Tough time for Maddermarket cast

A Norwich theatre company was hoping its latest production would be 'all right on the night' following a catalogue of off-stage troubles.

A Norwich theatre company was hoping its latest production would be 'all right on the night' following a catalogue of off-stage troubles.

The cast of the Maddermarket's production of Noel Coward's Relative Values began rehearsals back in December. But things soon went sour. Director Judi Daykin said: “On Christmas Eve, Sally Dixon, who plays the important role of the maid Moxie, was taken ill with an appendicitis and had to be rushed into hospital. She had to have some time off, but is back now.

“Then we heard the awful news that Penny Andrew, who plays Lady Hayling, had two daughters caught up in the tsunami. They were on the beach but got a message from a friend further up the coast warning them what was happening and they had to climb on a roof. Finally I got a call from Carol Thornton, who was playing one of the main characters, Felicity, Lady Marshwood, saying that she was feeling poorly with very bad flu and would need a couple of days off. That was fine but later she had to have the doctor come out to her and he said she needed two weeks' rest, which would take us right into production. She must have been very poorly to pull out because obviously she had put a great deal of work in to get to the point that we were nearly ready to open.”

The company was faced with a dilemma; do they try to find someone else to take the part from outside or should Ms Daykin, who trained at the Drama Studio, London, do it.


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After consultation, the cast decided that Ms Daykin should do it and she set to work at learning her lines for the play, which sees her character trying to accept her son's attachment to a beautiful Hollywood star who turns out to be her maid's sister.

She said: “I am a professional actor but a week is still not a long time to learn a part. I had obviously been watching and directing the show so at least I knew what was going on.”

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t For more details about the play, which runs until January 29, contact the box office on 01603 620917.

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