REVIEW: Roots, Sheringham Little Theatre

A rustic Norfolk family's simple, frugal lifestyle is challenged by one of their own whose blinkers have been taken off by her intellectual London boyfriend in this classic 'kitchen sink drama.'

It is a powerful play of words, characters and morals by writer Arnold Wesker, drawing on his own experiences in the county in the 1950s.

And - even with the benefit of authentic local accents to deliver the dialect dialogue - it is a brave choice by the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society for their autumn offering.

There is little action to distract from the script, bar some baking, washing up, meals and sweeping are the house. So this rural Royle Family is all about the conversation, confrontations and observations of everyday life.

The central role of Beatie, returning home with her head filled with ideas from boyfriend Ronnie, is played stunningly well by 17-year-old Paston College drama student Louise Waller.

She confidently captures her blend of bucolic simplicity and big city spark igniting a desire to break free from the chains of her roots, and to live life rather than just exist. This is a talent to watch out for on a bigger stage in years to come.

Pick of the strong supporting cast is Mary Cubitt as her mother - a stubborn matriarch who eschews the 'squit' of classical music, literature and current affairs, in favour of village gossip, domestic chores and simply surviving on the meagre wages of her farmland husband.

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The others all add believable relatives and cameos, which, combined with Simon Thompson's direction, make this a stage soap which seamlessly mixes social commentary with shafts of comedy.

It runs until Saturday.

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