Sweet royal treat given to local drama group

Royal shortbread tin sent from the Duchess of York.

Royal shortbread tin sent from the Duchess of York. - Credit: Archant

A Royal gift has provided the perfect pick-me-up for local drama kings and queens.

Laura Williamson, from West Runton, plays Rev. Geraldine Grainger in The Vicar of Dibley production.

Laura Williamson, from West Runton, plays Rev. Geraldine Grainger in The Vicar of Dibley production. - Credit: Archant

Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society (CSODS) received two letters, a photo and a tin of shortbread from the Duchess of York.

But the team will not break into the shortbread until they start their Vicar of Dibley production towards the end of February.

It came about after Nicholas Jones, a volunteer stage crew member, wrote to the Duchess to tell her that the society had raised over £2,200 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the chosen charity of CSODS this year.

He also told her all about the Vicar of Dibley production.

Joanna Maxwell, from Worsted, plays Alice Tinker in The Vicar of Dibley production.

Joanna Maxwell, from Worsted, plays Alice Tinker in The Vicar of Dibley production. - Credit: Archant

The Duchess not only hand wrote two letters in response, wishing the group success, but she also sent a photo and the tin of shortbread.

Ruth Elliott, the director, said: 'I was very impressed by the generosity of the Duchess.

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'For someone as busy as the Duchess of York to hand write not one, but two letters and organise sending a gift, shows that she really cares about the efforts of those who support the work of the charities of which she is patron.

'I'm delighted for Nick, and also for the cast and crew of the Vicar of Dibley production.'

Money is raised each year for a charity, with collections from buckets at the musical CSODS puts on in May in Cromer.

It also donates some £750 to Comic Relief from its licence money.

Ian Gower, the author of the script, and United Artists, which holds the licence, give all the licence money to charity whenever the show is put on by an amateur group.

The Vicar of Dibley, which features cast from all over north Norfolk, will be at Sheringham Little Theatre from February 23-27.

Popular TV reverend Geraldine Grainger is played by Laura Williamson, from West Runton.

Her best friend Alice Tinker is played by Joanna Maxwell, from Worstead.

Alice's partner, Hugo Horton, is played by Tom Denny, from Sheringham and his father David Horton is played by Graham Blyth, from Coltishall.

Tickets (£11 and £10) are already available from the theatre box office on 01263 822347 or you can book tickets on-line from www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com