Intensive care nurse pens farce for coastal theatre

Ryan Starling at Sheringham Little Theatre.

Ryan Starling at Sheringham Little Theatre. - Credit: Richard Batson / SLT

When he is not helping people survive medical emergencies he is entertaining audiences at the Sheringham Little Theatre.

And now multitalented 29-year-old Ryan Starling, whose family live in North Walsham, has penned a piece of his own for the venue's stage - a comedic farce called The Morning After (The Night Before).

Mr Starling said: “I have been in a lot of farces, which are mainly set in a certain era when things were not quite politically correct, and had the idea to write one from the modern day a few years ago while on tour".

Mr Starling has been a regular performer at the theatre for years, having started with its youth group. He is a qualified nurse, and has been doing 12-hour intensive care unit shifts at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. 

After gruelling work sessions, lockdown gave him the time to fulfil a dream of writing a play of his own.

Mr Starling will star in the play as Gary, who wants to get engaged to girlfriend Megan despite a hostile future mother-in-law.

His best-laid plans turn to disaster when his best friend Temmy gets involved.

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Mr Starling said: “Gary is an unfortunate and is trying not to be a party animal, but ends up having the biggest night of his life – with a pole dancer and police involved.

“There will be all the traditional elements of a farce such as door slamming and mistaken identity, but more relevant to current times.

“Farce’s appeal is broad – with a mix of visual and verbal comedy – and it is hard to write, to blend heightened reality without it becoming nonsense and keeping something back so the audience doesn’t guess what is going to happen."

The six-strong cast also features Loraine Metcalfe as her mother and Ollie Westlake as Temmy.

Debbie Thompson, theatre director, said: “Our audiences love a good farce, but there are not many modern day ones about.

Debbie Thompson, director fo Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: Richard Batson

Debbie Thompson, director of Sheringham Little Theatre. - Credit: Richard Batson

"Having one written by one of our favourite actors is a real delight and will give us a boost in our summer season during a difficult year for the theatre.

"We cannot wait to see how Gary’s night turns out.”

The show runs from August 18-21 at 7.30pm with 2.30pm matinees on August 19 and 20. Tickets £16 and £8 students are available from www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com.