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Playwright returns to her Norfolk roots for new play

Cast of play Battery; Photo credit: Georgina Harrod.

Cast of play Battery; Photo credit: Georgina Harrod.

Archant

An emerging Norfolk playwright is returning to her roots with her new play Battery which arrives at the Norwich Playhouse this week.

Former Stalham High School and Paston Sixth Form College student Beatrice Armstrong grew up in Hickling and will be returning from the big smoke for her latest performance.

The 31-year-old has been working alongside fEast Theatre company - founded at the North Walsham college in 1986- and describes her play as “a hauntingly poetic and blisteringly funny play about life, death, sibling rivalry and cake”.

“It’s been brilliant working with fEast Theatre,” she said. “They’ve given me lots of support, advice and encouragement as I worked on my script. They even organised two readings with professional actors so I could hear the play and get a sense of how it needed to develop.

“It’s very exciting now to be able to attend rehearsals and watch the show take shape.”

The company was specifically formed to help develop and showcase new work by professional writers, actors and directors from Norfolk.

Former theatre studies teacher at Paston and co-founder of fEast Rob John said: “We genuinely believe that this is a fine play which will be performed again elsewhere. Beatrice Armstrong is a name to watch out for.

“We are in the business of doing new work and it’s about giving opportunities to people who are on the way up.”

Ms Armstrong’s debut play Edge was performed at London’s Rose Theatre in 2009 and Alternative Therapy was a finalist at the Offcut Theatre Festival at Riverside Studios last year.

Co-founder of fEast Mandy McKenna said: “We are delighted that Beatrice brought Battery to us and thrilled that its first performance will be here in Norfolk.”

In Battery we meet the eccentric Johnston sisters who are celebrated psychic medium and shameless charlatans.

The sisters fake the apparitions and cheat their clients, despite their lives being littered with real ghosts from their own past.

The cast will be made up of local actors Robin McLoughlin, of Norwich, Alice Brown, of Sheringham, and former Paston student Tabitha Woodgett.

t Battery, Norwich Playhouse, June 20-22, £10 (£8 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk

www.feasttheatre.com

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