EastEnders writer puts Norfolk spin on comedy play running in Norwich

The Birds and the Bees comes to Norwich Theatre Playhouse. 

The Birds and the Bees comes to Norwich Theatre Playhouse. - Credit: Mike Kwasniak Photography

There is a buzz in the air as new comedy play The Birds and The Bees, set on the outskirts of Cromer, arrives at Norwich Theatre Playhouse.

The show is about love, lust, family and farming and is an adaptation of Mark Crawford's 2016 Canadian play by award-winning local playwright James McDermott.

He has relocated it from modern-day Canada to North Norfolk, with plenty of Norfolk humour, and it will run from April 20 to 30.

The Birds and the Bees comes to Norwich Theatre Playhouse. 

The Birds and the Bees comes to Norwich Theatre Playhouse. - Credit: Mike Kwasniak Photography

Mr McDermott also wrote the Christmas show Robin Good: The Politico-Panto at the Playhouse and is an EastEnders writer. 
 
The Birds and the Bees is a co-production with Norwich Theatre and two other local theatres, The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and John Stalker Productions.

The Birds and the Bees comes to Norwich Theatre Playhouse. 

The Birds and the Bees comes to Norwich Theatre Playhouse. - Credit: Mike Kwasniak Photography

The cast of the UK premiere is Laura Doddington (The Midwich Cuckoos) as Sarah, Louise Gold (Gypsy, Fiddler on the Roof) as Gail, Richard McIver (Half-Full) as Ben and Sion Tudor Owen (Carrie's War, White Christmas) as Earl.
 
James McDermott said: "It's my first adaptation and I really connected with the themes of the play as in my work I've always been obsessed with exploring sexuality, intergenerational relationships and the natural world. 

"I'm sure audiences will connect with this timely tale and the four hilarious lovable characters at the heart of it."
 
It is set in the home of beekeeper Gail, a middle-aged divorcee and mother of turkey farmer Sarah.

Gail is not quite ready to get back into the dating world yet, even though it has been a while.

The Birds and the Bees comes to Norwich Theatre Playhouse. 

The Birds and the Bees comes to Norwich Theatre Playhouse. - Credit: Mike Kwasniak Photography


 
Meanwhile, her slightly more promiscuous farmland tenant and neighbour, Earl, has discovered the joys of 'no strings attached' relationships and now he has got his eye on Gail.

Sarah's marriage has fallen apart and she has moved back in with her mother, which is just as much fun as it sounds. But when student Ben arrives, things start to heat up.

The Birds and the Bees comes to Norwich Theatre Playhouse. 

The Birds and the Bees comes to Norwich Theatre Playhouse. - Credit: Mike Kwasniak Photography


This charming production is directed by Peter Rowe and offers equal parts comedy and heart with a sitcom style.

Stephen Crocker, Norwich Theatre chief executive and creative director, said: "It is really special that three really well-loved venues have come together and I really hope this will be the first of many collaborations."
 
Book at norwichtheatre.org or call 01603 630000.