Expert hand for latest Harleston Players production

A south Norfolk amateur dramatics group has called on the expert assistance of professional artists and backstage crew for their latest production.

The Harleston Players performance of Terry Pratchett's Maskerade will take place on Friday and Saturday evenings between May 20 and 28.

And in recognition of the famous author's struggle with Alzheimer's disease, the group will hold a special performance on May 20 at Archbishop Sancroft High School, when proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Norfolk and Suffolk branches of the Alzheimer's Society.

The play comes as a host of professionals lend a hand for the community project.

Last year, Norfolk-based scenic artist Nick Holmes was working at the Royal Opera House in London to paint a new gold stage surround. This month, he's helping Harleston Players to do the same for the theatrical interpretation of Pratchett's Discworld fantasy novel.

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Assistance has also come from retired prop man Don Westcott, of Pulham Market, who has worked with the likes of Kenny Everett, Morecombe and Wise and numerous stars from British and American film.

Others helping behind the scenes include Grand Auto Theft computer programmer, David Brownsea, who has devised musical effects for the show, and local artist France Demetriadi and sign-writer, Graham Redelsperger, who have been painting scenery and making props.

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Even the production poster has local input using an image painted by the late Josh Kirby of Shelfanger, near Diss.

Director Mike Davison said: 'Like any amateur group, Harleston Players don't have a limitless budget, but with help volunteered by local experts, we can still achieve a professional standard of production.'

Tickets are priced �8 and �6 for concessions and are on sale at Harleston Pet Stores on 01379 852501 or by email at

On the opening night, the audience are invited to come dressed in opera-going finery or as a Terry Pratchett character.

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