Sheringham Little Theatre at centre of courtroom drama

Experienced actress Corinna Powlesland stepped in with just a week to learn lines for her role.

Experienced actress Corinna Powlesland stepped in with just a week to learn lines for her role. - Credit: Archant

Actress steps into summer season at 11th hour after jury service call-up.

Courtroom drama has prompted a late change of cast at a seaside summer drama season.

Actress Madeleine Brolly was due to play two parts in the remaining repertory productions at Sheringham Little Theatre.

But she has been called up for jury service in her native London, so the north Norfolk venue has drafted in an 11th¬hour replacement.

Experienced actress Corinna Powlesland stepped in with just a week to learn lines for her role as vampish toy boy predator Jacqueline in the French farce Changing Rooms - and will also play Susan, thrown into the misfits' pit of simmering social comedy Abigail's Party.

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But with 27 years of stage, screen and musical appearances – and having cut her teeth in traditional 'rep' theatre - Corinna is looking forward to the challenge.

'I started out in rep in Salisbury and Keswick and loved getting to play such diverse roles as well as the family atmosphere among the cast.'

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And Corinna says her substitute role at Sheringham have a bit of 'serendipity' about it.

She had never been to Sheringham before the learned her director on a play she was appearing in, Des Barrit, had a property there. Corinna decided to take a holiday there, staying at the Youth Hostel and enjoying walks.

'Then I got a call and I am working here,' said a thrilled Corinna.

Her actor friend Tim Welton, a member of the Sheringham cast and who will play her husband in Changing Rooms, recommended her to theatre director Debbie Thompson.

Mrs Thompson said: 'I have had people drop out of plays, and seasons before now – and even had to stand in myself once – but never because of jury service. We are so grateful to Corinna for stepping into the breach.'

Corinna's last theatre production was Pride and Prejudice at the Sheffield Crucible. She has also appeared in the film Ruby Blue with Bob Hoskins and in TV series including Doctors. Her singing has earned her parts in musical theatre and seen her perform at Ronnie Scott's jazz club.

The remaining Sheringham summer rep dramas are:

• August 18-27: Changing Rooms (by Marc Camoletti) - a husband and wife pursue affairs in stylish 1970s Paris while their housekeeper Nana is keen to have their flat to herself for her own weekend plans.

• August 30-September 3: Abigail's Party (by Mike Leigh) - a boozy 1970s suburban cocktail party simmers and boils with flirting, tensions and venomous verbal exchanges.

For more information and tickets about the plays call the box office on 01263 822347, or visit

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