Arts Council Funding for An Honest Gentleman


A New Addition to Stuff of Dreams!

An Honest Gentleman

By Cordelia Spence & Tim Lane

Little is known of Thomas Easter except that he was born in ‘Alsum in Norfolk’ in 1715 and was hung at Tyburn 24 years later. However his was a life packed with adventure and intrigue. From North Norfolk to Putney Heath Easter plied his trade as a Gentleman of the Road, ‘raising contributions upon the public’ and from the little that is known was a dashing and charming rogue. ’I rob the rich to give to the poor’. Ultimately betrayed by an accomplice and comrade he danced the hangman’s jig. Stuff of Dreams will take you on a rollicking Georgian adventure as we delve into the life and times of the Highwaymen of the 18th Century. There will be wine, women and song and where facts are scarce there will be glorious embellishment. An Honest Gentleman’ will undertake a wider tour of the region in the Spring.

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The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde

Touring alongside our popular production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to several gorgeous locations this summer is Oscar Wilde’s most famous play – ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ by Oscar Wilde. Witness the mad cap escapades of Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrief in this delightful tale of love, mistaken identity and muffins! Watch Cecily and Gwendolyn as they go to war using the mighty weapons of cake and bread and butter and rival each other for the affections of the mysterious Earnest. Will Lady Bracknell relent and allow her daughter to marry the man of her dreams? Will Algernon be christened in time? Will Bunbury live to the end of the performance and will Miss Prism ever find that three volume novel she misplaced all those years ago?

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare

Stuff of Dreams presents their own unique version of William Shakespeare’s beloved romantic comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. A talented cast of eight will tell the story of the extraordinary events that take place in the city of Athens and the enchanted wood just outside its walls on midsummer night. Witness the feud between Oberon, King of the Fairies and his Queen the stunning Titania. Watch Theseus woo the unforgiving Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Laugh as Bottom and his friends rehearse their play ‘ready for Great Theseus nuptial day’ and become the victims of Puck’s mischievous pranks. Finally watch the lovers Lysander and Hermia, Helena and Demetrius as their relationships break down, friendships shatter and dreams are broken. Will love conquer all? Who knows? The only thing that is certain is that ‘the course of true love never did run smooth’.

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Anglian Mist

By Cordelia Spence & Tim Lane

Hidden secrets, dark conspiracies counter-intelligence and spies are the order of the day for “Anglian Mist” Stuff of Dreams’ 2017 production. When a notable author and historian who specialises in Ufology and conspiracy theories begins his lecture on the secret research carried out on Orford Ness during the Cold War he is somewhat taken aback when an elderly lady in the audience stands up and publicly takes exception to his claims regarding the true nature of the military installation on Orford Ness. What follows is a psychological thriller as a long-hidden cold war plot is brought kicking and screaming into the light of day with chilling consequences for all involved. Inspired by the vast concrete pagodas and the desolate beauty of Orford Ness, this play will open with an immersive theatre experience on the Ness itself and then tour the eastern region.

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By Ray Rumsby

In youth, he struggled against social prejudice and personal circumstance; in marriage, the loss of five beloved children and his wife’s progressive mental illness; in his work, he shocked the rich with scenes of poverty and poorhouses – the narrow, dividing line. This is George Crabbe’s haunting story. Forgotten portrayed the personal, social, literary and scientific dramas (both comic and tragic) in the life of East Anglia’s greatest poet. The true story of ‘Peter Grimes’, and George Crabbe, its true author.

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The Blacksmith Who Chased the Moon

By Anthony Cule (Adapted)

The Devil steals the moon and plunges the town of Halesworth into chaos, and only the Blacksmith can save it – but rescuing the moon from The Devil isn’t as easy as it sounds… This was a festive comedy about facing your demons. Literally. Based on Nikolai Gogol’s ‘The Night Before Christmas.’ Written and adapted by Anthony Cule (The Bricks of Burston) and brought to life by a talented cast of seven actors this fabulous, family friendly production delighted and entertained the Halesworth community from December 2015 to January 2016.

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The Poisoners’ Pact

By Cordelia Spence & Tim Lane

Set in the 1830s in the supposedly peaceful village of Burnham Market in North Norfolk the play explored the story of Catherine Frary and Frances Billings, who were the last women to be hanged in Norfolk and whose execution was the last public, double execution in England. Frary and Billings were found guilty of several murders by administering arsenic to their hapless victims, this lethal substance was frequently disguised in dumplings.

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The Bricks of Burston

By Ant Cule & Emma MacLusky

We all remember particular teachers from our school days, some we admired and some we feared, but were there any we would have fought to save? At the heart of Norfolk history is the touching and remarkable story of Tom and Annie Higdon, and the courageous children who kick-started the boycott of the Council School in Burston. Lasting over 25 years, the story deservingly earned its place in history as the longest lasting strike action!. The Bricks of Burston was an original play which focused on the two inspired educators who fought to change the poverty and injustice inherent in their society.

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By Patrick Hamilton

The action opens into the London flat of Wyndham Brandon in the year 1929 as he, and fellow perpetrator Charles Granillo, are found amidst the aftermath of their first murder. This is, however, not merely a murder of opportunity or chance, but rather the realisation of Brandon’s childhood dream – a ‘passionless, faultless, clueless and motiveless murder’ committed in the pursuit of ‘art’. In light of this, the pair proceed to conceal the corpse (that of their fellow undergraduate) within a capacious chest, inviting an eccentric group of individuals, including the murdered boy’s Father and Aunt, to partake in a feast upon it. As a thunderstorm rages outside, and the tension mounts, emotions run riot as Rupert Cadell, a war ravaged poet and former tutor to the guilty pair, becomes increasingly suspicious of the evenings events.

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Love Left Hanging

By Cordelia Spence & Emma MacLusky

Set in 1827, this adaptation of the famous Red Barn Murder, focused on a woman scorned and explored the different versions of what happened to Maria Marten. This adaptation sought to discover the flaws in Corder’s short trial leading to his execution before a crowd of thousands. Maria, a woman ahead of her time, fell in love with the charming Corder and was kept in the dark about his shady background with criminals and prostitutes as well as an alleged affair with Maria’s stepmother, Anne. Who was Maria’s Stepmother? How were the likes of Beauty Smith, the renowned criminal, and Hannah, the London prostitute, linked to Corder throughout history and then dismissed in his trial? We dared to ask the question of what really happened to Maria that night she disappeared from the Red Barn, and was Corder a villain? Or just a pawn in a deadly game?

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