back in time to the First World War for a musical drama about conflict and comradeship – on the battlefield and in their home town.

The Battle of Boat looks at the friendships and tensions among youngsters in a seaside community as their friend goes off to fight for king and country.

The cast, mostly aged between 16 and eight, are from the Sheringham Little Theatre’s youth group. They have been putting the finishing touches to the drama ahead of opening night this Thursday (September 22).

An all-action script, brimming with powerful music, looks at how the teenagers’ desire to join their soldier friend sees them try recruitment, an air ship and a home-made boat – amid opposition from a suspicious rival gang.

The show, directed by the experienced Adrian Connell, runs from September 20-22 (7.30pm and Saturday 2.30pm matinee). Tickets and information from 01263 822347 or www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com.

Youngsters rehearsing The Battle of Boat.
PICTURE: RICHARD BATSON

 

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

 

 

 

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

Rigoletto – live from the Royal Opera House (in Sheringham)

Sheringham Little Theatre is giving opera lovers the chance to see one of Verdi’s best, live from Covent Garden at an encore matinee showing on Sunday, January 21.

Although premiered in 1851 in Venice, the storyline could have been written for today’s cinema and is packed with memorable and well-known melodies and a thriller-like plot combining corruption and lust with love, intrigue, revenge and tragedy.

If you love La Traviata, La Boheme and Madama Butterfly you will love Rigoletto and for the best seat in the house at Covent Garden it would cost you £185 (at the time of writing almost every seat is sold), whereas the best view of the performance is the relay at the Little Theatre where a seat will cost you £15. The show starts at 2pm.

Book on 01263 822347 or choose your seat online at www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

Norman Lamb to attend screening of award-winning documentary in Sheringham

MP for North Norfolk, Norman Lamb will be attending a special screening of the feature documentary film Unrest at  Sheringham Little Theatre this evening.

The film, made by Harvard PhD Jennifer Brea, tracks her own story and that of her partner Omar, as they are both struck down with a severe virus.  Whilst Omar rapidly recovers, Jennifer ends up bed bound with mysterious symptoms which are initially misdiagnosed as being psychosomatic, then eventually diagnosed as being due to ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The award-winning, Oscar short-listed film tracks this young, fiercely intelligent couple’s love story as the pair grapple with Jennifer’s chronic illness diagnosis and their attempts to both find answers to how she can regain her health, whilst also changing the culture surrounding this most stigmatised of diseases.  Follow Jennifer and Omar’s journey in this documentary about their lives together and those of many other severely affected ME/CFS patients who Jennifer connects with online from her bed.

This screening has been organised in conjunction with the Sheringham ME/CFS Support Group, who are the only ME/CFS Support Group based specifically in North Norfolk (although other groups do cover the whole county).  The condition is thought to affect as many as 6,000 patients in Norfolk alone and as many as 250,000 patients across the UK.  The screening will be attended by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who will give a brief talk to the audience after the film.

It starts at 6.15pm.  Call the box office on 01263 822347.

Panto puts smile on face of theatre as well as audiences

Sellout panto shows at Sheringham have provided a bonus to the coffers of the town’s Little Theatre.

Nearly 8,000 people saw 43 shows of the Wizard of Oz over the festive period. Many performances were sold out and there was a waiting list for ticket cancellations.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “The panto has been a tremendous success. Takings were above budget – which is a huge help as panto and summer drama are the most commercially important seasons we have and support our other activities during the year.

“Audience feedback was that it was the best panto yet – with a brilliant script, lots of energy and magical elements such as the projection work, sets and puppets. We are sorry if people could not get tickets, but would encourage them to book early for the next panto,” she added.

The 2018 panto will be Beauty and the Beast running from December 7 to January 1 and using the same creative team as this year, headed by director Nick Earnshaw. Tickets will go on sale in March.

Now the Emerald City has disappeared from the stage, events at the venue in early 2018 range from amateur drama, an opera screening, and jazz, to magic, a romantic Valentine’s cinema supper club and a fun family show.

In March (1-3) there is also a three-day festival weekend of Ealing Comedy films (Lavender Hill Mob, Kind Hearts and Coronets, Passport to Pimlico, Man in the White Suit and Whisky Galore).

Other highlights include:

January 19-20 – Alan Ayckbourn’s Confusions by Stage Direct

January 21 – Rigoletto screening from the Royal Opera House

January 28 – Jazz from the Red Shadow Quartet

February 6 – Morgan and West Time Travelling Magicians.

February 10 – Bowjangles music inspired by Myths and Legends

February 14 – Love Story movie (Ryan O’Neil and Ali McGraw) with optional pre-booked supper

February 15 – Rhymes for Revolting Children, cheeky songs poems and comedy for the family

February 21-24 – Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit by CSODS

For more information and tickets visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com or call the box office on 01263 822347.

Fun from the successful Wizard of Oz panto at Sheringham Little Theatre.
Picture: Matt Coomber