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
News Update: November 2023.
Three new brand new fEAST shows are on the way
We may not have staged any new shows so far in 2023 but behind the scenes we have been busy. Applications for funding have been written, research and development projects have been undertaken, new plays have been commissioned and new relationships developed with artists and venues. All this effort has paid off and we are now delighted to announce an exciting programme of new work coming your way over the next few months.
First up is Little Red Riding Hood another co-production with Well Maltings. Think you know this classic fairy tale? Think again! Written by acclaimed children’s dramatist Nick Lane (T’was the Night Before Christmas / Hansel and Gretel) this is a fast moving, rib tickling show for all the family. Full of silly stories, madcap songs and ridiculous rhymes this is Little Red Riding Hood like you’ve never seen it before. The show opens at Wells Maltings on 15th December and runs there until Christmas Eve.
In February the second production in our new programme takes to the road heading for venues across the region. Written by Rob John (The Canada Boys / Rosa Mendoza) The Hollyhock Trilogy presents three strange and poignant love stories. A woman reveals an unrequited passion for her postman, an aging trapeze artist dreams of the beautiful woman who dropped him and a chance remark about hollyhocks changes the lives of two strangers for ever. Starring Owen Evans and Dawn Finnerty these darkly funny tales of loneliness and lust are guaranteed to warm the coldest winter evening.
Finally we are proud to announce the world premier of Jeremy Page’s new play Elephant which will be touring in June. Commissioned by fEAST and supported by Arts Council England this production has been underpinned by a very successful research and development project which was generously funded by The Seagull Theatre Lowestoft. Set in a house balancing on an eroding cliff in North Norfolk Jeremy’s beautiful play tells the story of four damaged characters brought together under bizarre circumstances. As the house begins to collapse the truths that have brought these characters together and the lies that they’ve told each other become exposed.
We are aware that this exciting programme would not have been possible without the help of our many fEAST supporters. In the last few months we have been particularly grateful to Debbie Thompson at Sheringham Little Theatre, Des Reynolds at The Seagull Theatre Lowestoft and Simon Daykin at Wells Maltings.
We can’t wait to get these brilliant new shows onto stages across the region. Please come and see us!
Elephant: Research and Development
On Friday 2nd June 2023 fEAST presented extracts from Elephant at The Seagull Theatre.
In a project funded by a bursary from The Seagull four actors, (Mark Finbow, Henri Merriam, Ben Elder, Anna Buttery) director Dawn Finnerty, designer Fern Blevins and sound designer Mark Fawcett began to explore the characters, dynamics and the technical challenges of a story set in a house which is falling into the North Sea.
fEAST will be touring a full production of
Elephant in Spring 2024.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.