Educating Rita to launch new Sheringham summer rep season

Melissa Clements as Rita and Paul Lavers as Frank, in Sheringham Little Theatre's summer rep product

Melissa Clements as Rita and Paul Lavers as Frank, in Sheringham Little Theatre's summer rep production of Educating Rita. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A pair of actors who performed alongside each other in the classic stage comedy drama Educating Rita will be reunited in the same play for a popular summer rep season.

The Willy Russell play is one of five being performed at Sheringham Little Theatre from Tuesday July 21 to Saturday September 5.

It is the 55th year the theatre has been hosting professional summer rep seasons.

The arts venue is one the few remaining towns in Britain carrying on the tradition seen by actors as the best way to improve their performing skills.

There are now five towns in Britain putting on annual rep seasons, three of which are in East Anglia, compared to 15 years ago when every town and city theatre held a rep season.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: 'This year it is about a celebration of rep. We are putting on five of the most popular plays the Little Theatre rep has performed.'

The season kicks off with Education Rita, starring Sheringham newcomers Melissa Clements and Paul Lavers, who used to present Anglia Television's Through the Night programme.

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They acted with each other in the same play two years ago in Lincoln.

Miss Clements, 28, said: 'We had such fun the first time. We always said we would love to do it again.'

She added: 'Rep is very much the craft for actors. You learn things very quickly and have the opportunity to play different roles, which is very rare. It is great for young actors and I'm really excited about it.'

Mr Lavers said it was important to keep the rep tradition because it created a 'panorama of entertainment' for communities away from London.

The other rep plays this year are the thriller The Late Edwina Black, and comedies Bedroom Farce, Perfect Wedding and Private Lives.

All 10 actors taking part in this year's Sheringham rep, who only have 10 rehearsal days, will have roles in more than one play during its short season.

Tickets cost £16, £14 or £10.50. To book call 01263 822347.

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