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REVIEW: Sister Act, Cromer Pavilion Theatre

What a show, what talent, fantastic costumes, lighting, seamless scene changes and superb choreography.

There are not enough words to describe this wonderful production of Sister Act by Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society, which runs at Cromer Pavilion Theatre until June 2.

The opening gala night on May 26 was packed with an audience expecting the best of shows and they were rewarded with a dazzling display of talented actors and musicians.

The musical is set in Philadelphia USA in December 1978 and follows the fortunes of a nightclub singer, Deloris Van Cartier, after she witnesses her gangster boyfriend shooting one of his gang.

Deloris reports this to the police who then decide to keep their witness safe by hiding her in a convent. Deloris is played by Claire Reynolds Chandler who, with electric presence, is the raunchy, ambitious singer with a soft and vulnerable side.

Her entry into the convent and her shaking up of the nuns’ choir leads to some hilarious moments, not to mention some amazing choreography and singing.

The Mother superior, Amanda Howell, is very dignified trying to keep control of her order. Sister Mary Lazarus, Carol Beatty, and sister Mary Patrick, Selina White, are the mischievous  ringleaders of the nun’s revolution. Deloris’ love interest Eddy, Paul James, is a very sensitive cop. The most hilarious scene in the show is the song Lady in the Long Black Dress, performed by Joey, TJ and Pablo (Graham Woodrow, Neil Robertson and Robin Taylor), had the audience in tears of laughter.

The most surprising new talent that shone was Charlotte Drewell, who was Sister Mary Robert. She commanded the stage in her song and caught the heart of the show. Sister Act is a show not to be missed and you leave smiling. What more can be said.

Kevin and Sandra Stone

Adrian in the saddle for Edinburgh Fringe

Norfolk Youth Musical Theatre director Adrian Connell is taking to his bike to fund ths group’s latest visit to a national theatre festival.
He is currently nearing his target of raising £1,500 to enable the group to take its production of Battle of Boat’ to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Adrian will be completing a fundraising cycle ride from Sheringham to Norwich (37 miles) on Sunday, May 27.
He currently has £964 towards his target.
He said: “All of the cast members have paid for their own accommodation and travel and we are now trying to raise money to pay for venue hire, royalties, radio mics, printing and all the other additional costs associated with putting on a show at the Fringe. They have raised most of it but are £1500 short. Please help me help them to achieve their target.”
Charlie Windle (13), from Norwich, who plays the part of Beagle, did a similar bike ride for 25 miles and raised £472 for the trip. Also Mabel White (11), from Aylsham, who plays Florance, did a bake off at her primary school and raised £54. Both are going to Edinburgh. The group also raised £1,046 at a quiz nigh towards the total needed of £2,500. “So we are nearly there, about £500 to go,” said Adrian.
He added: “I am astonished by the amount of support I have received. I thought the ride would get around £200/£300 but so far people from local choirs, friends who have seen shows and many people who were involved in it have donated.”
Norfolk Youth Music Theatre first performed The Battle of Boat at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich in November.
It is a new musical set in a seaside town on the English south coast in 1916. The carefree happiness of a group of young children is short-lived as they find themselves discovering more and more about the First World War that is unfolding around them.
It was written by Jenna Donnelly and Ethan Lewis Maltby, who have been writing together for several years, creating original cinematatic musicals.
Adrian, the former head of music at Broadland High School, started Norfolk YMT in 1995, seeing scores of youngsters getting the chance to perform well-known and more obscure musicals on stage. It’s now his 23rd year and he has directed more than 70 shows. He has been teaching piano privately since he was 19.
He said he enjoys cycling but said: “I like cycling along flats, rolling downhill and walking uphill. I take my bike to Derbyshire and do some tracks and also the bike will go to Edinburgh for some rides around North Berwick.”
As for training, he says: “Whichever way you leave Sheringham you start with an hour uphill. You’re knackered before you start!”
People can donate via JustGiving Crowdfunding Page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/adrians-fundraising-cycle-ride. Also see more at www.norfolkymt.net.

 

Have a say on new Sheringham leisure complex

North Norfolk District Council is inviting members of the public to an event to learn more about its plans to build a multi-million pound, state-of-the-art leisure facility in Sheringham.

The council’s cabinet agreed £10.7m of funding for the new leisure and fitness centre to replace the existing facility, Splash, in December 2017.

As part of the design process, the council is keen to share early proposals of the facility with the local community. The event will take place on Thursday, March 22, from 1-8pm at Splash in Sheringham. Members of the public will have the opportunity to learn more about the proposed facilities, view artist impressions of the current proposals and comment on the design concept, site layout and the overall impact of the proposed project.

Splash at Sheringham was opened in May 1988. A condition survey conducted in 2017 highlighted an urgent need to invest in a new facility to ensure access to leisure services is secured for the future.

North Norfolk District Council has appointed Saunders Boston Architects and a full design team to develop the new facility who will be on hand at the public event. Together with staff from North Norfolk District Council they will be answer questions in an informal environment and prior to the submission of a planning application for the proposed development.

Council leader John Lee said: “The provision of a multi-million pound, state-of-the-art leisure facility supports North Norfolk District Council’s commitment to improving the health and well-being of its residents and we are looking forward to getting the development under way. Before we do, it is important that we consult with those who will benefit from the facility to ensure we get it right.”

Becky Palmer, cabinet member for leisure services said: “This event is an opportunity for local people to come and have their say on an exciting new development that will ensure the provision of leisure facilities is secured for the future.”

The Splash leisure pool and fitness centre.
Picture: Chris Taylor Photo

Bumpy landing at Sheringham

In a first for Norfolk’s Coast Path, a helicopter was drafted in today to airlift heavy materials up Beeston Bump in Sheringham.

The work is to enable vital improvements to be made to the path, which will make access to Norfolk’s highest point easier and repair the scarring that has occurred on the well known landscape feature.
Norfolk County Council’s Norfolk Trails team has started preliminary work to repair the badly-rutted route which walkers currently have to navigate.

The new improved path will follow the same route as now but will help to prevent further wear and tear along the stretch of the National Trail.
The work, which has largely been funded by Natural England, is being carried out by Norfolk County Council’s Norfolk Trails team. The helicopter was called in as it is the best way to lift the heavy aggregate needed with minimum impact on the SSSI feature.

Coltishall/Sheringham smashes on ungritted roads

Car smashes in Sheringham and Coltishall in icy conditions this morning (Friday January 26) were among dozens of collisions after Norfolk County Council failed to grit roads.

Two people were taken to hospital after the two crashes which were among 37 reported to Norfolk police this morning.

The council says its forecasting service did not predict there would be a freeze but says the gritters will be out tonight across Norfolk, from 7pm, with more sub-zero temperatures predicted.

This morning’s road chaos followed a light-hearted tweet yesterday from Norfolk County Council which said: “The sun has got its hat on, the weather’s mild and bright, the sun has got its hat on, there’s no gritting tonight.”

But in fact temperatures took a steep plunge overnight. Among smashes was a three-vehicle accident at 7.15am on the A149 Weybourne Road, Sheringham, involving a Ford Transit van, and Vauxhall Astra and Toyota IQ cars which blocked the road until just before 11am.

A woman was treated for back pain by an East of England Ambulance Service Trust crew and taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for further treatment.

Earlier, just before 7am, emergency services were called to the B1354 Wroxham Road, Coltishall, where a red Renault Megane had left the road.

A man in his 20s was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich by ambulance suffering hip and head pain. His condition is not believed to be life-threatening.

A county council spokesman said: “We buy a weather forecast service from a specialist provider which we use to inform our decision on whether to grit, and also where and when.

“While it’s usually very accurate, the forecast for last night suggested road temperatures would not dip below freezing, so on this occasion we unfortunately didn’t have the information needed to send the gritters out. We’re sorry if some people experienced difficult journeys this morning.”

Earlier this afternoon the council tweeted: “Freezing temperatures forecast across the board tonight so the gritters will be going out on all county gritting routes – that’s more than a third of the county’s roads – at 7pm”.


 

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.

Lions and Tigers aboard RNLI Sheringham Lifeboat

British Lions, England and Leicester Tigers brothers Tom and Ben Youngs have been made honorary members of RNLI Sheringham’s Lifeboat Crew.

Branch chairman Phil Hawes explains: ‘Tom and Ben grew up in North Norfolk and spent their summers on the beach at Sheringham. They’ve grown into exceptional men who through their sport display brilliantly all the qualities we look for in our lifeboat crew – dedicated, hard-working team players who daily strive to be the very best in a physically and mentally tough environment. However it is not only their skills and achievements that impress, it is their humility, honesty and integrity; the way they carry themselves, deal with life’s challenges and treat others. Tom and Ben are tremendous role models and we want to recognise that.”

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Sheringham RNLI. Phil said: “We are an incredibly proud community and have been celebrating our heritage and those who have gone before us. Never before has anyone been offered honorary membership of the Sheringham Lifeboat Crew. We are delighted both Tom and Ben have accepted.”

The RNLI exists to save lives from drowning. Not only are the Sheringham crew, and station on alert every day of the year to launch the lifeboat but in the last year, through visits, the organisation has educated more than 1,000 young people on how to stay safe by the sea and in the water.

The autumn is a busy time for the Youngs boys. Tom is captain of Leicester Tigers leading them in the RFU Premiership and European competitions and Ben, in addition to these, is in the England squad for the autumn internationals.

Travel agents launch fifth annual gift appeal in aid of Break charity

Hays Travel, in Aylsham and Sheringham, has launched its fifth annual Santa’s Sleigh appeal to spread cheer and change the lives of vulnerable children and young people this Christmas.

The team is asking people to pop into either branch and donate new, unwrapped items such as toys, gift sets, toiletries, household goods, stationery items or books in aid of the children and families that Norfolk-based charity Break supports throughout East Anglia.

Break supports young people in care, children with disabilities and families who need support, helping them through difficult times and securing a brighter future.

Branch manager of Hays Travel Aylsham (former CAS Travel) and initiator of the appeal Jo Dobbie said: “I like to be involved with the local community and there is nothing better than supporting a local charity especially in the festive season. I absolutely love Break’s ethos and this is a great opportunity for us to show support.

“I initially started Santa’s Sleigh at the Aylsham branch, and then got Sheringham on board with it too. It created bigger awareness for ourselves and for the appeal and we’re pleased to say they will be joining us again this year.”

Danielle Gravestock, senior fundraising officer for Break, said: “We can’t thank Hays Travel enough for the support they give us each year by organising their Santa’s Sleigh appeal.  We are very grateful to all their staff for organising the appeal and everyone who is contributing goods to support it. These gifts really do make a difference to the children and young people we support.”

Santa’s Sleigh started on Saturday and will run for four consecutive weeks until December 9.

Pictured are branch manager Jo Dobbie, Sam Antoniades-Cork, Mark Heffer and Karen Ashford.