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Welcome to the March edition of ShowBiz, your Corporate Club e-magazine, packed with exciting news and insights from the shows and information from our newest Corporate Club member Flagship Housing Group Ltd. You will be pleased to hear our new brochure will be with you in the next couple of days but if you can’t wait please click here to see what exciting shows are on offer. Our dedicated Corporate Club Box Office booking line 01603 598696 will be open from 9.30am on Thursday 15th March for bookings. We hope you enjoy the magazine and look forward to welcoming you back to the theatre very soon.


Friends from 9.30am


Public from 9.30am


Gold Friends & Corporate Club from 9.30am


Friends from 9.30am


Public from 9.30am

Save the date Friday 16th March —Inside Story, Mark Hazell, Marketing Director, illuminates the content of our new brochure. Starting at 12.30pm it is free to attend and provides a fascinating introduction to the new shows on offer . Please contact Westley Holdsworth to book on 01603 598556 Thursday 26th April 12-2pm — Our quarterly business networking event Spotlight on Business returns with guest speaker Denis Lawson who is starring in Art from the 23rd—28th April. £15 per person – including buffet lunch and drinks, 10% discount for Corporate Club members and theatre sponsors. Booking Essential Saturday 11th August—Annual Open Day, come along and have a look behind the scenes from 10am— 4pm. See the dressing rooms where the stars prepare for their performances. Stand centre stage in the spotlight. Have a go at lighting, and sound. Loads of activities, talks and demonstrations. Open to all and ideal for families. FREE

Welcome We are delighted to feature two of the very best large-scale musicals touring the UK at the moment in this brochure as the Royal Shakespeare Company’s award-winning Matilda The Musical comes to Norwich in summer 2019, following Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Miss Saigon as our next summer blockbuster. I have seen and absolutely loved Matilda. It is an utterly joyful and fun show that will delight people of all ages. It also has a strong message about the strength of the individual spirit and the value of learning and this is a message that we live everyday here through our learning and participation work with young people and adults Alongside these two epic musicals, I am thrilled that 2018 sees us form a new producing collaboration with our long-standing partner Kenny Wax and Global Musicals to stage the first ever professional performances and open a UK tour of SIX at Norwich Playhouse. With a similar feel to the current global smash, Hamilton, this is an unashamedly irreverent, fun and celebratory account of the lives of Henry VIII’s six wives. It is one of the most exciting pieces of musical theatre I have seen in a long time and I implore you to see it in Norwich first before it too becomes a smash hit. In addition to a feast of musical theatre, our drama programme goes from strength to strength with the National Theatre’s new production of Macbeth (directed by Artistic Director, Rufus Norris) visiting us this autumn. It promises to be an epic and visually arresting staging and I salute the National Theatre for continuing its commitment to regional touring, following Curious Incident, Jane Eyre and Hedda Gabler last year, and we very much look forward to building on this important artistic partnership. In Stage Two, we’ve been bowled over by the reaction to our last Creative Matters season focussed on Men’s Mental Health, and our next one in May, on Caring for Dementia, is set to be our biggest yet, with performances and activities across all three buildings, Theatre Royal, Playhouse and Stage Two. Whilst this work is small in scale, it is huge in impact and it’s integral to our mission of using the power of arts and creativity to help people discover and support themselves and others. We are going on an exciting journey with lots of new developments and projects both on and off our stag-es. If you’d like to help support us in all of our work then there has never been a better time and we have some great schemes that allow you to get involved and that will give you the opportunity to come on this journey with us.

Stephen Crocker Chief Executive

Not to be missed Our latest brochure has yet another wonderful array of shows on offer. Whether you are a dance lover, crazy about comedy, a musical aficionado or opera buff there really is something for everyone. Highlights in the new season include the RSC’s awardwinning phenomenon Matilda the Musical, based on Roald Dahl’s children’s classic, which is embarking on its first ever UK and Ireland tour. We’re also very excited about the National Theatre’s new production of Macbeth, directed by Rufus Norris and offering audiences a fresh and dynamic view of the timeless classic, on an epic scale.

The creative team behind The Play That Goes Wrong, which was a hit with audiences here at the Theatre Royal in 2017, are bringing their new show The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, which promises to be every bit as frantic and hilarious. Glyndebourne Opera return with Verdi’s classic La traviata and also Cendrillon by Massenet. And there’s a strong line-up of music acts, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Justin Hayward, Nils Lofgren and The Proclaimers.

These are just a few of the highlights of this brochure but rest assured you will also find the usual mix of dance, opera, comedy and drama within its pages.

If you would like a further insight into the shows please join us for our exclusive Inside Story event on Friday 16th March where Mark Hazell, Marketing Director, illuminates the content of our new brochure. Starting at 12.30pm it is free to attend and provides a fascinating introduction to the new shows on offer. For more information or to book your place please contact Westley Holdsworth on 01603 598556 or

A five-star performance—Sleeping Beauty Storming performances from acclaimed EastEnders soap actor Gillian Wright and children’s television legend Derek Griffiths, combined with comedy gold from much-loved panto favourites Richard Gauntlett and Ben Langley, helped make last year’s Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime a huge success. Sleeping Beauty, not only proved popular with the 59,500 theatre-goers who saw the show but also garnered rave reviews, including a five-star recommendation from theatre ‘bible’ The Stage which listed it as one of its 5-star pantomimes in its round-up of Best Shows of 2017. And even as the performers were still presenting their show, the box office was experiencing record sales for the theatre’s next panto, Aladdin, with more than 12,400 tickets sold already. With many performances, particularly pre-Christmas, being completely sold out, the run generated a record-breaking £1,115,590 in ticket sales. In addition, the theatre’s front of house team also worked flat out to ensure audiences enjoyed the full visitor experience, selling 19,463 tubs of ice-cream, 5334 packets of sweets, 3458 programmes and 5109 pieces of merchandise.

Audiences responded incredibly generously to the theatre’s Christmas 2017 Appeal, which will enable the delivery of a new creative programme working with people living with dementia in Norfolk, in-cluding carers and families. Over £17,000 was raised through both panto bucket collections and online giving. Jane Walsh, the panto’s executive producer, said: “Sleeping Beauty has proved a great success with our audiences and critics again this year and our industry publication The Stage rated it as among the top ten pantomimes in the country – a great accolade”. “Preparations are well under way for our next pantomime Aladdin with ticket sales already at record levels and our comedy gold duo Richard Gauntlett and Ben Langley confirmed to return.” Aladdin runs from December 12, 2018, to January 13, 2019. Tickets are available from the Box Office on 01603 630000 or at

Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 October

"Cirque du Soleil’s hipper, sexier cousin." The Stage, London “Extraordinary! There’s the circus, and then there’s Cirque Éloize.These guys are on a whole other level.” New York Post The critically acclaimed circus extravaganza Cirkopolis - by Montreal-based troupe Cirque Éloize - is set to thrill audiences of all ages, in Norwich this autumn. Classic acrobatics and tightly choreographed dance numbers are performed against a backdrop of original video projections. In jaw-dropping feats, twelve acrobatic artists challenge the limits of gravity with their physical prowess. Experience perfectly timed dance passionately delivered with a combination of narrative, circus skills and an extraordinary soundtrack that fills the theatre even before the curtain rises. Expect jugglers, contortionists and Cyr-wheel artists in pieces inspired by the struggle to escape a soul-crushing industrialized city. The poignant but still family-friendly Cirkopolis, is a particularly stunning combination of theatre, modern dance, original music, evocative projections and top-notch circus skills. No wonder it has sold out more than 4,000 performances in over 550 cities and 50 countries. 8+

Friends & Corporate Club: Bands A & B £5 OFF Sat eve

Over 60s Special Price:

Bands A & B £5 OFF Sun eve

Saturday 7.30pm, Sunday 5pm a) £31

b) £27.50

c) £22

d) £19

See page 36 for dates tickets go on sale Refer to back page for seat positions relating to price bands

e) £10

Under 18s Special Price:

Bands A & B £5 OFF Sun eve


Lloyd of the Jungle With its menagerie of characters, compelling multi-layered story and strong themes, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book has entertained generations of readers and also been a hugely popular movie. Now it is set to gain new life as a stage play when The Children’s Touring Partnership brings it to life at the Norwich Theatre Royal. It will also be a homecoming for cast-member Lloyd Gorman who made his performing debut for the theatre’s arts course and cannot wait to make his professional debut in his home city. It tells the much-loved story of Mowgli the man-cub who is raised by wolves in the jungle. He learns lessons about life from a host of animal friends including Bagheera the panther, Baloo the bear and Kaa the python, while trying to outwit the cunning tiger Shere Khan. And it is that villainous part which will be portrayed by Lloyd Gorman, who loves playing the role. He said: “Everyone knows the Disney version of Shere Khan who is suave and sophisticated. For this production, he has morphed into a wannabe rockabilly with an orange quiff. He is a modern version of the character. I hope it is effective in that respect.” The show’s arrival at the Theatre Royal in April will mark a homecoming for Lloyd. He comes from Norfolk and started his acting career when he joined the theatre’s own arts course at the age of nine. He said: “My entire social life was there and all my passion came from there. Whether that would have ever translated into a profession was something I wasn’t sure about when I was younger. I was in lots of bands - most of whom were ropy. That was an avenue I thought I would go down but I didn’t practice enough for it to be a real career.” He then heard about an actor-musician course at Rose Bruford College which combined both his performing passions and joined that. After graduating from there, he has appeared in a wide variety of productions including the West End run of Sunny Afternoon, the UK tour of Our House and a number of productions for The Octagon Theatre in Bolton. But he is now pleased to make his professional debut on the Theatre Royal stage. “I am really excited as it is such a great venue and I think The Jungle Book will bring in a great audience too,” said Lloyd. And it will bring back memories of performing in Arts Course summer shows on that very same stage when he was much younger. He laughed: “That course is to blame not just for me but many other people. It has been a real inspiration for lots of young people whatever industry they decide to go into. It makes you confident, sociable and I owe it a lot.” So it will be a chase of sheer nostalgia for Shere Khan aka Lloyd when he makes a welcome return to the city that inspired and equipped him for an acting career. The Jungle Book runs from the 10th—14th of April

Flagship Housing Ltd We are delighted to introduce one of the theatre’s newest Corporate Club members—Flagship Housing Ltd. Flagship Group owns more than 22,500 affordable homes across East Anglia. Our purpose is to provide homes for people in need. Our core business is to develop, manage and maintain our homes, aiming to build about 500 new properties every year. We have a number of subsidiary companies - RFT Services (repairs and maintenance), Flagship Homes (homes to let and for sale), and Gasway (gas services). Since we started in 1998, we have provided much needed affordable homes for rent and sale for communities across East Anglia, and working with partners have built thousands of new homes. Today, we employ over 800 people consisting of around 300 Flagship Group employees, 300 RFT staff and 200 at Gasway. We moved to our new headquarters in King Street, Norwich in May last year and have other offices in the region including Mildenhall, Dereham, Ipswich and Woodbridge. We are keen to grow our service offer, working with other housing associations, local authorities and develop a wider range of commercial services for private sector customers. As in other parts of the UK, East Anglia faces a huge challenge where demand for affordable homes considerably exceeds supply. We will continue to increase our efforts working with partners to help tackle this major housing crisis.

We invest in our people and as a result our operating profits are invested back into the business to deliver the best value for our customers. We use our resources effectively and efficiently to continually find new and innovative ways to build more homes for local people. Lisa Collen, Director of People at Flagship, said: “We are thrilled to have joined the Corporate Club. We pride ourselves on creating a great place to work for our staff and I hope they will relish the opportunity to see the shows on offer at the Theatre Royal. The theatre is a fantastic local asset which provides lots of positive experiences for local communities.” For more information about Flagship please visit

The Wright Recipe He is one of the newest faces to join the Norwich Theatre Royal team and you have probably seen him walking the building in the bar and restaurant areas. Stephen Wright is taking on the new role of Hospitality Manager and is relishing his new role. From the kitchens of some of London’s most prestigious restaurants to a familiar face steering well-known Norwich venues, he is no stranger to the hospitality environment. Despite that strong pedigree, there is no doubting the enthusiasm which emanates from him as he settles into his new appointment at Norwich Theatre Royal. He said: “It is a new environment for me as I have never worked in theatre before, and it’s an exciting time. Location-wise, this new post brings Stephen full circle as he started off at Norwich City College back in the 1980s. After two years there, he decided he wanted to move on and the bright lights of the capital beckoned with a role at the famous Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane starting off as a junior chef before working his way up to senior sous chef. From there, he moved on to the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn before moving back to Norfolk to take up the role of executive head chef at the University of East Anglia, then later moving to the Assembly House before he went on to set up the coffee and sandwich bar Logan’s in the Norwich Lanes, which was a real learning experience. Now the focus is on the future and Stephen is very clear about his ethos which is providing a great service. He said: “The job of hospitality here at the theatre is to enhance the customer experience. I see that as the journey from booking their tickets with us to the point of leaving. In between that, we need to think about the entire customer experience. Obviously coming to the show is their primary reason for visiting but anything we can do to enhance that experience, we will do.” The precise detail of what that means is still being worked on but Stephen is already looking at a few ideas. He revealed: “We are going to develop the lunch and evening menu, and we are also planning some special evenings that are exclusive to Friends and corporate members. It is something we are keen to do. We want to engage with people who are part of that journey of developing here, get their feedback and improve.



Showbiz Magazine March  
Showbiz Magazine March