Theatre’s tribute show to Sheringham town crier Tony Nelson

Tony Nelson combining his town crier and theatre supporter roles at the Hub with Snow White Rachel W

Tony Nelson combining his town crier and theatre supporter roles at the Hub with Snow White Rachel Waring. Pictures: Sheringham Little Theatre - Credit: Archant

Best known as Sheringham's bushy-bearded, booming-voiced town crier, Tony Nelson was also a key player at the Little Theatre, where he acted, directed and had two spells as chairman.

His reigns included a critical spell when an early Lottery grant was secured in the early 1990s to revamp and save the venue.

Next month, the theatre will host a tribute evening to Mr Nelson with a series of acts reflecting his life and loves.

They will include morris dancers, choral singing, verse, jazz, shanty and classical piano music, and an extract from Harold Pinter.

Sheringham Little Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: 'This theatre would not be thriving today without the work Tony did. He was a stanch supporter and friend and we are proud to host an evening in his memory.'

Mr Nelson, who was a member of the North Norfolk Players, acted in shows as diverse as farces and Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, directed pantomimes and ran home-spun Saturday morning children's shows.

His widow Hilary, who will give an end of evening thank you on the night, said: 'Tony was a natural performer and never shirked responsibility so, while he loved the theatre, it in turn gave a lot to him.'

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The evening will be compered by BBC Look East weather presenter Julie Reinger who was invited to the theatre by Mr Nelson, and donned a pink tutu as Fairy Kindheart in the 2004 panto.

Mr Nelson died aged 78 in June last year just hours before it was announced he had been awarded a British Empre Medal for services to the community in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

He had moved with his family to his adopted home town of Sheringham in 1972, and was made town crier in 1986. As well as leading 30 carnival processions in the role, Mr Nelson marched ahead of other town events, and played a leading part in the Christmas lights switch-on.

A Tribute to Tony Nelson, Sheringham Little Theatre, Saturday, April 21. Donations on the door to theatre improvement funds. For more information call the box-office on 01263 822347 or visit