Young people are in the spotlight as Sheringham Little Theatre prepares for Christmas, and the future, explains director Debbie Thompson in her latest column.

Christmas is a time for family, especially young people. And that’s definitely the theme during our festive-flavoured shows at the Little Theatre – which also had some extra glitter thanks to a visit from a TV star.

North Norfolk News: Debbie Thompson and her daughter, KatieDebbie Thompson and her daughter, Katie (Image: SLT)Our youth groups had great fun performing spooky musical theatre songs at their Night at the Music Ghouls Halloween production.

And imagine the extra shiver of excitement when on the Saturday night the audience included famous actress Suranne Jones – best-known for her roles in Dr Foster, Gentleman Jack and Vigil. She flagged up her visit on social media, and when we shared it we got lots of hits and likes.

Suranne also said she had been to the venue three times this year, so we look forward to seeing her again, and thank her for spreading the word about the Little Theatre in a post which mentioned proud parents watching their children perform.

North Norfolk News: Katie and SamKatie and Sam (Image: SLT)READ MORE: 'Forgotten' locals furious at closure of last bank in popular Broads village

That provides a seamless link into my own “proud mum” moment which I hope you will forgive.

For the director of our upcoming Season’s Greetings show is none other than my own daughter Katie, who has virtually “grown up” at the theatre.

She has been everything from a “child extra” to a kitchen helper and stage manager over the years. Now, aged 26 she has just graduated with a Masters in theatre directing at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. So where better to make her directing debut than here?

North Norfolk News: Apprentice technician Zoe McKeanApprentice technician Zoe McKean (Image: SLT)I have seen her at work and have been impressed with her ability and confidence in giving feedback to the actors.

So, when we needed a director for Season’s Greetings, I had no hesitation in offering Katie her directing debut at a venue where she has spent so much of her life, supporting the theatre, and me.

Season’s Greetings, which is a fundraising show for the theatre runs from November 16-18. Once it is over Katie is staying in the Christmas spirit – moving straight on to The Corn Hall in Diss for her second directing job creating a localised version of Cinderella, which is also our panto.

North Norfolk News: Suranne Jones on her visit to the theatreSuranne Jones on her visit to the theatre (Image: SLT)Our Cinders runs from December 15 to January 2, when there will be another local young person, 18-year-old Zoe McKean working as our apprentice technician.

Zoe, who is 18, has been a member of our youth drama groups and has progressed to help run them. Now she can be found learning the ropes, or rather the switches and cables, in the “tech box” at the back of the auditorium.

Young people are the future of the theatre and we are delighted to play our role in giving them opportunities to perform on stage or embark on careers in our challenging, but exciting industry. So good luck Zoe and – even if I’m biased - well done Katie! Tickets and more information for our shows are available at or by calling the box office on 01263 822347.