New fiction based on fact of childhood theatre memories of Sheringham Little Theatre

Roger Chamberlain whose new book was sparked by childhood memories of Sheringham Little Theatre's su

Roger Chamberlain whose new book was sparked by childhood memories of Sheringham Little Theatre's summer season. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

An author's childhood spent amid the actors of a seaside summer drama company has provided the spark for his latest book.

Roger Chamberlain (centre) with Little Theatre actors

Roger Chamberlain (centre) with Little Theatre actors - Credit: Archant

Back in 1960 Roger Chamberlain's father George was deputy town clerk at Sheringham where he helped set up a modest professional summer repertory theatre.

The seven-year-old watched in awe as productions took shape and his young life became indelibly entwined with the dreams of the young actors and actresses in the town.

Fifty years on Roger has grown up, as has the local theatre, which is set to provide the location for the launch of his new novella The Theatre of Limited Facilities.

It takes its name from a pompous description by the council of the time, keen not to waste public money on the arts venture.


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The plot centres on the lives of a small boy and old man who meet on the windswept local landmark of Beeston Bump.

Publisher Anthony Grey, founder of Tagman Press, is a former North Norfolk News reporter who reviewed productions, before going on to be a foreign correspondent for the Reuters news agency.

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He recalled Roger as one of two lively sons of the Chamberlains in a home at the Avenue which thronged with actors and actresses.

He said tomorrow's launch at the Little Theatre would also be attended by a sprinkling of actors who had played at the venue 'bringing intertwined truth and fantasy by a promising new Norfolk writer into a very special and memorable seaside harmony.'

Mr Chamberlain turned to writing in 2006 when a 30-year banking career was ended by a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. He has already written 28 stories including a tale about his trusty mobility scooter Hetty.

Theatre of Limited facilities by Roger Chamberlain, published by Tagman Press, costs £7. The book will be on sale at The Holt Bookshop, Jarrold's Cromer, Bertram Watts Sheringham and The Little Beer Shop, Norwich Camping & Caravanning Blofield.

There are signing sessions at The Holt Bookshop on Saturday June 1, (11am to 12.30pm) and Bertram Watts Sheringham, on Saturday June 8 (11am to 12.30pm).

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