Summer season is underway at Sheringham Little Theatre. Director Debbie Thompson reports on events indoors and out.

Crab fishing and seafaring shanty music are woven into the fabric of life in North Norfolk.

So it is thrilling that our current summer play features both in a funny and heart-warming comedy making its world premiere on our stage.

North Norfolk News: Debbie Thompson, director of Sheringham Little TheatreDebbie Thompson, director of Sheringham Little Theatre (Image: Richard Batson / SLT)

Shanty is a touching tale about a seaside family battling bereavement, with the loss of the mother, while the dad’s crab venture feels the pinch.

Looking for solutions, they form a band and grow stronger together as they prepare for their maiden gig at a local carnival.

The witty script is by local playwright James McDermott, who understands what seaside town life is like, as do the East Anglian trio of actors taking the roles – Tim Welton from Bury St Edmunds as dad Brendan, and Meg Artherton from Taverham and Amy English from Sloley as his daughters Shanty and Marina.

North Norfolk News: Dancing to Lee Vasey at ManningtonDancing to Lee Vasey at Mannington (Image: Richard Batson / SLT)

Shanty should really resonate with audiences who live in, or love visiting, North Norfolk.

It runs until Saturday. August 12, and follows a successful start to our summer season with the comedy I Am Hamlet, which had a full house on opening night and rave reviews. After Shanty comes a comedy spoof version of The Hound of the Baskervilles (August 15-19) putting a new twist on the classic Sherlock Holmes moorland murder mystery.

Then there’s another UK premiere of Run For Your Man (August 22-26) which is a flipped version of Ray Cooney’s famous farce Run For Your Wife about a two-timing taxi driver that puts a woman in the driving seat rather than a man.

North Norfolk News: Debbie Thompson, right, dancing with actor friend Loraine MetcalfeDebbie Thompson, right, dancing with actor friend Loraine Metcalfe (Image: Richard Batson / SLT)

The season closes with the timeless wit of Noel Coward’s Private Lives (Aug 29- Sept 2).

And then it’s over, after months of planning and days of rehearsals. But my mind is already in 2024 mode – and this week I’ve been to London to begin finding shows for next summer.

North Norfolk News:  I am Hamlet was sold out on its opening night I am Hamlet was sold out on its opening night (Image: Richard Batson / SLT)

They always have a connection to us and in this case, it was the hilarious Dario Fo farce, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, which is a play which is taught by my husband Simon at Paston College and students will know it well!

A Great British summer is all about having fun indoors and out, depending on … the Great British weather.

The elements smiled on us for the return of the Lee Vasey Band to Mannington Hall where he last appeared for us more than 10 years ago.

Ominous clouds bypassed the venue enabling guests to picnic, then dance in the natural amphitheatre at the home of our president Lady Walpole.

The set list had people – including me - boogying most of the night. The rains did come the next day, meaning the planned Walled Garden recital by the classical Flutes and Frets duo moved into the tea room – our 'village hall if wet' contingency.

The two events were fundraisers for the theatre and have generated around £3000 for our funds. A lovely sum to start the summer.

For more information and tickets visit or call the box office on 01263 822347.