New season: Creative Arts East

Creative Arts East, the enterprising Norfolk-based organisation, unveils its autumn programme, as EVENT reports.Three cheers for Creative Arts East.

Creative Arts East, the enterprising Norfolk-based organisation, unveils its autumn programme, as EVENT reports.

Three cheers for Creative Arts East. The community arts development charity has done sterling work over the past few years in bringing top-notch entertainment to villages and smaller town venues around the region.

And, happily, despite the economic ups and (mostly) downs we seem to be finding ourselves in at the moment, that aim is very much at the heart of the charity.

Beverley Bishop, Creative Arts East's Village Stage Development Officer explains: 'For this autumn's season of Village Stage, I've cast the net wide to guarantee exceptional performances and you won't be disappointed.'

The season kicks off with popular Norfolk-based duo Nappertandy, who keep audiences on their toes (literally) with traditional Irish songs, stories and sing-a-long sessions. A few Irish stories and humorous songs are thrown in for good measure too. These accomplished songwriters have toured extensively around Europe and play a variety of traditional instruments including the penny whistle, bodhr�n, banjo, mandolin, guitar and ukulele.

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The duo plays Baconsthorpe village hall on September 26 (bookings, 01263 577539/ 577787, sat nav location NR25 6LJ) before moving on to Whissonsett village hall on October 31 (01328 700010 or 700288, NR20 3ST). Tickets are �6 for adults and �5 for children and concs.

Next up are Anglo-African musicians Boka Halat, who promise a ceilidh with a difference. Based on the harmony between African and English traditions, the show is split into two halves enabling audiences to enjoy a show of two halves before pushing back the chairs to dance. In short, English tunes meet unmistakeable African rhythms.

They play village halls at Brooke (October 2, 01508 558526 or 558320 and from Brooke Post Office) and Hindolveston the following night (same time, 01263 860583 or 860257).

Tickets in advance are: adults �7.50, children and concs �6.50, family �26; on the door: �8.50, �7.50, �30. The sat nav location for Brooke is NR15 1AB, and Hindolveston is NR20 5DF.

They are followed by classically-trained string trio Kosmos who will perform their own compositions, arrangements and improvisations in the church locations at Welborne (October 8, 01362 858770 or 850327, NR20 3LH) and Bergh Apton (October 9, 01508 480696, NR15 1BX), plus Hockwold village hall (October 10, 01842 827713, 827268 or 828189, IP26 4LP). The trio are inspired by traditional music and explore the boundaries of western classical and contemporary music with Arabic, gipsy, Balkan, Jewish, jazz and tango influences.

Tickets in advance are: adults �7.50, children and concs �6.50, family �26; on the door: �8.50, �7.50, �30.

Half term entertainment beats the boredom with two entertaining interpretations of puppet show classics. Old Mother Hubbard is an innovative and fun-filled take on the nursery classic and will be performed by Norwich-based Garlic Theatre. Local dates are on October 27 at Ashwellthorpe village hall (sat nav NR16 1AA) at 2.30pm - bookings 01508 488223 and at The Book Fountain, Wharton's Court, Wymondham, and the following afternoon (same time) at Fleggburgh village hall, Burgh St Margaret (NR29 3AZ), with bookings on 01493 748548 or 369878.

The other half-term show, Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom, sees Theatre of Widdershins take the traditional Brothers' Grimm tale back to its dark roots then tease out the tangles and style it into a wonderfully-coiffured hairpiece! This enchanting show promises loads of highlights...

It's playing village halls at Watlington (PE33 0HE, October 27, 2.30pm, 01553 810493 or 810732), Upton - near Acle - on October 28 (NR13 6AU, 2.30pm, 01493 750697 or 750932) and Freckenham (October 30, 2pm, IP28 8JB, 01638 720111/ 721386).

Tickets for these half-term shows are: (in advance) adults �4, children and concs �3, family �12; (on door) �5, �4, �16.

For Elvis fans out there, Pretty Good Girl Dance Theatre's sassy rock'n'roll offering - Elvis Still My Heart - is a great excuse to jitterbug. Elvis has left the building. Or has he? This is an explosively physical tale of love, secrets and acceptance. As part of Arts Council England's 'A Night Less Ordinary' initiative, Creative Arts East has free theatre tickets to give away to young people aged under 26. For further details contact Creative Arts East on 01953 713390.

The show plays Reepham High School on November 13 (NR10 4JT, 01603 308133, 01362 683633 and at Very Nice Things) and Whissonsett village hall the following day (NR20 3ST, 01328 700010 or 700288)

Tickets in advance are: adults �7.50, children and concs �6.50, family �26; on the door: �8.50, �7.50, �30.

Pre-Christmas magic for all the family comes in the form of Valentine Davies' classic play Miracle on 34th Street. It's winter time New York 1947 and an endearing old man insists he actually is Santa Claus. This is another 'A Night Less Ordinary' initiative, so there's free tickets to young people aged under 26 (contact Creative Arts East).

The show is at The Granary Theatre at Wells (November 9, NR23 1AN, 01328 710193 or, Ashby & Thurton village hall (November 20, NR14 6AL, 01508 480276 or 480211) and Freckenham village hall (November 21, 7pm, IP28 8JB, 01638 720118 or 720111). Once again, tickets in advance are: adults �7.50, children and concs �6.50, family �26; on the door: �8.50, �7.50, �30.

Creative Arts East's Bright Sparks! programme gives young promoters aged 12-25 the chance to get involved managing and presenting live theatre, drama and comedy. The first collaboration is with Loon and Theatre MiMi and follows globetrotting adventurer, Phileas P Souper as he travels hysterically and magically around the world in about 80 minutes in a show which is basically Edinburgh Fringe street theatre meets a travelling circus band! Under-26s can get free tickets (subject to availability) as part of the 'A Night Less Ordinary' initiative (call 01953 713390).

The show plays Hellesdon High School (NR6 5SB) on November 26. Contact Creative Arts East direct for tickets.

Twenty years since first being broadcast on TV, Alan Bennett's poignant, witty, and superbly-observed Talking Heads are still regarded as a modern classic. Moonstruck Theatre Company delivers the two poignant monologues Bed Among the Lentils and A Chip in the Sugar at the Studio Theatre at Wymondham High School (NR18 0QT) on November 27 (bookings 01953 713108 or The Book Fountain), and the following day (8pm) at Wood Norton village hall (NR20 5BB, 01362 683731 or 683291). Tickets in advance are adults �7.50, children and concs �6.50, family �26; on the door �8.50, �7.50, �30.

The season closes with an evening dose of comedy from founder of the Flying Pickets, Mervyn Stutter. He chats a bit, tells a few jokes, makes some pithy observations and entertains with clever comedy songs on guitar. He's playing Kettlestone village hall (December 3, NR21 0AU, 01328 878200 or 878473), Frettenham village hall (December 4, NR21 7NN, 8pm, 01603 893827 or 737883) and the following evening at the Red Lodge Millennium Centre (IP28 8TT, 01638 750760). The usual prices apply.

All shows are 7.30pm unless stated.

01953 713390 information