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New stage drama about cancer is stark reality for its inspirational writer mum

PUBLISHED: 08:57 29 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:57 29 July 2019

Loraine Metcalfe, who plays Anna in Some Things are Meant to Be Anna, enjoying a paddle in north Norfolk. The show will be at Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: Chris Mullen

Loraine Metcalfe, who plays Anna in Some Things are Meant to Be Anna, enjoying a paddle in north Norfolk. The show will be at Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: Chris Mullen

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A Norfolk mother is staging a poignant but funny drama about dealing with terminal cancer at this summer's Edinburgh Fringe festival before staging it in her home county.

Writer and dance teacher Gretel Brice, who wrote Some Things are Meant to Be Anna. The show will be at Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: Chris MullenWriter and dance teacher Gretel Brice, who wrote Some Things are Meant to Be Anna. The show will be at Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: Chris Mullen

Some Things are Meant to Be Anna is about its lead character coming to terms with a devastating diagnosis.

Ahead lies the loss of her complementary health business, bodily organs, hair, self-esteem and maybe even life itself.

But she is powered by energy, positivity, and relentless rainbows and sunshine at her coastal home near Happisburgh where the walls are painted with a hint of glitter.

And she is determined to prepare her two daughters for what is to come.

This roller-coaster ride of emotional and physical highs and lows has been written by a writer and dance teacher Gretel Brice, 50, from Norwich, who is living the same story.

As part of her own legacy to her children and the wider world, she has penned a 45-minute tale of tears and laughter.

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It is told through monologues, music and contemporary dance and makes its premiere at the Fringe from August 12-17, before heading "home" to Sheringham Little Theatre on September 8.

The gritty show about Anna - Gretel's childhood nickname - reflects Mrs Brice's own journey. It contains swearing, nudity and sexual references - to capture the reality of the situations.

"I want it to be real, so people get a sense of what this feels like," Mrs Brice said.

She was diagnosed two years ago but has battled on, running drama shows and groups at Sheringham and Great Yarmouth.

The monologues will explore Anna's character, her love of life and dancing, and the impact of diagnosis and treatment on her body and emotions.

Dance explores concepts that are harder to put into words, while music ranges from poignant self-written songs to full-on party mode.

It stars her actress friend Loraine Metcalfe in the title role. Ms Brice's daughters Matlida and Megan - now embarking on performing careers - also feature: Matilda adding movement with fellow dancer Alistair Jideofor, and Megan singing, with their dad, Ged, on backing guitar.

The play will be performed at Sheringham Little Theatre on Sunday, September 8, 5.30pm (16-plus only). Tickets £12 through the box office 01263 822347 or www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com.

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