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Sheringham-set play optioned by TV production company behind Father Ted

James McDermott outside the Wells Deli in Holt. Pictures: David Bale

James McDermott outside the Wells Deli in Holt. Pictures: David Bale

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A play set in north Norfolk that wowed audiences at the Holt Festival has been optioned by the TV production company behind Father Ted and Outnumbered.

Weybourne-born James McDermott wrote Rubber Ring about a working-class Morrissey-obsessed teenager growing up in rural Norfolk.

The writer/performer has been selected by production company Hat Trick for its Your Voice, Your Story development scheme, along with four others.

The sceme aims to bring new, diverse writing talent into the TV fold by connecting them with producers with the intention to option, develop and pitch their ideas.

Angela Sinden, a producer at Hat Trick, said: “We might get these writers’ first telly project away, or more than one of them. But they need to know people. They need this network, even if it’s just to help with a rejection letter. Particularly when you work more regionally, you need more backing and more entry points than just having meetings with us.

“I want my team to sell something from these writers, which will prove that the activity of going out and meeting new people who don’t necessarily come from traditional routes can work. Channels want more diverse voices and we’re trying to deliver them.

“This was just a moment when we could do something about it – if you have an outcome and a timescale in mind, it has to happen.”

The play, which was a big hit at the Edinburgh Festival, is also being rolled-out across Norfolk with performances at Ovington village hall on January 27, Sheringham Little Theatre on Saturday, May 5 and Wymondham Central Hall, on Saturday, May 12.

Twenty-three-year-old Mr McDermott, who lives in High Kelling, near Holt, said: “Growing up I felt like a ghost no one believed in, as my county was rarely represented onstage. I wrote Rubber Ring to better understand East Anglian life and by touring it around East Anglia I hope to help others feel less invisible.”

Mr McDermott went to school in Lincolnshire but returned to the UEA where he got an MA in scriptwriting. His parents own the vintage clothes shop, Worn Out in Sheringham.


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