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Norfolk theatre group perform 14 musicals in 10 minutes with tribute to NHS workers

PUBLISHED: 08:24 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:24 24 April 2020

Rackheath Players and Rackheath Youth Theatre have performed 14 musicals in 10 minutes. Picture: Rackheath Players

Rackheath Players and Rackheath Youth Theatre have performed 14 musicals in 10 minutes. Picture: Rackheath Players

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Ten minutes is normally just enough time for a tea break.

Rackheath Players was founded in 1953. Picture: Rackheath PlayersRackheath Players was founded in 1953. Picture: Rackheath Players

But for one Norfolk theatre group it is ample time to perform songs from no fewer than 14 musicals.

Rackheath Players, who were founded in 1953, and Rackheath Youth Theatre said ‘the show must go on’ as a performance of Fawlty Towers in June has been postponed due to coronavirus lockdown.

Rackheath Players have filmed a video of musical numbers with the final song dedicated to NHS workers. Picture: Rackheath PlayersRackheath Players have filmed a video of musical numbers with the final song dedicated to NHS workers. Picture: Rackheath Players

Instead, they have recorded a medley of musicals hits, including The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables and Calamity Jane, which has been posted to their social media sites.

The video, which was recorded in part to keep the amateur dramatic group - who are like a tight-knit family - connected during lockdown, dedicated the final song to NHS workers battling on the frontline.

Rackheath Players stage three productions a year. Picture: Rackheath PlayersRackheath Players stage three productions a year. Picture: Rackheath Players

Performers sing ‘You’ve got a Friend’ from ‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’, while holding up homemade rainbow and thank you NHS posters.

The idea to record the video came after Elliot King, who was due to direct Fawlty Towers, stumbled across a compilation of songs involving James Cordon on YouTube.

Due to coronavirus Rackheath Players were unable to stage Fawlty Towers this June, so have created a musical medley video instead. Picture: Rackheath PlayersDue to coronavirus Rackheath Players were unable to stage Fawlty Towers this June, so have created a musical medley video instead. Picture: Rackheath Players

Mr King said: “A lot of hard work had already gone into our June show, from securing the rights, to casting and set design – so we were really saddened that the show couldn’t go ahead. However, those in theatre know that the show always must go on, and that’s what we have done in a virtual manner to fit the times.

“With one song, we couldn’t get it quite right and we wanted to do something a bit different so decided on a compilation.”

“As an amateur group we can’t always put on every show we want to due to the cost of rights. This way, we got to perform songs we would not have been able to normally. And everybody could bring their own stamp to it.”

Mr King also hoped the performance would cheer people up during the pandemic.

He added: “We also wanted to have fun, feel normal and take people’s minds off coronavirus. If we can make just one person who is not in Rackheath smile then it is job done.”

Plans are under way to broadcast a second instalment in the coming weeks.


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