FEAST THEATRE. TEN YEARS ON.
Ten years ago, when Mandy McKenna and Rob John first discussed the idea of creating a professional theatre company based in rural Norfolk, the idea seemed far-fetched. The two former Paston College drama tutors wanted to start a company committed to presenting new plays performed by professional actors from our region, telling stories from and about Norfolk. But would they be able to find that new writing? Were there actors out there who could give their characters authentic Norfolk voices? And, most importantly, even if they could make this new ‘theatre from the East’ would anyone want to come and see it? In 2010 they decided to find out. Mandy and Rob formed fEAST Theatre and took their first show out on the road.In the past decade the company has staged seven new plays and undertaken eight regional tours.
fEAST has travelled thousands of miles and has performed in theatres, schools, dozens of village halls and once in a world famous mustard factory. And yes those audiences did come. The company has slowly won a loyal and enthusiastic following and many of their recent shows have been sell-outs. In addition to touring and performing fEAST is proud of the work they have done in helping writers new develop new work, in mentoring young actors at the start of their careers and in running educational workshops with students in schools and colleges across the region. The company has recently completed its first residency, a Christmas show which ran for 18 performances at the newly refurbished Maltings theatre at Wells. In 2019 the company were nominated for the Norfolk Arts Award for theatre.
In 2018 Mandy and Rob stepped down as co-directors of the company and handed over the reins to Artistic Director Dawn Finnerty and Associate Director Robin McLoughlin. Plans were developed for an ambitious programme of productions in 2020 to mark fEAST’s first ten years.