Community play in celebration of Thomas Paine

Rebecca GoughThetford will come alive with theatrics thanks to a community play celebrating the life and times of Thomas Paine.Rebecca Gough

Thetford will come alive with theatrics thanks to a community play celebrating the life and times of Thomas Paine.

From the youngest at just eight-years-old, to the eldest in their 70s, the cast have been rehearsing hard and will put on two performances later this month.

Citizen of the World was written by Mike Levy, from Keystage Company which specialises in historical commemoration through theatre.

Mr Levy said: 'The play will be a lot of fun. There are many big laughs in it but there people will also learn a lot about the life of Tom Paine, one of the most remarkable figures in history - it's a story that Hollywood could not have invented.'

Director Lesley Ford said the community had shown huge support for the production.

He added: 'We have been working hard on this play since the spring and we are all so looking forward to entertaining our Thetford audience.

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'We have a really enthusiastic cast who have worked hard and had so much fun; we can't wait to share the amazing, almost unbelievable, story of local lad Tom Paine, one of the founding fathers of the USA, a world revolutionary and the man President Obama quoted in this inaugural address this year.'

The play is part of the town's wider celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Thomas Paine; the Thetford magnate who fled to the Americas to become a journalist and writer.

John Weeks, artistic director of the celebrations, said: 'In terms of community involvement it's certainly on of the climaxes of the festival and we hope it'll do justice to Thomas Paine but also encourage an interest in live theatre in Thetford.'

The play will be performed on October 31 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm in the Carnegie Room, Thetford. Tickets cost �6 for adults and �3 for concessions, and can be bought from the box office on 01842 751975, by emailing david@newhorizonz.co.uk, or on the door.