By George! Meet the many faces of comic genius Joyce Grenfell at Sheringham Little Theatre

Loraine Metcalfe as Joyce Grenfell�'s nursery school teacher. Picture: Matt Coomber

Loraine Metcalfe as Joyce Grenfell�'s nursery school teacher. Picture: Matt Coomber - Credit: Archant

Her cut-glass middle-class accent patiently tried to keep order amid the chaos of nursery school.

But there is more to Joyce Grenfell than the long-suffering teacher constantly telling George 'don't do that!'

And a one woman show at Sheringham Little Theatre aims to highlight the acting, writing and singing talents of the comic genius who graced stage and screen during her heydays between the 1940s and '60s.

Joyce, the Victoria Wood of her day, is best known for her nursery sketches including the Nativity, with laugh out loud lines such as 'Jimmy, you are my first shepherd, not a racing car you are.'

She also has to deal with a cast member who is biting the school hamster and explaining why there are four kings – 'we have four lovely crowns and it is a pity not to use them'.


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But there will also be appearances by other characters such as frumpy Lumpy Latimer attending a girls' school reunion and Shirley's Cockney girlfriend.

Joyce is played by Cromer-based actress Loraine Metcalfe, a regular at the venue's summer drama seasons – where she has twice played Shirley Valentine - and where she also helps with youth workshops.

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Loraine said: 'I remember first seeing Joyce in a St Trinian's movie and admire her as a writer and performer.

'I am not trying to impersonate Joyce, just being me doing her marvellous monologues and recreating her characters, who are based on real people which is what makes them so funny.'

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: 'I picked the Joyce show with Loraine in mind. It takes someone very special to do this and she has shown she can captivate an audience on her own in Shirley, so she was the perfect choice.'

The show will be directed by theatre patron and eminent actor Des Barrit who directed both Loraine's Shirley shows and is returning to steer the Joyce tribute during his spare time which he spends in Sheringham.

George Don't Do That is at Sheringham Little Theatre on Friday and Saturday, July 7 and 8, at 7.30pm.

For more information and tickets call the box-office on 01263 822347 or visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

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