New season: Creative Arts East

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor Just because you live in the countryside doesn’t mean you have to miss out on great entertainment. Creative Arts East has unveiled its 12th programme for communities across the area, as Event editor Trevor Heaton reports.


To paraphrase a certain song, if you go down to your village hall you're sure of a big surprise… or you will be if Creative Arts East has anything to do with it.

The Wymondham-based arts group been doing sterling work for years in bringing quality music, theatre, dance and children's entertainment to people in rural areas.

The autumn tour kicks off on Friday September 17 at Edgefield village hall with the Aurora Ensemble. Winners of the Paris Conservatoire's coveted Musique d'Ensemble, Aurora lead the audience through a range of music, from new jazz through Rossini's quartets to Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals. Tickets £6, concs £5 advance, £7/£6 on door. Bookings: 01263 714033, Edgefield Garage Shop, and Feeney Newsagents in Holt.

Hogarth's celebrated series of paintings The Rake's Progress is brought to life in the hands of young theatre company, Oddbodies. This colourful and witty comedy is stuffed full of uproarious characters including a prostitute, a pugilist, a highwayman and a lamplighter. The Rake's Progress is at the Granary Theatre in Wells on September 23 (01328 710193) and the next night at Whissonsett village hall, (01328 700010/ 700288). Tickets: £5/£4 adv, £6/£5 door.

Captivating storyteller Cat Wetherill made a big impact a couple of years back with her Seductive Stories presentation. Now she's back with more spellbinding storytelling, Mermaid. When Evie's fiancé is lost at sea, Evie is haunted by dreams that convince her he is still alive. Then one foggy night, a phantom ship brings her news that she has longed to hear… news that will change her life forever. Cat will be at Freckenham village hall on October 15 (01638 720118/ 720111) and the following evening at Ashby and Thurton village hall in Thurton (01508 480276/ 480695). £5/£4 adv, £6/£5 door. The show is suitable for adults, and children aged 10 and over.

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As usual, Creative Arts East has lined up some top children's entertainment for half-term, with two shows to look out for.

The first is Arabian Nights from the popular Theatre of Widdershins. To save herself from certain death, Scheherazade must tell Shahriyar a tale every night… Scheherazade's tales will carry you off to a world of enchantment; a world of flying carpets, magicians and a breathtaking Djinni! Suitable for four- to nine-year-olds, this is a classical tale brought to vivid life. You can catch it at Freckenham village hall (October 26, 2pm, 01638 720635/720111), Fleggburgh Village hall (October 27, 2.30pm, 01493 369292), Welborne village hall (October 28, 2.30pm, 01362 850268/ 850787) and on October 29 at Beck Row Community Centre (01638 713001 9-5pm or e-mail

The second half-term show is the funny The Magic Circus from Puppet Lab. Meet Tommy Edwards, the clown with the fear of heights, who is in love with the beautiful trapeze artist Fifi La Mour. It features awe-inspiring circus acts, all set to original music, so roll up, roll up at Hindolveston village hall (October 26, 2.30pm, 01263 860583 or Parker's Garage), Upton village hall (October 27, 2.30pm, 01493 750697/751915/750872) and Watlington village hall (October 28, 2.30pm, 01553 810732/810466/01553 810231). Tickets for either of these shows are £4 in advance, £5 on door, no concessions.

The highlight of the season for many people will be the appearance of that fine singer Tina May and her trio. Usually you'll need to go to an arts festival or big theatre to see her – but not this time. She presents her new show – Romantic Jazz – showcasing her beautiful voice and sparkling style, supported by musicians Robin Aspland, Alex Dankworth and Tristan Maillot.

She will be appearing at Brundall Memorial Hall (November 12, 01603 716767 or Brundall Pet and Hardware), Watlington village hall (November 13, 01533 810584/810732/810231), Baconsthorpe village hall (November 18, 01263 577539/577787), St Margaret's Church at Thorpe Market (November 19, 01263 833252/833697 or and finally at Bergh Apton village hall (November 20, 01508 480696). Tickets are £6/£5 in advance, and £7/£6 on the door.

The final touring show is an a cappella presentation by the Helen Chadwick Group. Songs out of the Hidden Continent is inspired by her travels through the mysterious places of Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. It runs at Hindolveston village hall (November 25, 01263 860583 or Parker's Garage), Whissonsett village hall (November 26, 01328 70001/700288) and the following evening at All Saints' Church at Welborne (01362 850268 850787). Tickets are £6/£5 in advance and the usual £1 extra on the door.

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