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Preview: Upcoming theatre shows in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 08:50 28 February 2012

Roots

Roots

Archant

Following last year's critically acclaimed and sold out production of Under Milk Wood, Norwich theatre company Crude Apache return to Dragon Hall with a dynamic, in-the-round production of the iconic Norfolk play Roots. Plus We Happy Few, Sons & Lovers, Faustus.

ROOTS

Dragon Hall, King Street, Norwich, February 28-March 3, £8 (£5 cons), 01603 663922, www.dragonhall.org

Following last year’s critically acclaimed and sold out production of Under Milk Wood, Norwich theatre company Crude Apache return to Dragon Hall with a dynamic, in-the-round production of the iconic Norfolk play Roots by Arnold Wesker.

The play tells the story of Beatie Bryant, a Norfolk girl newly returned from London where her head has been filled with big ideas by her idealistic boyfriend Ronnie.

Back in her rural home Beatie and her family await a visit from the much talked-about Ronnie.

Roots is a brilliantly insightful and hugely witty ‘coming of age’ drama in which Wesker dissects the nature of family life and the clash of generations as the fifties turn into the sixties.

Arnold Wesker worked for a while in the kitchen of Norwich’s Bell Hotel where he met the woman who was to become his wife. His experiences in Norfolk helped shape his creation of Roots and the other plays in his Roots trilogy.

Crude Apache is a community-based, non-professional theatre company committed to making low-cost, accessible theatre.

www.crudeapache.wordpress.com

WE HAPPY FEW

Maddermarket Theatre, until March 3, £12-£8, 01603 620917, www.maddermarket.co.uk

The Maddermarket’s latest production tells the touching story of a group of female actors who tour the country performing the works of Shakespeare during the Second World War.

We Happy Few was written by the actress Imogen Stubbs, and was directed by her husband, Trevor Nunn, when it was first performed in London at the Gielgud Theatre in 2004 where it starred Juliet Stevenson and Patsy Palmer.

Described by the author as “Dad’s Army meets the Spice Girls”, the play finds the actresses living out of the back of an elderly Rolls-Royce as they do their bit for the war effort by criss-crossing the land to spread the magic of live theatre.

Tackling everything from the greatest plays of Shakespeare to Winnie-the-Pooh, the troupe’s acting abilities are stretched as personalities clash, tempers become tattered and relationships are born.

Inspired by the true wartime history of the Osiris Players, it’s an uplifting, touching and often hilarious story of overcoming adversity with a dogged determination and a passion for theatre. It got a rough ride from critics initially but the play has found a second life.

SONS & LOVERS

Sewell Barn Theatre, Norwich, February 29-March 3, £8 (£6 cons), 01603 697248, www.sewellbarn.org

The latest production at the Sewell Barn Theatre on Constitution Hill is this stage adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s powerful semi-autobiographical novel, often considered as the first great psychological novel.

It tells the emotionally charged story of an artistic young man, Paul Morel, and his relationships with his father, his controlling mother, Gertrude who dreams of a golden future for Paul that she will share, and two very different women who enter his life.

Gertrude, trapped in a sterile marriage, focuses all her passion, her hopes, and her expectations on Paul. He, in turn, struggles to find his own way, looking for love with both Miriam and Clara, only to discover that his mother’s influence on his life kills all other passion.

DON’T MISS

FAUSTUS

Norwich Playhouse, March 5, £10 (£9 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk

John Faustus has made a deal. Whatever he desires, anything can be his. All he has to give in exchange - is his soul. Adapted from Christopher Marlowe’s classic script by Richard Hasnip this adaptation comes from Saltmine Theatre.

SWALLOWS & AMAZONS

Norwich Theatre Royal, March 13-17, £16.50-£5.50, 01603 630000, www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

The national Theatre’s hugely acclaimed musical adventure based on Arthur Ransome’s tale directed by Tom Morris, who also directed the international smash hit War Horse, and with music by Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy.

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