MICHAEL DRAKE River Green, Beccles


It's good to talk – but better to 'mardle' and this real Norfolk show, devised, written, composed and directed by fellow EDP arts reviewer Eve Stebbing, gave an hour's entertaining insight into local legends.

The Spin-off Theatre Company retold an amalgam of stories, the core of which was the search for smuggler, swindler and general n'er-do-well Billy Nudd, who we actually only see 'disguised' as the famous Norwich Dragon from which this comedy drama takes its name.

With no staging or extensive props, the audience needs a lot of imagination as a tug-of-love for the notorious and nefarious Nudd emerges between Queen of the Broads Ma Storm (Beth Lewie) and Millie (Sadie McMahon) with Johnny McPherson as both Old and Young storyteller Hironomous.

All break into song Blues-style (to reflect Nudd's defection to American Jazz Clubs) accompanied by Richard Whiley's subtle guitar, while Sadie McMahon doubles as the policeman charged with solving these allegorical tales.

The enterprise is directed at those interested in preserving and listening to Norfolk historical stories as well as people who might not otherwise think of watching theatre.

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And this is theatre in its widest sense. The outdoor tour is repeated at Beccles this lunchtime and at a dozen locations, mostly by the water, until the end of the month.

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