Celtic tale gets a Norfolk twist for new arts festival

In Here Festival, Lorraine & Alan. Picture: Paul Blakemore

In Here Festival, Lorraine & Alan. Picture: Paul Blakemore - Credit: Paul Blakemore

A Celtic myth - telling the tale of a tour guide's unusual encounter on a beach - has been given a Norfolk twist as part of an upcoming new arts festival.

Lorraine & Alan is a quirky, modern re-telling of the Orkney Islands' Selkie myth, which forms part of the line up for the In Here Festival being staged in Great Yarmouth.

The May extravaganza combines performance, circus and workshops and has been organised by Seachange Arts, the team behind the spectacular Out There Festival.

The new event, which runs from May 7 - 23, has emerged from Seachange's partnership with Battersea Arts Centre and the Collaborative Touring Network.

Lorraine & Alan, which plays out on the last day of the festival at Yarmouth's Drill House, is set in Blakeney.

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It tells the story of Alan, a seal tour-guide and recent graduate in marine biology who discovers a woman lying amongst the seals at the North Norfolk beauty spot. The mystery of the young woman begins to unravel as their lives become irreversibly entwined.

Matthew Lister, who grew up in Blakeney, is producer of Bucket Club, the theatre company behind the show.

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He said: 'It's both exciting and rewarding to bring the show to Norfolk. The show's history is woven through with local connections. Not only did I grow up in Blakeney, but the show's writer also drew her inspiration from the town.

'What's more we premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, thanks to the region's Escalator East programme, which supports emerging theatre with links to the east.'

Director and co-writer Nel Crouch had grown up on tales of the Selkie myth, a Celtic story in which a fisherman falls in love with a seal woman. The story was transplanted to Blakeney after a holiday on the North Norfolk coast.

'There's a quiet charm to that coastline and my fascination with mythology was rekindled in Blakeney,' she added. 'While the story has its roots hundreds of miles away, it is very much at home set against the quiet sand dunes of North Norfolk.'

The production makes use of live electronic sound, music and several thousand plastic bottles to present a neat, inventive exploration of love and how it shapes who we are.

Tickets for Lorraine & Alan on May 23 from 7.30pm are £6, £4 for under 16s or £15 for a family ticket and available from St. Georges Theatre on 01493 331484 or online at www.seachangearts.org.uk

For more information about the festival visit the above website.

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