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Norfolk Tourism Awards

Bury St Edmunds: Great Expectactions boating misadventures

Alexandra Ewing as Mrs Joe and Sam Norris as Pip in the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, summer school 2014. Photo: Tony Kelly

Alexandra Ewing as Mrs Joe and Sam Norris as Pip in the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, summer school 2014. Photo: Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly

One classic story, two weeks and 25 youngsters - talk about Great Expectations.

Rehearsals for Three Men in a Boat. Alastair Whatley, Anna Westlake, Paul Westwood and Tom Hackney. Photo: Tony KellyRehearsals for Three Men in a Boat. Alastair Whatley, Anna Westlake, Paul Westwood and Tom Hackney. Photo: Tony Kelly

The Theatre Royal Summer School sees them work alongside theatre professionals for two weeks to produce a professional-standard production of Charles Dickens’ coming-of-age tale.

While the cast worked on a host of theatre skills and rehearse, others have been creating the set, organising props and scenery and filling other technical roles.

Amy Wyllie, community projects officer at the Bury St Edmunds venue, directs but insists the ambitious project is a collaborative effort from start to finish.

Run in partnership with West Suffolk College and The Apex, Nick Ormerod and Declan Donnellan’s new adaptation is at The Apex tomorrow and Sunday. Check out the rehearsals web gallery.

Earlier this week, the cast and crew of Three Men in a Boat dropped anchor at the Theatre Royal for an intensive rehearsal process.

Set up in the Greene Room bar, Jerome K Jerome’s classic tale of boating misadventure opens at the Theatre Royal on September 4 September.

Marking the 125th anniversary of the book’s publication, the show will be the first co-production between the Theatre Royal and Whepstead based Original Theatre Company who have enjoyed sell-out success locally and nationally with their stage version of Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong which is preparing for its third national tour.

It will debut at the Theatre Royal before sailing out on a countrywide tour, including a visit to the New Wolsey in Ipswich from October 21-25.

Contemporary dance choreographer James Wilton is renowned for his athletic dance works now DanceEast is staging the premiere of his latest performance The Storm. Arts editor Andrew Clarke spoke to him about mixing spectacle with food for thought

Awful Auntie by David Walliams has been a huge hit in book form with young children since its release in 2014.

As an EastEnders superfan, seriously I haven’t missed an episode since I was eight years old and I’m now 23, when I heard Sid Owen had been cast as Hook I was more excited than Phil Mitchell in a brewery.

The musical Once has proved itself to be a contemporary classic that tells an aspirational story full of tears and laughter. Arts editor Andrew Clarke speaks to director Peter Rowe and the cast as the play opens the New Wolsey’s autumn season

Stately homes, castles, ruins, windmills, gardens and historic boats are all welcoming visitors free of charge for this year’s Heritage Open Days.

The Barton Players are busy rehearsing for their comedy which is being staged next month in the village.

It’s a heart-warming and at times heart-rending performance by this wonderful cast admiringly led by the indomitable Roy Hudd.

HighTide opens next week and Suffolk writer and musician Tallulah Brown is unveiling her new play Songlines, which combines the joys of theatre with that of a live gig. She talks to arts editor Andrew Clarke

Heritage Open Days return to the county this September with two jam-packed weekends of free events.

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