Local people needed for a Norfolk and Norwich Festival show celebrating the county

Norfolk is set to take centre stage in a unique production celebrating the county - and now the search is on to find local people for the starring roles.

Called 100% Norfolk, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival (NNF) project is recruiting 100 men, women and children to take part in the show which will share personal stories and insights into Norfolk life.

The aim is for the cast to represent the county's population of 862,000 as closely as possible - for example 51 women and girls are needed because 51pc of Norfolk's population is female.

Age, location and place of birth are other factors being taken into account.

Once recruited, the cast will work with theatre director Emma Bernard to create a special show that will premiere at the Theatre Royal during the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in May.

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Emma, who grew up near Banham, said: 'What's exciting about this project is that we won't know exactly how the show will look until we've recruited the whole cast. And that won't be until April! Because the mix of people informs the content it will be specific to Norfolk and, therefore, utterly unique.'

About a third of the cast has already been found through a series of 'chain reactions' where cast members have been challenged to find fellow cast.

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But there is still lots of opportunity for many more people to get involved.

In particular the project needs more men to take part, people from west Norfolk, Broadland, and north Norfolk, over 70s and young people aged 15 to 24, and people living in Norfolk who do not have British or an EU nationality.

Graphic artist and musician Philip Lewis, from Rockland St Mary, near Norwich, is taking part with his wife Clare, a scientist, and their five-year-old twins Erin and Ellis.

Mr Lewis said: 'We're doing 100% Norfolk as a family so we can all take part in a genuine community based project which will be an authentic voice and reflection of the county inclusive of the diversity which now exists in Norfolk. Also it will be a great experience for us all and will hopefully be fun too, especially for the children.'

He added; 'We do not really know how it is going to come together or what to expect and that is really exciting. It will be really interesting to see how it all knits together.'

The show 100% Norfolk is based on an ongoing project by Berlin-based Rimini Protokoll which has so far included 100% Berlin, 100% Vienna and 100% Vancouver performances.

• For more information about taking part contact Louise Dennison at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival on 01603 877765 or email 100percent@nnfestival.org.uk

See also www.facebook.com/NNFestival

• The show is at Norwich Theatre Royal on Friday, May 18 at 7.30pm, and Saturday, May 19 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets range from �5 to �15. To book call 01603 766400 or visit www.nnfestival.org.uk

• emma.knights@archant.co.uk

Norfolk in numbers:

Norfolk's population is 862,000.

Sixteen per cent of the population is over 70

Fifteen per cent is under 14-years-old

More women than men live in Norfolk

The top five nationalities in Norfolk after British are Lithuanian, Polish, Latvian, Portuguese and Indian.

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