The first live satellite screening of a National Theatre stage play at Wells has proved a sellout, to the delight of the organisers.

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All the tickets for the showing tonight of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at the 68-seater Granary Theatre were snapped up within a couple of hours of being released by the Screen-next-the-Sea organising team.

“They just flew off the shelf: people came queuing up,” said David Saunders, a committee member and former chairman.

“We are tickled pink. We think we are the smallest auditorium in Britain taking these live relays, and here we have a success story already.”

The National’s stage production of The Curious Incident… is an adaptation of the 2003 mystery novel by Mark Haddon about

Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy who describes himself as “a mathematician with some behavioural difficulties”.

It is the first of three National Theatre productions already lined up to be relayed from London as they happen to Wells: the others are The Last of the Haussmans, on Thursday, October 11 at 6.30pm for 7pm, and Timon of Athens, on Thursday, November 1; same time. Tickets, at £10, for The Last of the Hausmanns go on sale at 9am on Monday, October 1 at Kinsleys, in Staithe Street, Wells, or by calling 07900 316606.

Before those is the first of five live satellite screenings from Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet. The Sylphide shows at the Granary at 4pm on Sunday, September 30. Tickets for that go on sale at 9am tomorrow at Kinsleys or on the number above.

The other Bolshoi productions will be The Pharaoh’s Daughter (November 25), La Bayadere (January 27), The Rite of Spring (March 31) and Romeo and Juliet (May 12).

The Screen-next-the-Sea team held its first, well-received, film festival earlier this year, and Mr Saunders said it had now identified a proven need to bring top-grade theatre and ballet to a Wells and Fakenham area audience.

In the past, people would have had to travel to Norwich or Cambridge to see similar screenings, and the positive reception for the first release of tickets had made all the efforts to set up the satellite link in Wells worthwhile, he said.

And he added: “It will go on. What we would like to see now is if we can show some of the opera ones: maybe Glyndebourne, Covent

Garden, Sydney…”

More information about Screen-next-the-Sea, including its regular film showings, can be found at www.wells-cinema.com

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