New season: Sheringham Little Theatre

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor Sheringham Little Theatre packs in an astonishing amount of events in one of the county’s smaller venues. How do they do it?


Former Bond girl - and Avenger - Honor Blackman heads the list of attractions in another packed programme at the north Norfolk venue. Her latest one-woman show, Word of Honor (February 17), take at look at her hugely-diverse career, which has included two of the most iconic roles of the Sixties, Pussy Galore in Goldfinger and Cathy Gale in The Avengers.

Honor tells her story from its humble East End beginnings to playing alongside the likes of Sean Connery, Dean Martin, Elizabeth Taylor, Dirk Bogarde and many more. And there's her long and distinguished stage career too - and television roles which have included everything from comedy (The Upper Hand) to sci-fi (Dr Who). So a good story to tell, then? You bet - which is why tickets (at £12.50) will be in big demand.

There's a strong drama strand to the season. Bob Kingdom brings two of his much-acclaimed warts-and-all portraits of literary giants to the theatre. On March 15 it's Dylan Thomas: Return Journey, bringing to life the self-destructive poet in a spellbinding show, and then on April 28, The Truman Capote Talk Show is Bob's farewell tour of his portrait of the author of the waspish and witty writer of Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood. Tickets for either of these shows are £8 (students £6).

The word 'diva' tends to be bandied around these days, but opera singer Maria Callas certainly deserved the title. Anna Korwin presents her portrait of the hugely-talented soprano on April 14. Callas - based on interviews by 'La Divina' - lays bare her extraordinary (and tragic) life. Tickets £9.

Then on May 23, Suffolk company Eastern Angles bring another of their regionally-themed dramas on tour. Peapickers, by Nicky Werenowska, tells the story of an American scientist to rediscover his roots in north Essex. Tickets £10.

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Music and dance is well represented too.

Coope, Boyes and Simpson (February 9) is brought to the venue by the Folk Beyond The Pier team. The trio's powerful and distinctive unaccompanied singing and songwriting have taken English folk and roots into radical new directions - and earned them shedloads of admirers and awards. Tickets £9.50 (concs £8.50).

There's a brace of jazz concerts to look forward to. On February 24, regional favourites the Just Jazz Good Time Jazz Band will be giving trad fans a tasty slice of music made famous by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and Bix Biederbecke. Tickets £7. Then on April 21 the Robin Phillips Sextet showcases this newly-formed ensemble in a two-set show with original arrangements of music from composers including Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and more. Tickets £8.

March 22 sees The Gershwin Years. Presented by singer Tony Jacobs, the show looks at the Great American Songbook, paying tribute en route to the Gershwins along with Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart and many others. He is accompanied by one of the country's great pianists, Jim Barry who was with the BBC Radio Orchestra and has accompanied top stars at home and around the world. Tickets £9.

Norfolk musical theatre group the Upper Octave present a treat for West End fans on May 26 with Crazy for Musicals, looking at such favourites as Oklahoma!, Cabaret, Cats, Chicago and Phantom of the Opera. Tickets £7.

A stunning tango ensemble makes a welcome return to the theatre on March 31. Tango Siempre's Subitango! is performed by the UK's leading tango dancers Marie and Giraldo (who appeared in the film of Evita) and the musicians of Tango Siempre in a show which recreates the sensual dance and intoxicating rhythms of 1930s Buenos Aires. Tickets £11 (students £8).

Dance of an English flavour takes place in a fun event on February 10. The England's National Dance workshop and performance is hosted by local morris side the Lobster Potties. Find out how to rant, step-hop and clash with sticks! Tickets £5.

There's two concerts as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, both featuring fine young musicians from the Royal Academy of Music. On May 9 it's a string quartet and accordion, while on May 16 there's a piano recital.

Comedy comes in the form of one Mr Sidney Kipper. Kipper Fillets on March 3 features some of the primest cuts from the extensive Sid Kipper back catalogue. 'Nuff said! Tickets for this Norfolk favourite - £8 - will be in heavy demand.

Greg Powles - currently one of the stars of the theatre's pantos - runs more of his Comedy@The Hub sessions (February 22, March 29, April 26 and May 24) giving a friendly and supportive chance for would-be comedy stars. Contact the theatre and leave your details if you fancy 'doing a turn'. Audience tickets £4.

The Little Theatre always prides itself on a strong element of family shows, and this spring will be no exception.

Science in a Suitcase (February 3) sees two comical chaps in lab coats blending mime, music and physical comedy to demonstrate their eccentric discoveries, including the world's smallest planetarium and centrifugal force through karaoke! It's aimed at children aged six and up.

Then on February 15 it's Moon Magic. Time to fasten your seat belts and blast off to the Moon with Captain Marshmallow and Work-Experience Astronaut Bobby in this funny and fast-moving intergalactic adventure for ages five to 11.

On March 10 Cornelius and Jones bring their retelling of Oscar Wilde's wonderful and touching children's story The Happy Prince in a show suitable for ages five and over.

Then on April 13, Utter Nonsense gives children aged four and over the chance to meet a host of zany characters including Horace the Handsome Slug, and Dougie - the world's richest duck. The tale is told through comic story, puppets, pop-up monsters, illustrations… and a magic wheelbarrow.

Then on May 30, Indigo Moon Theatre present The Lost Forest. Using the traditional Wayang Golek rod puppets of Java, it's an eco tale of forest creatures coming together to beat nasty humans. The colourful and musical show is for children aged five and over. That show is preceded by a shadow puppet workshop.

Tickets £4.50 (under 16s £4) for all the family shows, with a combined workshop and show ticket for the Lost Forest at £7.

Among the many other events, art exhibitions and workshops are two special events as part of the Little Theatre's regular film screenings.

On March 17 there's two screenings of much-acclaimed drama Snow Cake (15), starring Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver. The 7.30pm screening will be followed by a discussion with the film's writer Angela Pell. Tickets £4.50.

Then on May 19, film historian Stuart Orr introduces How to Survive the 1940s. This fascinating presentation looks at some of the Government information films from 1946-50, with such titles as Worth the Risk? (a look at dangerous drivers) and Your Children's Meals (dealing with fussy eaters). Tickets £5.50.

Box office: 01263 822347;