Award-winning Norfolk playwright bases new London show on seaside town


A playwright from north Norfolk has based his new London show on Cromer Pier and the town's residents.


The new play called Time and Tide by James McDermott, from High Kelling will be performed at London's Park Theatre.

The award-winning 26-year-old's former plays include Fast Food, which starred Jude Law, Street Life, and Rubber Ring, which was a highlight of the Holt Festival in 2017.Mr McDermott said: "The town of Cromer, specifically the pier, is the inspiration for the show, and focuses on Norfolk residents battling on against economic hardships.

"I find Norfolk a great metaphor for Britain. From the outside it looks picturesque, but inside there's the claustrophobia and all the maladies of Britain.

"On the smaller level Norfolk is a beautiful place, but there are lots of things going on underneath that are grittier. There are the council estates and the drug problems. There's a real working class mentality, and that's the underbelly of Norfolk." Born in Weybourne, Mr McDermott went to school in Lincolnshire before doing a masters in scriptwriting at UEA.

He is now an associate artist at HighTide and Norwich Arts Centre and resident play-writing teacher at Norwich Theatre Royal. The new play concerns May, who runs a crumbling cafe on the end of Cromer Pier and her delivery man, Ken, who is running out of customers, thanks to Costa.

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Another character, Nemo, is desperate to tread the boards in London while his unrequited love, Daz, is burying his head in the sand over his best mate leaving. A spokesperson from Relish Theatre, the group performing Time and Tide, said: "We are proud to present the world premiere of award-winning writer James McDermott's new play."

Relish Theatre is a previously Norwich-based theatre company dedicated to creating work that appeals to a non-theatre going audience, and to showcasing the work of regional talent.

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Time and Tide, which has been longlisted for The Verity Bargate Award and the Bruntwood and Papatango Playwriting Prizes, will run at Park Theatre between February 5 and 28.

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