New season: Sheringham Little Theatre

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor One of Norfolk’s busiest small venues unveils its autumn programme. Event editor TREVOR HEATON reports.


Sheringham Little Theatre is indeed in Sheringham, is little and is a theatre. No surprises there, then. But what puts it ahead of many other much larger regional venues is its packed programme and breadth of activities.

Oodles of goings-on range from theatrical shows to family fun, arthouse films to music, visual art to courses. And the autumn programme is no exception.

The season kicks off on September 22 with the family comedy Coast to Coast. Last year the Hard Graft Theatre Company walked 216 miles across the country from Bangor to Boston with no money, no food and no accommodation. They paid their way with a 90-minute comedy/storytelling show that they had to perform or go hungry. Coast to Coast tells how they managed to survive and talks about the lively and sometimes eccentric characters they met. This show will make you smile… and inspire you to get out your walking boots. Tickets £9, under 16s £4.

Terry Chappelle has his friends present a nostalgic series of evenings from September 27-29 with the Old Time Music Hall and Variety Show (£6.50). Then Eastern Angles (in conjunction with Company of Angels) presents its latest show, Truckstop (October 4, £11.50). The Dutch-set play is a powerful thriller about three interwoven lives bound by a truckstop… and a meat knife.

Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society presents John Steinbeck's celebrated Of Mice and Men from October 17-20. It's the powerful and moving tale of George and Lennie, the fast-talking farm hand and the simple giant who accompanies him on a life of casual labour in California in the 1930s (£7 or £8 depending on day).

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Spooks, Squeals 'n' Squit! is a new show where Keith Skipper and Neil Storey join forces for an evening of creepy yarns and dialect delights. Tickets £8 for the October 25 show.

On October 27 Ace Dance, mixing African and Caribbean dance forms, present a triple bill: Artificial Intelligence, Loss of Innocence and Tribal Unity. Can join Ace Youth in two days of dance workshops and have the chance to perform in the show. If you are 12-18 years and would like to take part contact Norfolk Dance: 01603 283399. Tickets £4 (under-16s £3).

The Sheringham Players present Dennis Potter's controversial play Brimstone & Treacle from November 1-3. This once-notorious drama tells the story of a middle-aged couple whose only daughter has been reduced to a vegetative state following a crash. A charming young man comes into their lives, claiming he is her friend. But is he? Tickets for the adults-only production are £6.50 or £7, depending on day of performance.

On November 10 the Rumpus Theatre Company presents The Ripper Files!, a whodunit based on one of the world's most notorious serial killers. Can Insp Lestrange catch the killer who has struck in 1880s Whitechapel? Tickets £12.

Former Likely Lad Rodney Bewes was a popular visitor to the theatre with his Three Men in a Boat one-man show, and he returns on November 21 with a look at another book by its author Jerome K Jerome. On the Stage and Off: The Brief Career of a Would-be Actor is JKJ's account of his three years on the boards in the 1880s. Tickets £12.

The Sheringham Savoyards will help generate some Christmas spirit (November 30-December 1) with Festive Greetings, music and readings from the season. Tickets £7.

It's panto time from December 11-January 2 with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, presented by the team which brought the very popular The Wizard of Oz to the venue last Christmas. You know the story… so get ready to boo and hiss the Wicked Queen - and laugh along to Tommy the Court Jester. Tickets: full £13, under-16s £8.50, family £40 (two adults and two children). There's a special rate for schools.

More family fun includes The Magnificent Flying Machine presented by Garlic Theatre Company at the venue on October 6, following the adventures of the eccentric Prof Bix Horn (£5.50, under-16s £5).

Then on October 22 there's a workshop and show with the irresistible title of A Wheelie Bin Ate My Sister! Presented by Openwide Theatre, the workshop is suitable for ages seven to 11, with the show aimed at ages three to 11 (workshop £5, show £5.50, under-16s £5).

North Norfolk-based magician Roy Davenport presents a Magic Workshop on November 7 (6-8pm), when he will be demonstrating the art of close-up magic and will help budding magicians aged eight to 14. Tickets £4, including a free trick.

On November 16 it's Throwdown, a club event specialising in breaking and all other hip-hop elements. Throwdown stages B-Boy, popping and locking battles, open mic challenges, scratchin' contests and graffiti competitions. Tickets £3.

In contrast, the following day there's another of the Image Musical Theatre's popular participation musicals. The Snow Queen is full of great songs (where you can help join in) and a classic storyline. Tickets £6, under-16s £5.50.

Music is well represented too, including jazz, country and folk. On October 6 Roger Dean returns with his much-acclaimed tribute The Johnny Cash Story. Roger has had a lifetime of performing the songs made famous by the country legend. Tickets - £12, concs £11 - will again be in demand for this one.

Acoustic folk/country band Southbound will be at the Station Road venue on October 13 in a special fundraiser for the local charity Break, which helps families in need. Tickets £10.

Folk legend Harvey Andrews is back on November 9 with new songs, new stories, CDs and a book - with 43 years of performing under his belt, he's not slowing down just yet. Tickets for this Folk Beyond the Pier presentation are £9.

Another “returnee” is celebrated theatre organist Robert Wolfe, currently notching up his 27th season with the Wurlitzer Show at the Thursford Collection. For his November 22 appearance he'll be playing the Lowrey Majesty Organ. This concert will have a Christmas theme, but will also feature music from the 1930s to the present day. Tickets £9 (concs £8).

Jazz fans will lap up the return visit of the Robin Phillips Sextet on November 24 (£8.50). They'll be focusing on the eventful year 1959, featuring selections from seminal albums of that year from Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Dave Brubeck, and Ornette Coleman.

And the Little Theatre also continues its regular programme of arthouse films, including The Painted Veil (September 18), The Lives of Others (September 21), Goya's Ghosts (September 25), Grow Your Own (October 2) and more. On October 12 the East Anglian Film Archive presents two showings of Ration Days, a selection from the outbreak of war till the end of the Forties.

Visual art features too, as usual, including Gloria Ojulari Sule, Loaning not Owning with John Midgley and Art Under £100.

Plus there's lots of courses and workshops too.

Oodles of stuff, really. We did say.

Box office 01263 822347.

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