Raise a glass to theatre’s birthday

Lorna Marsh The Theatre Royal in Norwich is marking its 250th birthday. It was on January 31, 1758 that Norwich citizens saw the first performance on stage at the city's impressive new theatre near Chapelfield and centuries later the theatre is still flourishing and welcoming audiences on the same site.

Lorna Marsh

The Theatre Royal in Norwich

will mark its 250th birthday tomorrow.

It was on January 31, 1758 that Norwich citizens saw the first performance on stage at the city's impressive new theatre near Chapelfield and centuries later the theatre is still flourishing and welcoming audiences on the same site.

Staff and trustees will be gathering to raise a glass of champagne tomorrow at the theatre followed by a raffle grand draw, which includes hundreds of prizes including a car and state-of-the-art television.

Among the guests of honour to draw the first four prizes will be the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, footballer Dion Dublin, the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk Richard Jewson and EDP editor Peter Franzen.

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First prize is a Peugeot 107 Urban courtesy of the Co-operative Motor Group, second prize is a Panasonic 42in plasma television while £1,500 and £1,000 will go to the third

and fourth prize winners respectively.

The theatre's official grand celebration will take the form of a fundraising birthday party on July 12 at the Sainsbury Centre.

The history of the theatre is celebrated in a recently published book by Norwich authors Michael and Carole Blackwell which will be available to buy at the theatre's celebration tomorrow as well as at the box office.

Norwich Theatre Royal: The First 250 Years tells a story full of scandals, accidents, dangers and drama and comedy both on and off the stage and many moments of high comedy.

www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk.