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Young drama group tackles Roald Dahl’s The Witches

Witches  Rosa Cormack (left) and Keira Painter (right) scare youngsters Caius Law and Zoe McKean who play The Boy and Bruno in The Witches. Pictures: Richard Batson

Witches Rosa Cormack (left) and Keira Painter (right) scare youngsters Caius Law and Zoe McKean who play The Boy and Bruno in The Witches. Pictures: Richard Batson

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A good versus evil tussle between two youngsters and a gang of child-hating witches is being staged by a youth drama group at Sheringham Little Theatre.

The young cast of The Witches rehearsing at Sheringham Little Theatre. Pictures: Richard BatsonThe young cast of The Witches rehearsing at Sheringham Little Theatre. Pictures: Richard Batson

The Witches brings to life Roald Dahl’s classic adventure story which is still listed as one of the scariest children’s stories 30 years after it was written.

The pre-Halloween show is presented by the Little Theatre’s Monday night youth drama group between October 25 and 27.

The story follows the antics of two children – a brave orphan just known as The Boy and greedy Bruno Jenkins - trying to evade the clutches of wicked witches who want to turn all youngsters into mice using a potion called Formula 86.

Dahl’s book was released in 1983 and it was made into a dark fantasy comedy horror film starring Anjelica Huston, Rowan Atkinson and Brenda Blethyn and featuring puppets by Muppets maestro Jim Henson in his final film before his death.

Director Steve Banks said: “The play is very powerful and has a dark twist. It really stretches the skills of our young cast who have few props and costumes, so they have to use their acting skills to get across the scary story.

“It is a real team effort with everyone, however many lines they have, being integral to the plot.

“And I have been really impressed with the cast in rehearsals. We keep coming across challenges on how to portray things – but the youngsters are brimming with ideas and solutions.”

The 19-strong cast of 12 to 16-year-olds is drawn from one of three youth groups who meet at the theatre on Monday nights.

The other groups are for four to eight-year-olds and eight to 12-year-olds. They are open to allcomers, regardless of experience and are part of the venue’s efforts to get young people involved in the performing arts.

The eight to 12-year-olds group will be performing at the town’s Christmas lights switch-on Friday, November 16 at 5pm.

For tickets for The Witches or to find out more about the theatre’s youth work call 01263 822347 or visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

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