Theatre's summer season to kick off with stags' and hens' night

The boys overhear the girls chattering in a rehearsal for Stags and Hens.

The boys overhear the girls chattering in a rehearsal for Stags and Hens. - Credit: Nick Earnshaw

A summer drama set in a 1970s nightclub will break new ground by teaming up young performers from two theatres 180 miles apart.

Stags and Hens will open Sheringham Little Theatre’s summer season in August, bringing together soon-to-be married Dave and Linda, and their friends, when their pre-wedding party nights turn out to be at the same venue.

The action, set in the nightclub toilets, will see a 12-strong cast provided by young actors from the Little Theatre and the West Midlands county town of Stafford, where play director Nick Earnshaw also runs youth drama groups at Gatehouse Youth Theatre and Rooftop Studios.

The Stags and Hens team, from left, Amy Skilton, Phoebe Reynolds, Libby Birtles, Alice Read-Haynes, Alex Walton

The Stags and Hens team, from left, Amy Skilton, Phoebe Reynolds, Libby Birtles, Alice Read-Haynes, Alex Walton and Charlie Allan-Smith with director Nick Earnshaw. - Credit: Nick Earnshaw

Mr Earnshaw said: "I have adored the play since I first saw it when I was 16 and I love Willy Russell’s work.

"I was in his One for the Road here at Sheringham in a previous summer season – playing alongside theatre director Debbie Thompson.

“There are a lot of young characters in Stags and Hens so we are bringing older members from my Stafford groups. They are very talented up-and-coming performers, who have also won many medals in their drama exams."

Mr Earnshaw is currently finalising the cast and talking to set designers about creating a moveable stage to create a quick pace to the show. It features two toilet areas where the couple and their friends reveal their true personality traits to each other.

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“The story can make you laugh and cry, and although it takes place in a northern club in 1979, is still very relatable today," he said.

“Willy Russell has a skill of looking at working class divide and how it impacts on everyday relationships. We have all had those friends in our youth we remained close with even if their effect on us was sometimes toxic.”

Stags and Hens runs from August 4-6 (7.30pm plus a Saturday 2.30pm matinee).

Other summer season shows are Wait Until Dark (August 9-13) a thriller set in 1960s London; Summer Holiday (August 16-20) a stage musical of the classic Cliff Richard road trip across Europe; Table Manners (August 23-31) a classic Alan Ayckbourn comedy romp.

For more details and tickets visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com or call 01263 822347.