Nimmo Twin comic from Cromer revisits his acting roots

He is a familiar face in a new drama group for local professional actors.

Owen Evans, best known as one half of the Nimmo Twins comedy duo, is the star of One Eighty, a play about a failing darts hero.

It is the first production by fEast Theatre, which has evolved from the Far East youth drama company at North Walsham's Paston College, where Owen first cut his teeth in the world of drama and overcame some difficult teenage years.

Owen grew up in the Bath House Hotel on Cromer seafront run by his dad Tom from 1969 until his death in the early 80s.

'After dad died I suffered from agoraphobia. I missed a couple of years at the high school, and when I first went to Paston to do my O levels I used to lock myself in the toilets.'

But through drama sessions - which he only joined because a girl he fancied suggested it - he found he had a talent which blossomed, and was spotted by tutor and playwright Rob John.

After separate careers they have teamed up again, in a play Mr John had always promised to pen for Owen.

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The project coincided with the idea of former Paston head of expressive arts Mandy Mckenna for a regional professional drama company.

Its first play is a black comedy charting the story of Norman 'Rhino' Hamilton, once ranked fourth in the world, but down on his luck after his throwing ability, best friend and wife all deserted him on the same night and trying to rebuild his life and confidence.

Mr John, who retired as a vice-principal at Paston 18 months ago, said he was drawn to the world of darts because of the 'theatricality' and precision of the sport.

Owen, now 42, said he was 'excited but slightly nervous' about his return to serious acting for the first time in nearly 20 years.

'If things go wrong in a comedy act you can pull a funny face or put on a hat, but not in drama,' he added. 'But it is going back to my roots.'

The other performers in the play, Robin McLoughlin, Hayley Thompson and Sarah Langrish-Smith are all Norfolk people who have trained at leading London drama schools and are now busy carving out careers in professional theatre.

fEast Theatre hopes to build on its first production and encourage other talented writers, performers or directors to get involved.

One Eighty is being premiered at Paston College on Wednesday April 6, before its tour also calls in at Sheringham Little Theatre on April 9.

For tickets and further information about performances visit www.feasttheatre.com

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