Out go long locks for the sake of the play

FLOPPY hair is a badge of studenthood sported proudly through the generations.But a handful of young men at a Norfolk college have had to sacrifice theirs for their art - or their performing arts to be precise.

FLOPPY hair is a badge of studenthood sported proudly through the generations.

But a handful of young men at a Norfolk college have had to sacrifice theirs for their art - or their performing arts to be precise.

For the male cast members of a play set in the 1960s have been shorn of their long locks to recapture the tonsorial styles of the era.

But it is not just a quick 'short back and sides' for a few nights of the show. They have already had the chop, a month before curtain-up for publicity photographs. And they face having a further trim in July when the play is reprised to give a send-off to its author Rob


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John, who is retiring from

Paston College in North Walsham.

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His play The Spaceman is set in 1961, as the pupils of a primary school await the results of their 11-plus exams - which decide whether they will go to an elite grammar school or an all-ability 'secondary modern.'

But it coincides with news that the first man in space Russian Yuri Gagarin is due to visit England - causing a stir of excitement among youngsters who have formed a fan club for the astronaut - while the world is also gripped with the tension of the Cold War stand-off between America and Russia.

It was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2003, but is being done by B Tec performing arts students to celebrate Mr John's work before his departure this summer.

Head of department Mandy McKenna said: 'I told them we would only do the play if they had their hair cut - which got a bit of a mixed response as some of them had long floppy hair. But they have made the sacrifice, and we may ask them to have an even closer cut nearer the time.

The play is being staged at Paston College on March 24 and 25 at 1.30pm both days, and also 7.30pm on the 25th, with a further performance at Sheringham Little Theatre on July 1.

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