‘It’s not about April’ - play about teenage girl’s 1980s disappearance opens in north Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 10:11 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:37 05 October 2018

A scene from Into Thin Air. Photo: fEAST Theatre

A scene from Into Thin Air. Photo: fEAST Theatre


The writer of a play about the disappearance of a north Norfolk teenager in the 1980s has spoken about his inspiration for the work, Into Thin Air.

Dress rehearsal of Into Thin Air. Photo: fEAST TheatreDress rehearsal of Into Thin Air. Photo: fEAST Theatre

Playwright Rob John, founder of theatre company fEAST was inspired to came up with his “unresolved mystery” by thinking about the effect an unsolved disappearance has on the people left behind.

Mr John, former drama teacher and Paston College vice principal, said: “That notion of how people close to the disappeared person cope with their unresolved loss - it got me thinking about how there might be a story here about what happens to these people.

“How long is the shadow cast by a disappeared child?”

Mr John, who lives near Antingham, added that while the subject matter invites comparison with the 1969 disappearance of north Norfolk girl April Fabb, one of the county’s best known unsolved cases, the events and characters of his play are entirely fictional.

He said: “If people say ‘what’s this play about?’ and you say it’s about a girl who went missing in north Norfolk they immediately ask if its about April Fabb.

“It was always going to be something that people thought about but it’s not in any sense about her.”

He added: “It is one of those things that always fascinated me because I drive through the area regularly and always think of her.

“But the central character in my play is very troubled girl and there’s no evidence that April Fabb was a difficult girl.

“It’s a story that’s always resonated with and haunted me.

“I know a lot about [the case] but it’s not about April.”

Susan, Into Thin Air’s central character goes missing in 1982, and the play, explores a “series of possibilities”, Mr John said.

“It’s an unresolved mystery - the notion that the received wisdom may be wrong,” he added.

“People love to play detective.”

The play incorporates evocative news broadcasts and BBC audio reports from the 1980s, and the cast of professional actors includes 24-year-old Charlotte Price, as the wayward 15-year-old Susan, and Owen Evans, of Nimmo Twins fame, as the older of her two brothers.

Mr John said: “I’ve tried to do work that has its origins in the region and I work with actors that can talk Norfolk properly.”

Into Thin Air opens tonight (Friday, October 5) at Sheringham Little Theatre.

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other North Norfolk News visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by North Norfolk News staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique North Norfolk News account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content

Yesterday, 14:13

A drink driver who was caught on the first day of the annual festive crackdown almost five times the limit has been jailed.

Yesterday, 14:28

A £190,000 revamp of a Cromer park has moved a step closer with a planning application now registered with the district council.


A 61-year-old man who is known to visit B&Bs in north Norfolk is wanted on recall to prison for breaching the terms of his licence.


Residents in north Norfolk are pressing ahead with plans to buy a village’s only pub for the community - but need to raise about £250,000 in just six months.

Most Read

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 1°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the North Norfolk News e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

North Norfolk News weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy