Final rehearsals are under way at the Sewell Barn in Norwich for the theatre’s next production, which opens on Thursday.

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The Constitution Hill theatre’s drama group are preparing to raise the curtain on ‘You Never Can Tell’, by George Bernard Shaw.

The play, directed by David Hare, is set in a seaside town at the turn of the 20th century and tells the story of Mrs Clandon and her three children, Dolly, Phillip and Gloria, who have just returned to England after an 18-year stay in Madeira.

David said: “My favourite thing about the play is the meticulous writing of Bernard Shaw, the development of the storyline and the colourful nature of the characterisation.

“The characters are coming across very strongly, It’s a first-rate cast and they have worked so hard to meet the challenges of the play. In fact it really is one of the best casts I have worked with for a long time.

“We hope our audiences agree and come along in their numbers to enjoy a rare opportunity to see an unjustly neglected masterpiece.”

Gillian Tichborne will play Mrs Clandon, with Joy Cruickshank as Dolly, Jonathan Massey as Phillip and Tracie Harris as Gloria.

The play is the penultimate in the Sewell Barn’s 2011-12 season ahead of the last, William Shakespeare’s ‘The Comedy of Errors’, which is currently in rehearsal and will be performed at the 100-seat theatre, based in the grounds of Sewell Park College, next month.

Michelle Montague, joint-artistic director of the Sewell Barn, added: “Having watched a recent rehearsal of You Never Can Tell I can confirm this will be a very light, energetic production of the play, supported by an incredible backstage team headed by Mike Carson.

“The set, costume and lighting design are very exciting and will complement David’s production and his actors beautifully.”

You Never Can Tell runs from Thursday to Saturday this week and then again between Wednesday, June 20 and Saturday, June 23, with a matinee performance on the Saturday.

Tickets can be bought from the customer services desk on the second floor of the Jarrold department store in London Street, Norwich or by calling 01603 697248. Go to www.sewellbarn.org for further information.

- Has your amateur dramatic group got a new production starting soon? Contact Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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