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Most easterly fishing village showcased as part of special tour

PUBLISHED: 08:26 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:26 27 September 2018

A touring show about Lowestoft's fishing village known as The Grit. The ensemble. Picture: Peter Everard Smith

A touring show about Lowestoft's fishing village known as The Grit. The ensemble. Picture: Peter Everard Smith

Peter Everard Smith 2018

An entertaining new show, which is touring venues across Suffolk, has opened to sell out performances in Lowestoft.

A touring show about Lowestofts fishing village known as The Grit. Writer and Narrator Dean Parkin, Composer and Pianist Maurice Horhut A touring show about Lowestofts fishing village known as The Grit. Writer and Narrator Dean Parkin, Composer and Pianist Maurice Horhut "Tickler Sam", Sally-Ann Burnett "Ruby". Tim Fitzhigham "Billy & Host", David Redgrave "Neo & Happy Welham". Picture: Peter Everard Smith

Pearls from The Grit – the most easterly fishing village tour - opened in style on Wednesday (September 26) with sell-out matinee and evening performances at The Seagull Theatre in Pakefield.

A touring show about Lowestoft's fishing village known as The Grit. David Redgrave as Happy Welham. Picture: Peter Everard SmithA touring show about Lowestoft's fishing village known as The Grit. David Redgrave as Happy Welham. Picture: Peter Everard Smith

But there are still tickets available for a further seven performances of the show all next week. The show, written by Dean Parkin, is part of a year-long Heritage Lottery funded project about Lowestoft’s almost forgotten fishing village known as The Grit.

A touring show about Lowestoft's fishing village known as The Grit. Writer and Narrator Dean Parkin, Composer and Pianist Maurice Horhut A touring show about Lowestoft's fishing village known as The Grit. Writer and Narrator Dean Parkin, Composer and Pianist Maurice Horhut "Tickler Sam", Sally-Ann Burnett "Ruby". Tim Fitzhigham "Billy & Host", David Redgrave "Neo & Happy Welham". Picture: Peter Everard Smith

In the early 1900s Lowestoft was one of the country’s leading tourist resorts and a top fishing port with a population of 23,000. The Grit — home to 2,300 people, three schools, churches, shops and 13 pubs — was the most easterly point in the country, right next to the North Sea.

Dean Parkin travels back in time to piece together the story of what made it such a special community and place to live, using the words of his great friend Jack Rose as a guide.

Audiences will meet no-nonsense fisherman, old Ned, played by David Redgrave; Billy, a larger-than-life skipper during Lowestoft’s fishing boom, is Tim FitzHigham; and Ruby (Billy’s daughter), one of the tireless taskforce of women keeping the fishing industry afloat, is played by Sally-Ann Burnett. At The Grit ‘pub’ piano, Tickler’ Sam is resurrected by Maurice Horhut who provides original songs and incidental live music throughout.

Pearls from The Grit is directed by Alys Kihl from Wonderful Beast and narrated by Dean Parkin, who said: “It’s amazing to hear the stories of The Grit and good old Lowestoft dialect brought to life on stage by these three great actors, all with local connections.

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to work with such a brilliant team to create this new live show. We’re mixing stories and poems, songs and film to bring to life some of the remarkable characters who lived and worked on The Grit.”

The one-hour show is touring to Museum of East Anglia Life, Stowmarket; The Cut Arts Centre, Halesworth; Avenue Theatre, Ipswich; Long Shop Museum, Leiston and back to Lowestoft to the Bethel Theatre and Christ Church Hall - attached to The Grit’s own fishermen’s parish church.

Tickets priced at £6.50, £4 for under 16s are available via www.poetrypeople.co.uk or call 01986 872033.

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