fEAST Theatre

Formed in 2010, fEAST theatre continues to develop and showcase new work by professional theatre-makers from the East of England and beyond.

“bringing original and vibrant theatre to our region”

The Eastern Daily Press



‘Elephant play Brings Norfolk Novelist Back To His Roots’

Press Release 25/04/2024
Elephant by Jeremy Page

Jeremy Page

The power of theatre has brought together an acclaimed novelist and his Paston College teacher after nearly forty years. Jeremy Page is returning to his Norfolk roots with a brand-new play, touring Norfolk and Suffolk this June. While the writer has garnered plaudits for both fiction and non-fiction, winning East Anglian Book awards for ‘The Wake’ and ‘New York to California’, this will be a rare venture into theatre-writing. ‘Elephant’ is the story of recluse Manny, living alone in a house on a crumbling cliff in North Norfolk, who gets an unexpected visit from his sister, Jessie, who has brought with her a local villain, Lee Farrier, trussed up in a sack. When they are joined by Cally, a figure from Jessie’s past, things start to fall apart, both figuratively and literally.

Jeremy Page grew up on the North Norfolk coast and his connection to fEAST brought him back in touch with a formative figure from his past. ‘Rob John was also my drama teacher at Paston. He was the best teacher that anyone could have encountered, as well as a very talented playwright. He opened my eyes to theatre, to drama, to politics and the role of what a writer should be, so to work with fEAST now has felt like a completion of a circle.’ In 2018 fEAST adapted Page’s debut novel ‘Salt’ for the stage. ‘They did a great job in both adaptation and staging so I was delighted when they commissioned me to write ‘Elephant.’’ The new play will be directed by Dawn Finnerty, who also took the helm on ‘Salt’.

Although he has lived in London for many years, Page’s writing continually brings him back to the Norfolk landscapes of his youth: ‘Norfolk formed me, and still inspires me. Certainly the coastal aspect of Norfolk has always fascinated me.’ ‘Elephant’ is set on a cliff top based on the coastline around West Runton where Page grew up and in the play, the effects of coastal erosion have a huge impact on the lives of the characters.  ‘Being near the cliff edges was always a huge part of my childhood, with a sense that the sea was always nibbling away at the place I called home. And once you start following the thread of things being nibbled away from beneath, the next step is wondering what might be revealed.’

The play will be performed by fEAST theatre, one of the region’s leading touring companies, which was founded by former Paston College vice-principal Rob John.

Elephant promo photo

fEAST theatre and Jeremy Page will be offering a series of workshops around the play, its themes and the challenges and opportunities of writing for the stage. ‘Writing this play was one of the most enjoyable writing experiences I’ve had. I was aware that this was a process of collaboration, and that my writing was only part of the process for others – actors, directors and set production – to add to. Writing novels is often solitary. Being part of a team felt wonderful’ says Page.

fEAST theatre’s production of Elephant by Jeremy Page is funded by an Arts Council England Project Grant and supported by The Seagull Theatre.  It will be touring venues in Norfolk and Suffolk throughout June.

Seagull Theatre logo

Tour Dates:

Thurs 13th  June: Sheringham Little Theatre
Fri 14th  June: Old Buckenham Village Hall
Sat 15th June : The CUT
Wed 19th June: Aylsham Town Hall
Thurs 20th June:
Corn Hall Diss
Fri 21st June: Southwold Arts Centre
Sat 22nd June: Wells Maltings
Sun 23rd June: Norwich Arts Centre
Tues 25th June: St Georges Gt Yarmouth
Thurs 27th June: Westacre Theatre
Fri 28th June: Sedgeford Village Hall
Sat 29th June: The Seagull Theatre

Rachael Cummings
Ben Elder
Robin McLoughlin
Henri Merriam

Writer: Jeremy Page
Director: Dawn Finnerty
Produced by: Dawn Finnerty & Des Reynolds
Set Design: Fern Blevins
Music: Mark Fawcett
Stage Manager: Rosey Lock
Photography: Paul Stefan
Marketing: Sally Blouet

For further information or arrangement for photographs/interviews please contact
Dawn Finnerty: 07713 153124

Click here for more info and booking details.
Facebook: Feasttheatrepresents

Twitter: @fEasttheatre
Instagram: @feasttheatrepresents

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England in association with The Seagull Theatre and through support in kind from Sheringham Little Theatre and Wells Maltings.

Writing Workshops

Accompanying the play, Jeremy Page will be running a series of workshops at key venues, to encourage and develop creativity among the community. The focus will be on listening to the experiences of coastal and rural living, and the stories that might arise from it. These workshops will provide an opportunity for people to develop their skills of expression, exploring themes from the play, and how the distinct East Anglian landscape can lend itself to shaping a unique sense of voice and character.

Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book and the Jelf First Novel Award, THE WAKE, shortlisted for the New Angle Prize and winner of the East Anglian Fiction Book Award, THE COLLECTOR OF LOST THINGS, nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Walter Scott Prize, and NEW YORK TO CALIFORNIA, a journey across the East of England looking for the not quite visible, winner of the East Anglian Non-Fiction Book Award.

Jeremy Page has published four novels: SALT, shortlisted for the  His short story, DO IT NOW, JUMP THE TABLE, broadcast on Radio 4, was a finalist for the BBC National Short Story Competition, and his film SCAPEGOAT was broadcast by Channel 4 as part of their New Writing Talent scheme. As a scriptwriter and script editor he has worked for the BBC, Film Four, Channel 4 and Working Title, as well as writing journalism and being a photographer for various print, magazine and online outlets. He has taught Creative Writing at the UEA as well as tutoring and mentoring for various universities and lecturing at the London Film School.

Workshop dates and times:

Sheringham Little Theatre:
Friday 14th June
10.00 – 12.00
Box Office – 01263 822347

Old Buckingham Village Hall:
Saturday 15th June
Time tbc
Box Office – 07880 660444

Corn Hall Diss:
Friday 21st June
13.00 – 15.00
Box Office – 01379 652241

Wells Maltings:
Sunday 23rd June
11.00 – 13.00
Box Office – 01328 710885

To book your place contact the venues directly.
Workshops are
free (Included in the ticket price for Old Buckenham Hall).

Seagull Theatre logo

Successful and strong relationships Feast have built

In thirteen years of touring we are proud to have built strong relationships with many of the regions theatres and communities. In these challenging times we are grateful for the support and encouragement which these venues continue to offer us. Here are some things they’ve had to say about fEAST Theatre.

Sheringham Little Theatre & St Georges Theatre Yarmouth

The Little Theatre is honoured to have been involved from the beginning of the incredible fEAST Theatre journey in 2010. I knew it was something special, because of the people and their artistic ethos. Every show has been of the highest standard and they have built up such an eclectic mix of work. We always need to book extra shows in, as they sell out in Sheringham and are so popular.  I programme them into St. George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth and they are building audiences there too. People look forward to what their next venture will be and so do I!

Debbie Thompson

Wells Maltings

The relationship between Wells Maltings and fEAST goes back many years; since we reopened in 2018 their work has been a central pillar of our live theatre programming. fEAST’s creative process is second to none, they are a joy to work with, and their ethos matches our own exactly. Their touring work has been supplemented by commissions for Christmas shows every year since 2019, too. We value our relationship with fEAST hugely – the company is part of the Maltings’ family.

Simon Daykin

The Seagull

The Seagull has been proud to work with fEAST Theatre for a number of years and have always been impressed with both the quality and breadth of the productions produced. As a community focused venue we are always keen to bring high quality drama into our town, and as such fEAST have been an important partner in being able to delivery a very high standard of artistic quality alongside a reasonable and affordable ticket price. This combination of quality and value for money has been a touchstone of fEAST theatre and has helped them to grow their reach within our deprived community.

Des Reynolds

Westacre Theatre

Westacre Theatre is always proud and eager to present whatever fEAST have on offer. Their productions are always of the highest standard, and our audience loves them to the extent that we can almost guarantee to sell out. Our relationship with this excellent touring theatre company began in 2015 and we very much hope it continues long into the future, fEAST are always welcome here at Westacre!

Sadie Grist

Southwold Arts Centre

We have had several excellent productions by fEAST at Southwold Arts Centre in the last few years, including Dulcie and Walter, Rosa Mendoza and Canada Boys.  All have been characterised by very original scripts with a local connection, excellent production and outstanding acting. They are one of the best touring theatre groups in East Anglia. We look forward to welcoming their next production to Southwold.

Michael Rowan-Robinson
Chair of Trustees, Southwold Arts Centre

Sedgeford Village Hall

Sedgeford Village Hall is the only venue in west Norfolk that hosts professional theatre and we’ve been at it now for around a decade. We first met fEast in 2016 and have seen six of their plays since then, all of which have been to the same high standard. The Company always prompts a great reaction from our audience and selling tickets is easy when people appreciate what they’re in for.

On a personal note I aim to book a slot with fEAST without knowing what their play is about or having to consider whether it will go down well…it will, and always does! The Company is approachable (nice people), and I’m delighted to say they love playing Sedgeford… we can’t wait for their next one.

Dave Carter
Entertainment Manager

Corn Hall Diss

We have only had the opportunity to programme two fEAST productions so far – Dulcie & Walter in July 2021 and The Canada Boys in February 2022 – but were blown away by the quality of the work presented on both occasions. The company is a dream to work with too which is no small thing when times are tough. They’re efficient, have good marketing and are lovely to boot. As a venue programmer I would gladly include any fEAST production in my programme, indeed I have been in touch to make sure I am part of their next tour.

It’s not only the quality of the writing, acting and general production values that make fEAST Theatre’s work so important, it is the fact that their work has real local resonance and generates a genuine and heartfelt response from the audience. Nothing demonstrates the vital importance of live performance better than that.

Angela Sykes
Programme Manager

Corn Hall Contd.

This review of Canada Boys by one of our regular, and often hard to please customers expresses this much more eloquently:

Rescheduled over the last couple of years due to Covid, we had to wait a long time to see fEAST Theatre’s production of The Canada Boys. Fortunately, it proved to be well worth the wait. Rob John’s fictionalised account of the J &J Colman’s sponsored emigration to Canada was one the finest productions seen at the Corn Hall for a very long time.

At the beginning of the last century, eighteen men were offered the chance to start a new life in Canada, rather than face the impending unemployment that was sweeping across Norfolk.

From the bare bones of these facts, fEAST Theatre have created a moving and absorbing tale of two brothers, torn between responsibilities at home and opportunity abroad. The play was certainly an education – it was fascinating to learn of the Colman family’s philanthropy – but this was no hagiography. On the contrary, the dramatic tension between the brothers, arguing over the motives of their employers, provided the backbone to what was essentially a domestic drama about familial conflict.

The ensemble cast were uniformly excellent and (despite the narrative revolving around the brothers) Rob John gave both Tabitha Woodgett and Dawn Finnerty unusually rounded roles to inhabit, as the respective love interests of the men. Central to the drama, however, was the brilliant portrayal of fraternal love.

A combination of sharp writing and superb performances from both Robin McLoughlin and Owen Evans brought to life the feisty, querulous relationship of the Craske brothers in a way rarely seen on stage or screen. I think you have to be the brother of a brother to appreciate just how good they were.The shadow of the Great War hanging over the drama allowed Rob John to craft a satisfying and sure-footed conclusion to a play that was an outstanding night at the theatre which swept its audience along. With an emotional depth and humanity that went far beyond its potentially parochial source material, The Canada Boys was a stunning drama that resonated with universal truths.

David Vass