A new play written by Gorelston born actress and playwright Catherine Herman and produced by the local company fEAST theatre will be taking to the roads of Norfolk and Suffolk this Summer after a year of set-backs.
Catherine, who attended Great Yarmouth High School, worked in education, health and community spheres before returning to her first love of theatre in her sixties, enjoying a wide range of writing and acting roles.
Her play, Dulcie & Walter was snapped up by much-loved Norfolk theatre company fEAST for a 2020 tour before the twin blows of the pandemic and cancer diagnosis struck.
Catherine says: ‘I was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2020, just in time for lockdown, and am currently receiving treatment.’
With live theatre due to resume, the postponed production will finally be performed across Norfolk and Suffolk this summer with Catherine hoping to play the role of Dulcie for some performances and Suffolk-based actress Barbara Horne, a regular in Jill Freud’s Southwold Summer Theatre, taking the part for others.
‘My treatment has led to us revising the original plan for me to perform Dulcie throughout the tour. I am so pleased that Barbara has joined the company to hopefully enable me to perform at some venues and to share the tour.’ says Catherine ‘I am so grateful to fEAST and the company for their amazing support which is what gets us all through these difficult times.’
The play, Dulcie & Walter, is an intimate portrait of a couple approaching the end of their lives in a remote Norfolk farmhouse and is being produced by local theatre company fEAST, whose director Dawn Finnerty describes the piece as ‘a profound, life-affirming and hilarious play about the sacrifices women make, growing old and staying wild, and chewin’ the cud over a nice bowl of lamb stew.’ Catherine describes her characters as ‘reflecting a generation who Norfolk people will recognise for their humour, guts and storytelling. They’re a good ol’ gal and bor’. A generation that can seem unsentimental to current sensibilities, but who lived in respectful harmony with the land and animals and made full use of scarce resources. Dulcie is a ‘shocker’ but I think she is a force of nature!’