Preview: Upcoming theatre shows

Simon ParkinThe story of Hitchcock's Thirty Nine Steps leading lady Madeleine Carroll is the subject of theatrical/cinematic experience The Wrong Woman. More film/theatre links as the Maddermarket tackle On Golden Pond and the Norfolk & Norwich Operatic Society stage The Producers.Simon Parkin

The Wrong Woman

Norwich Arts Centre, January 28, �5.50, 01603 660352,

In 1931, when the car drove through Holt and on to Melton Constable, few people knew that it contained one of the most famous early film actresses this country has produced.

By the time she married Phillip Astley and came to Melton Constable Hall, Madeleine Carroll had already taken the London stage by storm and was one of the early pioneer actresses of the silver screen.

When Alfred Hitchcock invited her to be in The Thirty-Nine Steps this really was a marriage made in heaven. Not that it was evident from the outset. She was only given the role because Jane Baxter dropped out at the last minute. Originally, Hitchcock did not even allow her any lines, as he had chosen Buchan's novel for the action and the thrills, and felt that a woman would only get in the way.

This unique show, which was a big success at Edinburgh last year, combines live performance and film. Get a close up on her life in a short drama about the making of the film followed by a screening of the 1935 classic.

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On Golden Pond

Maddermarket Theatre, January 21-30, �12-�10 (�8 cons), 01603 620917,

The difficulties faced by an elderly couple in the twilight years of a long marriage are put sharply into focus in this hugely emotive drama, made more famous, of course, by the classic film.

American playwright Ernest Thompson who penned it was, ironically, just 28 when he wrote the successful play, which opened on Broadway in 1979.

Aging couple Ethel and Norman Thayer spend every summer at their home on a lake called Golden Pond. They are joined by their daughter Chelsea, her fianc�, and his son. The play explores the often turbulent relationship the young woman shared with her father growing up.

The film starred real-life father-daughter actors Henry and Jane Fonda, together with Katharine Hepburn. There was also a 2001 TV version starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

The Producers

Theatre Royal, February 1-6, �16.50-�5, 01603 630000,

The Norfolk & Norwich Operatic Society (NNOS) return to the Theatre Royal stage with their production of Broadway and West End smash-hit musical The Producers.

Just in case you missed the 1968 film, the 2005 remake or the hit stage musicals, Mel Brooks' clever and vibrant musical comedy tells the story of the impossibly charismatic duo Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom as the wily producers who cook the books and conspire to produce the worst musical ever.

The musical opened on Broadway in 2001, where it was an instant hit, received great reviews, and won an incredible 12 Tony Awards.

NNOS, whose previous productions have included West Side Story, Titanic The Musical and Oklahoma!, will no doubt be including the lines of dancing zimmer-framed old ladies and parades of storm troopers camply goose stepping in the formation of a swastika, that are just a few of the show's many delights.


Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, January 23-31, �12 (�10 cons), children �10 (�8 cons), family �25, 01502 533200,

The festive period maybe be over for another year, but that doesn't mean it's the end of panto season.

Founded in 1967 and with many award-winning productions to their name, The Lowestoft Players are one of the region's premier amateur theatre groups.

For over 40 years the society has been performing pantomimes, musicals, plays, and revues to packed audiences from across the region.

The group has previously won numerous NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) awards, including best pantomime.

Its panto is always a post-Christmas treat and this year its that most traditional of stories Aladdin - complete with all the elements you'd expect from Widow Twankey to the Genie of the lamp.


Norwich Playhouse, January 28/29, �10 (�7.50 cons), 01603 598598,

Pupils from Hethersett Old Hall School present an innovative theatrical adaptations of fairy stories by The Brothers Grimm

The brothers collected over 120 fairy stories from all over Europe. These physical and fun adaptations promise an evening of unexpected twists and turns to familiar and well-loved tales.

The school's previous Playhouse productions have included A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and give pupils an experience of a real live working theatre environment.

A fun evening suitable for all age groups is promised and as ever you'll be impressed with the high level of professionalism shown by the young actors