Classical concert boosts seaside theatre struggling from lockdown

Young actors, from left, Charlie Randall, Jodie Weller, Katie Thompson and Tilda Fassih, who took pa

Young actors, from left, Charlie Randall, Jodie Weller, Katie Thompson and Tilda Fassih, who took part in the concert at Mannington Hall in support of Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: Richard Batson/SLT - Credit: Archant

Uplifting stories and classical music filled the grounds of a country manor to help a north Norfolk theatre get back on its feet after lockdown.

Happy picnickers relax in the hall grounds before the concert, at the concert at Mannington Hall in

Happy picnickers relax in the hall grounds before the concert, at the concert at Mannington Hall in support of Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: Richard Batson/SLT - Credit: Archant

About 100 people enjoyed the concert by 10 members of the London Mozart Players at Mannington Hall, near Sheringham, which was held in support of the town’s Little Theatre on Saturday.

The music was mixed with performances by four of the theatre’s young actors - Tilda Fassih, Charlie Randall, Katie Thompson and Jodie Weller.

The actors reflected on the positives to come out of the lockdown, including enjoying walks in the countryside, spending time in family bubbles, appreciating company after isolation, and using newfound spare time to create music and writing.

Debbie Thompson, theatre director, said: “The concert was a huge success, with a crowd captivated by the music and thoughts in sunny weather and the perfect setting of the stately home belonging to our patron Lord Walpole.

The audience enjoying the concert in Mannington Hall walled garden in support of Sheringham Little T

The audience enjoying the concert in Mannington Hall walled garden in support of Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: Richard Batson/SLT - Credit: Archant


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“It has been fantastic to see 100 people enjoy a live event for the first time in months, which will provide us with much-needed funds.”

Simon Blendis, who led the orchestra, said: “We have performed live video concerts – but there is nothing like the shared experience of a live audience in front of you. You can feel them listening to the music. It gives you an extra buzz, and it was great to do it again after so long.”

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The Players’ programme included works by Elgar, Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Mozart.

The event was promoted by Orchestras Live. Senior creative producer Stuart Bruce said: “It was great to have the local young people playing a huge role in helping shape the concert, curating the words, helping choose the music, and presenting at the event – as well as seeing freelance musicians back performing live and restarting their careers.”

The London Mozart Players performing, with leader Simon Blendis in the foreground, at the concert at

The London Mozart Players performing, with leader Simon Blendis in the foreground, at the concert at Mannington Hall in support of Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: Richard Batson/SLT - Credit: Archant

A recorded version of the concert and interviews with the performers will be available to watch at www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com - for a £6 donation to the theatre - between August 29 and September 9.

The theatre will continue comeback with a series of upcoming film screenings, details of which will also be announced online.

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