Musical in memory of north Norfolk actor to raise notes to boost theatre extension appeal

Fagin, played by Sam Thompson, and his gang prepare for the community youth production of Oliver! at

Fagin, played by Sam Thompson, and his gang prepare for the community youth production of Oliver! at Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: Sheringham Little Theatre - Credit: Sheringham Little Theatre

They are learning to pick a pocket or two… but a young Fagin's Gang is also helping to raise honest funds to improve a community theatre.

Rehearsals are under way at Sheringham Little Theatre for a community youth production of musical Oliver!

It is a doubly important show – for, not only is it raising cash towards the venue's Little Bit Bigger expansion appeal, but it is also in tribute to one of theatre's stalwart supporters.

The production, is in memory of Mike Thame, a popular amateur actor who played Fagin the last time the theatre staged the show in 2010.

Mr Thame, a retired advertising executive and former salesman at Norfolk Homes, died aged 76 in May last year.

He was a regular performer and director for the Sheringham Players – and, when dry rot was discovered in the theatre, raised thousands by running fund-raising farces for a decade.

Fittingly this Oliver! will raise funds for the current theatre appeal for an extra rehearsal space for young actors.

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Mr Thame was an enthusiastic mentor to the young cast members – one of whom, Sam Thompson who played the Artful Dodger last time, will take the role of Fagin in his honour.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: 'Mike was a staunch supporter of the theatre, both on and off stage – always done with a lovely sense of humour – and he was particularly good at bringing the best out of our young people.

'We are thrilled to dedicate this production to his memory and it is fitting that funds raised will help our A Little Big Bigger project.'

Oliver! is a tale of a young orphan navigating the London underworld of theft and violence searching for a home, family and love. It is packed with memorable songs such as Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two, Oom Pah Pah, and As Long as He Needs Me.

It runs at Sheringham Little Theatre from Saturday April 8, to Saturday April 15, (no show Sunday 9) 7.30pm with a 2.30pm matinee on April 15.

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