Backstage takes centre stage in Maddermarket Theatre’s latest show

Star Quality at the Maddermarket Theatre. Photo: Sean Owen.

Star Quality at the Maddermarket Theatre. Photo: Sean Owen. - Credit: Reflective Arts

Backstage takes centre stage in the latest production at Norwich's Maddermarket Theatre.

Star Quality at the Maddermarket Theatre. Photo: Sean Owen.

Star Quality at the Maddermarket Theatre. Photo: Sean Owen. - Credit: Reflective Arts

The Noël Coward show Star Quality is at the city venue until Saturday, and the comedy takes it audiences on a trip behind the scenes of a new West End show where a world of talent and treachery awaits.

As the company's journey from first rehearsal to opening night moves along, there is drama both on stage and off as the clash of theatrical egos become increasingly hilarious.

Among the show's colourful characters are a temperamental leading lady, a ruthless director, some jaded old troupers and an innocent young playwright.

And joining the human cast of the Maddermarket show are also two canine chums called Pixie and Muffin. They are owned by Rob Morris from Norwich, and they share the role of Bothwell, the dog belonging to a diva called Lorraine who is said to have the star quality and who is played by Amanda Howell.

Star Quality at the Maddermarket Theatre. Photo: Sean Owen.

Star Quality at the Maddermarket Theatre. Photo: Sean Owen. - Credit: Reflective Arts

Director Peter Sowerbutts described the show as Coward's 'wickedly funny final play.'

He said: 'It is an interesting piece that is a snap shot of backstage in a theatre, which we all love to see.'

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Star Quality has been adapted by Christopher Luscombe. It was originally written by Noël Coward as a short story published in 1951, and it was later turned into a play.

Star Quality is at the Maddermarket Theatre until Saturday.

Tickets £8-£12. To book call the box office on 01603 620917 or visit www.maddermarket.co.uk

On Saturday at 12.30pm John Knowles will be giving a talk featuring previously unseen footage of Noël Coward along with anecdotes of his life and some musical numbers. Tickets for the talk are £5.

For more about the theatre find Maddermarket Theatre on Facebook and follow @maddermarket on Twitter.

Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk