Olympic fever has spread to the stage in Sheringham as the Little Theatre gears up for its summer programme, which this season features a marathon feat of acting talent.

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As part of the seaside venue’s professional summer rep listings a pair of plays will be performed on alternate evenings and, on certain dates, both will be presented on the same day.

The Olympic acting challenge will be staged with performances of two of the Norman Conquests, the trilogy of plays penned by Alan Ayckbourn in the 1970s.

Table Manners will open the rep season at the beginning of July and be followed immediately by Round and Round the Garden - with a few double performances thrown into the mix to keep the actors, and the audience, on their toes.

Debbie Thompson, theatre director, said: “This is our Olympic challenge. We’ll be starting each play individually and the minute the Olympics start we will be doing either alternate evenings or in some cases doing both plays on the one day, so it’s going to be a challenge.”

Staff from the theatre will be auditioning the rep cast next month and will be looking for capable actors who will be able to take on the Norman plays, and the three other rep performances that will follow their spell on stage; the gripping supernatural tale, Turn of the Screw, British comedy Birthday Suite and the fabulous French farce Ding Dong.

But among the new cast there will be a familiar face as talented stage star Richard Earl is making a welcome return to the Little Theatre to play the title role in the Norman Conquests.

Mrs Thompson said: “He’s a fantastic actor and he can do rep brilliantly.”

Some grass-roots acting talent will also enjoy the limelight during the new season as the Sheringham Players and a group of youngsters will also be performing.

Earlier this year the theatre held auditions for budding stage stars and 12 lucky finalists will present their skills in A Night at the Musicals, a medley of show tunes that runs for two days in June, and is the first performance of its kind to be shown at the theatre.

Mrs Thompson said: “It’s the first time we have given them their own show. It’s literally those 12 performers we auditioned and were chosen as the best so it’s a lovely opportunity for them.”

The Sheringham Players meanwhile present the hilarious tale of assistant bank manager Peter Hunter and his new wife Frances in ‘70s farce No Sex Please, We’re British, which enjoys a four-night run.

But theatre is not the only highlight for this season as a line-up of blockbusters - including the multiple Oscar-winning silent move The Artist - are also being screened throughout June.

Mrs Thompson said: "We're really excited about the films because there's some brilliant ones out at the moment. A lot of people wait for the films to come to Sheringham to see them. They just like watching them in that intimate space. And especially with The Artist, because we don't sell popcorn or crisps, they know it will be a silent movie."

 For more information about shows and performances visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com or pick up the summer listings from the venue.

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