Theatre company steps into the breach to fill void left by demise of Mundesley Festival

Singer Eddie Bushell will be appearing. This picture of him was taken at the rehearsals of the spect

Singer Eddie Bushell will be appearing. This picture of him was taken at the rehearsals of the spectacular Christmas show at Thursford. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Fears were raised that it was the end of an era when an annual arts festival in north Norfolk came to an end after 33 years.

Emily Sidnell, youngest company member. Credits Nigel Holmes

Emily Sidnell, youngest company member. Credits Nigel Holmes - Credit: Archant

But a newly formed theatre group is filling the void left by the demise of the Mundesley festival with a week of live music and theatre in the village in August.

The Mundesley festival attracted some of the biggest names in showbusiness during its run, and raised thousands of pounds for charity.

But organiser Derek Kirk decided to call it a day last year, and Red Loft Theatre Company, in collaboration with the Coronation Hall, where the event used to be staged, has stepped into the breach.

Red Loft's director Tracey Loftus said: 'I'm thrilled to be launching my new company in my old stomping ground of Mundesley and delighted to be working with such a talented and dedicated team.

Rehearsal pics. Eddie Bushell, Nic Myers, Zaira Palumbo and Anthony Loftus rehearsing for the Easy S

Rehearsal pics. Eddie Bushell, Nic Myers, Zaira Palumbo and Anthony Loftus rehearsing for the Easy Showcase with pianist Steve Fordington. - Credit: Archant


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'The Coronation Hall wanted to stage something similar to the Mundesley festival and we got in touch.

'Having just formed a new theatre group, I thought this would be the ideal opportunity to launch it.

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'We are staging three live shows over six nights and the event is called 'Showtime at the Coronation Hall'.'

The programme will include a series of musical showstoppers with songs from West End productions, a '40s show, and the Easy Showcase, with a live band and singers.

Rehearsal pics. Emily Sidnell, Paris Chandler and Chloe Chandler rehearsing a song from South Pacifi

Rehearsal pics. Emily Sidnell, Paris Chandler and Chloe Chandler rehearsing a song from South Pacific. - Credit: Archant

Among the performers is celebrated soprano Zaira Palumbo whose recent credits include supporting the Royal Philharmonic at Taverham Hall and performing at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen.

In addition to appearing in all three shows, she is taking on the role of musical director.

Following successes at the Thursford Spectacular and Cromer Pier, Norfolk singer Eddie Bushell has found time to join the company, and Mundesley's very own cabaret star, Pat Nearney, will be performing his 'Cheeky Chappie' tribute to Max Miller in the '40s show.

All the shows will have live music with professional musician and teacher Steve Fordington at the helm, and there will be a cabaret environment with seating around tables and a licensed bar.

The shows run from August 5 to 12. For more information or to book, visit www.redlofttheatre.com

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