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One of theatre group's longest-serving members turns director for 132nd production

Asher Girling and Lucy Finnie, who play Morris Townsend and Catherine Sloper in Saxlingham Players' production of the Heiress. Photo: Ross Jolliffe

Asher Girling and Lucy Finnie, who play Morris Townsend and Catherine Sloper in Saxlingham Players' production of the Heiress. Photo: Ross Jolliffe

Ross Jolliffe

One of the oldest amateur theatre groups in Norfolk is set to perform their 132nd production - The Heiress by Ruth and Augustus Goetz.

Saxlingham Players, founded in 1950, proudly holds a complete archive of programmes, press cuttings, and recordings of more than 50 live performances - and from November 29 will have another to add, as the curtain rises on their latest run.

Rachel Girling, has been a member of the Players since she was a child and for the first time is directing a production.

She said: “I am thrilled to be able to put on my all-time favourite play, The Heiress. The play is based on the Henry James novel, Washington Square, and is set in 1850s New York. Dr Sloper’s adored wife died many years ago, and his disappointment with his charmless, plain daughter is obvious. When a handsome, charming young man appears and pursues her can he be honest in his feelings for her? It is a fascinating play dealing with love, loss, expectations and disappointment, all things that are so relevant today.”

She added: “Amateur dramatic groups such as ours have wonderfully loyal followers and it is great to be able to share with them plays that they may not be familiar with, as well as the crowd-pleasing authors such as Alan Ayckbourn. We are blessed to be a thriving group who meet, have fun and are passionate about performing great plays, but so many groups are having to close due to lack of support - please do get behind your local drama group, because as the saying goes - use them or lose them. We produce great quality theatre at a fraction of professional ticket cost. Come along and judge for yourself.”

There will be four performances at Saxlingham Nethergate Village Hall from Wednesday, November 29 to Saturday, December 2 at 7.30pm. For tickets, call on 01508 499631 between 9am and 9pm.

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