Sheringham theatre master craftsman hangs up his tools after finishing complicated play set

Tony Chadwick is stepping down as the set designer and builder at the Sheringham Little Theatre. Pi

Tony Chadwick is stepping down as the set designer and builder at the Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A dedicated volunteer at a seaside theatre has hung up his tools for the final time after building a challenging set for his favourite farce.

Tony Chadwick, known as 'TC', has been involved with Sheringham Little Theatre since 1980 when he helped backstage for the former North Norfolk Players amateur dramatic group.

But after helping to design and build dozens of different play sets for the small stage, the 67-year-old from Cromer Road in Sheringham is stepping down.

His final creation, built over five weeks from scratch, was for Noises Off which started on Monday and finishes this Saturday.

Mr Chadwick, a retired painter and decorator and carpenter, said: 'I shall miss doing it but it is time for somebody else to take over the set building.'

He added: 'I was trying for the last eight years to get Noises Off on at Sheringham. It wasn't the hardest set to build but it was the most complicated because it is turned around during the play by me and three other strong guys.

'I put a lot of effort into it because it was the last one and because I enjoyed doing it. It is a fantastic set.'

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He spent five hours a day building the set, which is made of plywood and timer and represents a barn conversion with an upstairs.

It is based on a design used by a Wolverhampton amateur dramatics group which performed Noises Off six years ago.

Mr Chadwick said: 'I enjoy construction because it is something that is used by a cast for a week, then it is gone, although at times I find it difficult knowing the sets will be pulled down.

'Each set has its own challenges because we have to adjust them to fit a small stage.'

The volunteer added he would miss the theatre camaraderie.

Noises Off is being performed to raise money for the venue's £70,000 Little Bit Bigger campaign, which aims to see the creation of a new youth space on the theatre's flat roof.

Performances are at 7.30pm every night with a matinee on Saturday.

For more information or to buy tickets, which cost £6 for students or £12 for adults, call 01263 822347 or visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

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