Gaslight to Waiting For Godot: theatre not to miss this week in Norfolk

Norwich-based Moss Bank Productions is presenting the show Gaslight at the Maddermarket Theatre from

Norwich-based Moss Bank Productions is presenting the show Gaslight at the Maddermarket Theatre from April 5 to 7. Photo: supplied by Moss Banks Productions. - Credit: supplied by Moss Banks Productions

Samuel Beckett's ground-breaking masterwork of 20th century drama comes to Westacre, while Patrick Hamilton's Victorian thriller is staged at the Maddermarket.

Abigail's Party 40th anniversary production starring
Amanda Abbington as Beverly, Ben Caplan as Lau

Abigail's Party 40th anniversary production starring Amanda Abbington as Beverly, Ben Caplan as Laurence, Charlotte Mills as Angela, Ciar�n Owens as Tony and Rose Keegan as Susan . Picture: Nobby Clark - Credit: ©Nobby Clark Photographer

Abigail's Party

Norwich Theatre Royal, until April 1, 7.30pm, 2.30pm April 1, £28.50-£8, 01603 630000, theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

It's 40 years since the appalling Beverly first put Donna Summer on the turntable, stacked a plate with little cheesy-pineapple ones, plied her guests with alcohol, cigarettes and Demis Roussos and slow-danced her way across the shag-pile into theatrical history. Amanda Abbington, best-known for playing Mary Morstan in Sherlock and Miss Mardle in Mr Selfridge, plays the hostess-from-hell in this anniversary production, with Call the Midwife actor Ben Caplan as her uptight, pretentious husband Lawrence. The drinks party from hell begins when Beverly and Laurence invite round new neighbours, Tony and Ange, along with nervous divorcee Sue.


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Sweeney Todd

The Shoe Factory Social Club, St Mary's Works, Oak Street, Norwich, until April 1, 7.30pm, £17, soundideastheatre.co.uk

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Innovative young local theatre makers Sound Ideas follow-up their production of Into The Woods with an immersive theatre experience of another Stephen Sondheim classic. They've transformed the disused St Mary's Works into Fogg's Asylum complete with flickering TVs and crackling radios. An ear-piercing factory whistle signals lock-up as patients sit in awe of the flashing images and tell the story of the closest shave you'll ever want. The production heightens Sondheim's message that it is not just Sweeney that is mad but through its corruption, consumption and inequality, society is totally insane. Expect a close have and pies from Mrs Lovett's kitchen.

Sound Ideas immersive production of Sweeney Todd is being staged at a former shoe factory in Norwich

Sound Ideas immersive production of Sweeney Todd is being staged at a former shoe factory in Norwich. Picture: Andrew Butler - Credit: Archant

The Kitchen Sink

Sewell Barn Theatre, Constitution Hill, Norwich, March 30-April 8, 7.30pm, 2.30pm April 8, £9 (£7 cons), 01603 628319, sewellbarn.org.uk

Tom Wells' 2011 play, the latest production at Norwich's Sewell Barn Theatre, is about hopes and dreams and has echoes of the the 'kitchen sink' dramas of the 1950s and 60s. For one family living in the faded Yorkshire seaside resort of Withernsea, things aren't going to plan. Martin, with his dilapidated milk float, is fast losing customers to the local supermarket. Something is clearly wrong with Kath's kitchen sink. Sophie's dream of becoming a ju-jitsu teacher appears to be in tatters, whilst Billy hopes his Dolly Parton portrait will be enough to get him into art college.

Waiting For Godot

Westacre Theatre, River Road, Westacre, Norfolk, March 31-April 1, 7.30pm, £16, 01760 755800, westacretheatre.com

Andy Naylor and Clive Hadfield, who star in Westacre Theatre's production of Waiting for Godot.

Andy Naylor and Clive Hadfield, who star in Westacre Theatre's production of Waiting for Godot. - Credit: Archant

Two washed-up drifters wait by the road for a man they've never met, hoping against all proof that now, as night closes in and their patter runs dry, they may finally catch a break. Over the bare horizon, a figure leads another on a leash. Can this be what they are waiting for? Samuel Beckett's ground-breaking masterwork of 20th century drama is the latest production at the Westacre Theatre. It is an absurdist piece that Beckett calls a tragicomedy, in which the two main characters, Estragon and Vladimir wait endlessly in vain for someone called Godot to appear. Three other people do arrive, Pozzi, Lucky his slave, and a boy messenger.

I Am Beast

Fisher Theatre, Bungay, April 1, 3pm, £10 (£8 cons), 01986 897130, www.fishertheatre.org

Following on from the acclaimed success of Killing Roger, Sparkle and Dark theatre company returns with this award-winning, visually stunning exploration of the power of grief and childish imagination. After the death of her mother, Ellie escapes into her own fantasy world of comic book superheroes and bewitching strangers, recreating herself as the ultimate vigilante. Running a-midst dark alley ways and sinister villains, she soon meets the wild and mysterious Beast and together they seek revenge. There production uses life-sized puppetry as well as live music and ultraviolent sets.

Gaslight

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, April 5-7, 7.30pm, £14-£12, 01603 620917, maddermarket.co.uk

Moss Bank Productions stage Patrick Hamilton's Victorian thriller. Jack Manningham is slowly, deliberately driving his wife, Bella, insane. Her only tether to reality is a gaslight mounted on her wall, which fades up and down suspiciously. On the brink of madness, Bella is introduced to former detective Rough, who believes Jack to be a thief and murderer. With only a memory and the testimony of an allegedly mad woman, Rough attempts to prove Bella's sanity, not only to those around her, but also, to herself. Set at the turn of the 19th Century in Victorian London, the play was first produced in 1938. It was later filmed twice, in Britain and the USA, with Ingrid Bergman winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Bella Manningham.

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