Demographic challenge for show about Norfolk’s population

One of the highlights of next year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival will be a ground-breaking show all about – and starring – the population of Norfolk.

Producers want to recruit 100 men women and children who live and work in the county to become the stars of '100pc Norfolk', the first UK performance of an idea created by Berlin theatre company Rimini Protokoll.

The idea is that the cast will represent the statistical make-up of the county's population of 862,000 as closely as possible.

So, with 51pc of the population being female, there will be 51 women and girls on stage and 49 men and boys, while other criteria will include age, location and place of birth.

The result will be a unique production, combining personal stories and revealing insights which organisers hope will result in 'an illuminating and uplifting celebration of our county and our people'.

Rather than hold open auditions, the producers of the show are starting seven simultaneous 'chain reactions' in different districts through which cast members will be challenged to find the next link in the statistical chain.

So far, the first five links have been found:

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?A family of four from Rockland St Mary

?A civil servant from Sprowston

?A dog groomer from Caistor

?A headteacher from Little Snoring

?A careers advisor from Norwich

'We're hoping that this chain reaction will stretch into the remotest corners of the county,' said project manager Louise Dennison. 'The challenge is on to find 100 people linked in some way to take part in this exciting project.'

Director Emma Bernard, who grew up in Norfolk in Banham, said: 'It is a really clever and fun idea as a way getting an entire community to learn about themselves. We hope to find out what is different about people and what binds them together.

'The show does have a sense of humour, but it also asks serious questions about people's values, like: 'What would you fight for?' and: 'What do you believe in?'

'I come from Norfolk and I have never had the chance to work here since moving to London, so to come back and do a show called 100pc Norfolk is quite daunting. It is a responsibility. But it is exciting to think about who might be out there and who will want to get involved.'

?100pc Norfolk will be staged at Norwich Theatre Royal on May 18 and 19. For more information about taking part, contact Louise Dennison on 01603 877765 or email 100percent@nnfestival.org.uk

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