We are delighted that Roots, our October 2011 production was nominated for Best Play in the East Region of NODA (National Operatic & Dramatic Association). Louise Waller was awarded the NODA Youth Award for her portrayal of Beattie in the same production. These follow our success with our February 2010 production of When We Are Married which won the Best Play by NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) for East Region District 5. Congratulations to all those involved.
Roots by Arnold Wesker (October 2011)
Written and set in rural Norfolk in 1956, and Norfolk accents to the fore, it tells the story of Beatie Bryant. the daughter of Norfolk farm labourers, who returns for a short holiday from London, where she has fallen in love with a young Jewish, working class boy, Ronnie Kahn. He is due to join her to meet the family. During the days of waiting, she regales her family with stories about Ronnie and his (to them) bewildering alien East London family. Her spirit is effervescent and sunny, but her words are not hers, they're Ronnie's.
Directed by Simon Thompson
Here's what the Press said................
Richard Batson - Eastern Daily Press - 20th October 2011
A rustic Norfolk family's simple, frugal lifestyle is challenged by one of their own whose blinkers have been taken off by her intellectual London boyfriend in this classic "kitchen sink drama."
It is a powerful play of words, characters and morals by writer Arnold Wesker, drawing on his own experiences in the county in the 1950s.
And - even with the benefit of authentic local accents to deliver the dialect dialogue - it is a brave choice by the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society for their autumn offering.
There is little action to distract from the script, bar some baking, washing up, meals and sweeping are the house. So this rural Royle Family is all about the conversation, confrontations and observations of everyday life.
The central role of Beatie, returning home with her head filled with ideas from boyfriend Ronnie, is played stunningly well by 17-year-old Paston College drama student Louise Waller.
She confidently captures her blend of bucolic simplicity and big city spark igniting a desire to break free from the chains of her roots, and to live life rather than just exist. This is a talent to watch out for on a bigger stage in years to come.
Pick of the strong supporting cast is Mary Cubitt as her mother - a stubborn matriarch who eschews the "squit" of classical music, literature and current affairs, in favour of village gossip, domestic chores and simply surviving on the meagre wages of her farmland husband.
The others all add believable relatives and cameos, which, combined with Simon Thompson's direction, make this a stage soap which seamlessly mixes social commentary with shafts of comedy.