December 5 2013 Latest news:
Donna-Louise Bishop, Reporter
Saturday, October 12, 2013
They may have landed their dream job on the big stage but three former Norwich theatre students will feel close to home in more ways than one when they bring Norfolk to the West End.
Lisa Ellis, Carl Prekopp and Nic Jackman are all former Norwich Theatre Royal art course students and are getting ready to see their names in lights as part of the Norfolk-set drama “Roots”.
The play recently opened at The Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden, London.
Sir Arnold Wesker’s 1950’s kitchen sink drama is the centrepiece of the Wesker Trilogy and focuses on young Beatie Bryant - a former chambermaid at The Bell Hotel, Norwich.
Beatie has returned from London to her parent’s farm with her boyfriend Ronnie but finds the culture change from the metropolis to rural East Anglia harder to adapt to than she thought.
A “thrilled” Miss Ellis, who plays Beatie’s sister Jenny, stars in the play after her part in the recent UK tour of The Canterbury Tales.
“I’m so excited,” she said. “I keep pinching myself and wondering is this really happening?
“When you’re involved in a production, you think about it all the time.
“You can’t wait to go through the lines again and get that feeling of being part of something.”
Miss Ellis, of Norwich, praised the Theatre Royal’s course and said it helped her to decide that the world of theatre was one that she wanted to explore “for so many different reasons”.
“Socially, it really is a wonderful thing to get involved in and I’ve got such strong, fond feelings for so many people.
“It really stood me in fantastic stead,” she said.
“I’ve met so many beautiful, lifelong friends that were a part of it.”
She has since returned in July to teach and assist with the production of Sinbad and the Pirate Curse and said she still remembers her first day as an arts course student.
“I came with a friend from school and it was nerve-wracking but we played lots of really fun drama games and did lots of improvisation.
“I ended up living for Saturdays and I couldn’t wait for school to finish on a Friday so I could get with all my drama friends at the weekend.”
Mr Prekopp, of Aylsham, went on to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama after completing the art course and has since performed in a UK tour of Calendar Girls, as well as a number of other theatre productions. He has also won the BBC Carleton Hobbs Award.
And for Mr Jackman, of Attleborough, Roots is his professional theatre debut, following a three-year acting course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Roots runs at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre in London until November 30. To book tickets visit www.donmarwarehouse.com.
For more information about Norwich Theatre Royal’s art course contact Administrator, TAC, Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich NR2 1RL, or ring 01603 283380.