Sell-out Steve Hewlett night sees North Walsham Play’s dream come true

Centre: Ventriloquist and comedian Steve Hewlett (with puppet Simon Cowell) and North Walsham Play c

Centre: Ventriloquist and comedian Steve Hewlett (with puppet Simon Cowell) and North Walsham Play committee members, from left: Michelle Trollope, Matthew Smith, Julie Potter and Susan Gray. Picture: NORTH WALSHAM PLAY - Credit: Archant

A sell-out concert has helped North Walsham Play realise its dream of providing the town with the first of many new play parks.

Centre: Ventriloquist and comedian Steve Hewlett (with puppet Simon Cowell) and North Walsham Play c

Centre: Ventriloquist and comedian Steve Hewlett (with puppet Simon Cowell) and North Walsham Play committee members, from left: Michelle Trollope, Matthew Smith, Julie Potter and Susan Gray. Picture: NORTH WALSHAM PLAY - Credit: Archant

The Atrium Theatre was packed for an evening of laughter and ventriloquism provided by Britain's Got Talent Finalist Steve Hewlett and north Norfolk comic Pat Nearney.

The evening raised more than £1,000, pushing North Walsham Play's savings total over the £40,000 mark needed to buy equipment for Woodville.

'This event has exceeded our expectations and now allows us to ask North Walsham Town Council to place the order for the first play park' said Matthew Smith, event co-ordinator and trustee.

'In less than a year we have come a very long way, and that's thanks to many members of the public, local companies and organisations. In particular the support from North Walsham Town Council has been instrumental in helping us get to where we are today'.

Centre: Ventriloquist and comedian Steve Hewlett (with puppet Simon Cowell) and North Walsham Play c

Centre: Ventriloquist and comedian Steve Hewlett (with puppet Simon Cowell) and North Walsham Play committee members, from left: Michelle Trollope, Matthew Smith, Julie Potter and Susan Gray. Picture: NORTH WALSHAM PLAY - Credit: Archant

The new play park will be for all members of the community. It will include a wheelchair-accessible roundabout, trim trail, activity boards and a basket swing. Equipment will be installed around an all-weather safety surface.

The committee will work with the town council on access to the park and where to install paths.

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Mr Smith added: 'North Walsham Play is passionate about engaging with the local community, not only to provide new play equipment within the town's play parks, but also in providing high-quality community events. We have been so pleased to see the community get behind this event'.

The committee of North Walsham Play hopes to stage more community events in future.

Steve Hewlett is a regular visitor to Norfolk and will be back in April, for a show at the Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre.

At the end of the evening members of the audience had the chance to have their photo taken with him and his popular puppet of TV's 'Mr Nasty', Simon Cowell.

Other major contributors to North Walsham Play's coffers have included North Walsham Town Council, Norfolk Norfolk Big Society Fund, Tesco Bags Of Help Scheme, North Walsham Round Table, and the Lodge of Unanimity.

For more information visit: www.nwplay.co.uk or email nwalshamplay@yahoo.co.uk

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