Premieres and panto as theatre emerges from lockdown

Sheringham Little Theatre is one of the Norfolk venues reopening.

Sheringham Little Theatre director Debbie Thompson.  - Credit: Contributed

'Freedom Day' has given new hope to theatres. Sheringham Little Theatre director Debbie Thompson explains what it means for the venue and its visitors.

At last! We have a spotlight at the end of our long tunnel. From this week arts venues can take another step back to normality as the remaining raft of Covid restrictions are lifted.

But, while we are 'jazz hands happy' we are also 'masks-on cautious' to ensure our customers feel safe as they ease their way back into our seats.

Our staff will continue to wear face coverings in the auditorium and Hub café, even though our visitors now do not have to.

And we are not fully going back to 160-seat capacity. Instead we will keep it to around 100, to allow space for some socially-distanced seating for those folk uncomfortable with the prospect of sitting cheek by jowl with strangers.

Anyone in that category who is planning to see a show should call the box office as soon as possible to discuss their needs.

Counter service has resumed in the Hub, but there will still be plenty of space between the tables.

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Sunny weather smiled on us at the weekend with our classical musical concert at Mannington Hall which was in tribute to our late patron Lord Walpole, and the last event under Covid restrictions.

A 150-strong audience in the walled garden enjoyed the sounds of the English Chamber Orchestra in a quintessentially English summer scene.

Sheringham Little Theatre hosted a classical concert at Mannington Hall.

Sheringham Little Theatre hosted a classical concert at Mannington Hall. - Credit: SLT

And orchestra members headed out in the community earlier to give Sheringham Primary School pupils and St David’s care home residents a close-up taste of classical music.

Now as we move into the new era we have some treats in store – including two world premieres!

Ever seen Dracula in Space? Well you will when string quartet with a difference Bowjangles launch their latest show, called exactly that and which combines music, action and comedy at the Little Theatre from July 22-24.

Bowjangles' show Dracula in Space is coming to Sheringham Little Theatre.

Bowjangles' show Dracula in Space is coming to Sheringham Little Theatre. - Credit: Supplied by SLT

And from August 18-21 Norfolk actor Ryan Starling debuts his new modern day farce The Morning After (The Night Before) which he wrote in lockdown while doing his other job as an intensive care nurse.

Ryan Starling is to debut his new modern day farce The Morning After (The Night Before) at Sheringham Little Theatre.

Ryan Starling is to debut his new modern day farce The Morning After (The Night Before) at Sheringham Little Theatre. - Credit: Supplied by SLT

Sandwiched in between (August 7-14) is Our Town which mixes a community cast with six professional actors to look at the emotional rollercoaster of small town everyday life. Originally set in America, we have given this classic a Sheringham flavour.

Rehearsals for Our Town at Sheringham Little Theatre are under way.

Rehearsals for Our Town at Sheringham Little Theatre are under way. - Credit: SLT

We’ll tell you more about our autumn programme, which include a family show called The Time Machine, next month, but we are also leaping into our own time machine and looking ahead to December and … pantomime!

This year’s slice of festive fun is Jack and Beanstalk running from December 21-24 and 26-31, and will follow the successful recipe of last year’s Covid constricted show, running for an hour, and also being live streamed to schools nationwide.

It will feature Lazy Jack, his trendy embarrassing mum Dame TikTok, love interest in council worker Jill Weaver, Colin the talking cow, and an evil giant.

The Little Theatre is also taking giant steps now to emerge from months of lockdown, and cannot wait to be buzzing again.

But while a trip to the theatre is all about fun and enjoyment we also want it to be about safety and comfort, so do come and join us soon. Details of shows and tickets are on the website www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com.

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