Sheringham Little Theatre launches its new summer repertory season
The stage is set for another summer season, as a tiny seaside theatre does its bit to keep alive a cherished acting tradition that has been lauded by Dame Judi Dench.
Sheringham Little Theatre has launched its repertory drama season, with a team of actors performing five different shows in swift succession between July 1 and September 10.
The format, which helped the likes of Dame Judi cut her teeth, but which has been dying out in recent decades, sees the close-knit team having to keep a clutch of different scripts in their heads at the same time.
This year's programme opens on July 1 with the Neil Simon comedy Last of the Red Hot Lovers. It is followed by Patrick Hamilton's Victorian thriller Gaslight, the Alan Ayckbourn comedy Absent Friends, Perfect Wedding by Robin Hawdon and The Decorator by Donald Churchill.
Theatre director Debbie Thompson, who oversaw London auditions for the repertory cast members, said: 'We need a certain level of actor who can handle the rep style.
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'They have to be people you can cast in very different roles.'
She added: 'The tradition of weekly repertory in the old days was commonplace, but now it's a dying art. We have one of the last surviving repertory seasons.'
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Nick Earnshaw, from Stafford, will be appearing in three of the plays this year, having been in four last year.
He said: 'It's extremely challenging - trying to keep one play in your mind while you are rehearsing and performing another.
'And you only get two hours off to have lunch before you are on stage. Sometimes you have to look in the mirror to see what costume you are wearing to remember which show you are in. But I wish there was more rep. You have no time to think, and it's such a good way to learn the craft.'
Clare Goddard, from Norwich, who is directing Last of the Red Hot Lovers, said: 'This is my third season and it's a great experience. Partly because it's such a nice venue.
'The people here are terrific, and you can develop a great relationship with the audience.'
? For more information, or to book tickets, visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com or call 01263 822347.