March is supposed to be the time for the sunshine to return, daffodils to bloom and Mother’s Day to celebrate. (It’s March 11th by the way, if it hasn’t been noted in your diary yet…)
Sharing an evening in the theatre with my mum is something we love to do, I think it’s a great way to spend time together – we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly and have enjoyed catching-up over an interval ice cream on plenty of occasions. My challenge to you is to see if you can steer clear of the go-to gift tokens of flowers and chocolates, and instead celebrate by heading to the theatre, or at least giving the gift of a ticket so she has something to look forward to.
Continuing the family theme, Eastern Angles latest production, ‘Guesthouse’, focuses on a tale of battling family demons and crashing waves of a troubled past, and tensions are high as three generations of women decide the fate of their family-run guesthouse.
The piece is directed by Tony Casement, who is most known for his work with the Mercury Theatre. While the play itself has been written by Essex playwright Nicola Werenowska, and her work has seen success both locally and nationally – having worked with the Hampstead Theatre, The Royal Court, Graeae and the Mercury Theatre. She is also living with dyspraxia, which is something she touches on in her play, Hidden, which was performed at the Mercury Theatre and Norwich Arts in April 2017.
The tour of ‘Guesthouse’ will hit coastal towns across Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire from March through to May – including a stop at the play’s setting of Clacton-on-Sea. To check if they’ll be making a stop at your local, visit www.easternangles.co.uk or call your local theatres and village halls with crossed fingers!
Alternatively, if you would rather treat your mum to a taste of the West End at a fraction of the price – you can certainly find it in our region as there have been a surge of UK tours for hit musicals and plays, both old and new, heading to our corner of the country. Notable mentions include Sunset Boulevard (5-9th March) and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (17-21st April) at the Ipswich Regent; while Norwich Theatre Royal get The Kite Runner (5-10th March) and Fat Friends the Musical (12-17th March).
However, if you share a love of fringe theatre; ‘A Girl and a Gun’ is a self-explanatory show that explores Louise Orwin’s thoughts on the Jean- Luc Goddard quote ‘all you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun’, and promises you can “Expect gun-twirlin’, play-actin’ and Nancy-Sinatra- dancin’. And me. And you.” Catch it at J2, the Cambridge Junction on 8th March.
Another offering would be ‘We Are The Lions, Mr. Manager!’ which is the remarkable story of Jayaben Desai, the inspirational leader of the 1976-78 Grunwick Film Processing Factory Strike. She stood up for workers’ rights and created a movement; and to celebrate this, Jayaben was recently listed on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour Power List for having the biggest impact on women’s lives over the past 70 years. The tour includes stops in Diss, Norwich, Peterborough, Chelmsford and Bury St Edmunds. For more information visit www.townsendproductions.org.uk.
I hope this opens up some exciting options on how to give the mother figure in your life the gift of theatre. It may set you back a few more pennies, but the memories made and joy of it all should be worth paying the price for.