Actors' busy summer at Sheringham
RICHARD BATSON The 10-strong cast of Sheringham Summer Theatre will serve up seven plays during a 14-week season.
Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well. A haaaandbag? Bah, humbug!
They are three classic lines from three classic plays, each with scripts full of wit, drama and twists of plot.
So spare a thought for the actors in summer “rep” theatre – who may have three plays going around their head at the same time.
That mental gymnastics is just part of everyday life for a company of actors, who have begun a busy summer of learning lines and creating characters to entertain seaside audiences.
The 10-strong cast of Sheringham Summer Theatre will serve up seven plays during a 14-week season.
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It is a tough schedule for the players, who are a blend of experienced actors and newly-qualified drama students.
Elizabeth Scott, a 24-year-old “veteran” of both previous summer seasons said: “It can be gruelling. You can have three plays buzzing around your head – one you are rehearsing, one you are performing and one you are learning the lines for.
“But it is such an adrenaline rush and exciting. You don't get any other acting job where you get to do so many quality plays and such a variety of roles, including leads, in just four months.”
During the season she will appear in all seven shows, playing characters ranging from a high-class prostitute to a harassed mother, with ages going from their 20s to their 50s.
Christine Lawrence, who is straight out of drama school, said: “It is a bit scary but it is the best training for life as an actress.”
Director Seymour Matthews said it was the company's third summer at Sheringham – and they had fine-tuned the programme to suit the tastes of local audiences.
It resulted in a blend of plays, thrillers, comedy and music, all aimed to provide a “good evening of live entertainment”.
He admitted the schedule of rehearsals could be “pretty gruelling” but that running the plays for two weeks at a stretch took off some of the pressure caused by weekly changes.
The curtain goes up on the season on Wednesday June 29 and runs until Saturday October 1.
June 29 – July 9: Chapter Two: a Neil Simon comedy of emotions set in New York
July 12-23: 84 Charing Cross Road: well-known play based on a struggling writer's correspondence with a book shop
July 26 – August 6: Dead Man's Hand: a murderous thriller penned by Summer Theatre director Seymour Matthews
August 9-20: Season's Greetings: classic Ayckbourn comedy with a festive theme
August 23 – September 3: And a Nightingale Sang: a play with music looking at wartime family life.
September 6-17: Fallen Angels: Noel Coward wit centred on the “French connection” of two women friends
September 20 – October 1: Rattle of a Simple Man: the story of a shy northerner's meeting with a brash London girl
Information and tickets from the Sheringham Little Theatre box office on 01263 822347, or visit the website www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com