'Green shoots' spring as theatre plans path out of pandemic lows

Sheringham Little Theatre fundraisers, from left, Jenni Randall, Madeleine Ashcroft and Libby Henshaw.

Sheringham Little Theatre fundraisers, from left, Jenni Randall, Madeleine Ashcroft and Libby Henshaw. - Credit: Richard Batson

In her latest column, Sheringham Little Theatre director DBBIE THOMPSON reports on what's planned for the venue's 'year of recovery'. 

Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes new life and hope – not just for the natural world, but for our theatre too.

For we are not only raising the curtain on live productions after a long, gloomy, Covid-infected winter, but also raising funds for our charity-run venue too.

Sheringham Little Theatre director Debbie Thompson.

Sheringham Little Theatre director Debbie Thompson. - Credit: Richard Batson/ SLT

Like many arts venues, we have had life-saving financial support from national and local government grants aiding Covid recovery.

But even though we have had that funding, we are not out of the woods yet – and could be staring at a five figure deficit.

So we are using our upcoming in-house productions as money spinners to help our coffers recover – and also appealing to the public for ideas, energy, donations and involvement to help the Little Theatre make 2022 a year of recovery that gets us back on track.

Attia Law and Thelma Torr as maid Ruby and housekeeper Mrs Northrop –

Attia Law and Thelma Torr as maid Ruby and housekeeper Mrs Northrop – the youngest and oldest members of the cast for When We Are Married. - Credit: Richard Batson

Our fundraising shows are: J B Priestley’s classic comedy When We Are Married, by the Little Theatre Players, running from March 31 to April 2; an Easter celebration of musical theatre by our youth group, from April 14-16; and an outdoor concert by Cawston Brass Band at Mannington Hall on July 23.

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It has been a joy to see the rehearsals beginning for the drama, and we are delighted we are able to put the company back together to rehearse in person without Covid restrictions. We cannot wait to get them all back on stage for this hilarious timeless piece of drama.

The youth event results from us having to rethink our plans to re-stage the Covid-postponed Guys and Dolls musical. But rest assured some of its most popular songs will feature in the wider celebration of musical theatre, so we’re not rocking the boat.

Sheringham Little Theatre hosted a classical concert at Mannington Hall.

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

You can help support the theatre buy buying tickets to see these shows – but there are other ways too.

We have a formed a fund-raising committee which will be looking at other events and ways of generating income to help plug the hole in our bank balances left by Covid.

It met for the first time last week and has come up with ideas for events and opportunities during the year, which can generate extra cash over and above our main income from ticket sales and food and drink in the Hub.

Sheringham Little Theatre volunteer champion Karen Sims.

Sheringham Little Theatre volunteer champion Karen Sims. - Credit: Richard Batson

They include a fashion show highlighting the styles of the decades from Victorian times to the 80s, and a quiz.

While the core of the committee is theatre board members and existing supporters, we are very keen to recruit anyone who can help with ideas and the energy to help make them happen.

Our other spring campaign is to recruit more volunteers to help with a range of tasks from ushering and assisting in the box office, to helping in the Hub and doing behind-the-scenes work such as set building, costumes and publicity.

Keep an eye open for our “poster girl” Karen Sims, who is our volunteer champion helping us recruit and support our army of unpaid helpers without whom we could not run the theatre.

If you are passionate about the Little Theatre, and have some spare time to help us – as a volunteer or fundraiser - do drop in for a chat, or email me at debbie@sheringhamlittletheatre.com