UEA Showcase

They call it Norwich's answer to the Edinburgh Fringe – and the comparison is not too far off the mark.

They call it Norwich's answer to the Edinburgh Fringe – and the comparison is not too far off the mark.

For two days, the final year students at the university present work of their own creation in their annual Showcase. Each student helps to write, direct and act in his or her own show at the UEA Studio Stadium. And the result is a dazzling variety of experimental theatre.

Tom Wilton directed a witty version of the story of Adam and Eve and Nicola Gibberd, Laura McPartlin and Rosa Wyatt cleverly showed different ways of story-telling. Other shows went for Victorian period drama, historical monologues and comedy of everyday life. None lasted more than 45 minutes, but each packed a real punch.

Becca Woods was outstanding as a Russian cosmonaut conveying the vastness of space and the constrictions of the rocket with a set that was just a simple white circle. The serious mood was lightened by The Big Cheese, an absurd opera supposedly based on a chance meeting at a Sainsbury's cheese counter.

It's hard to pick a star from such talent but Lucy Lott's Just Another Sunday was an exceptional play. Real cooking smells from a real cooker drifted by the audience as Lucy Lott, a cross between Fanny Craddock and Hyacinth Bucket cooked the Sunday chicken, and painted a portrait of her family and her whole life.

It was not until she sat down at the table set for the family to eat the soup she so carefully prepared that the lights went down to reveal that she was alone. A splendid play and a great performance – among many others.