Rough Crossing Sails Into Norwich

Expect crossed wires, creative spats, romantic revelations and gales of laughter as an all-star cast brings the classic comedy Rough Crossing to the stage this Spring.

This new production of the Tom Stoppard favourite, which comes to Norwich Theatre Royal on March 25-30, tells the story of two famous playwrights stuck on board a New York-bound ocean liner frantically trying to rehearse their latest show before reaching land and opening night.

Those distractions include a composer who feels his life is over after discovering his lover has confessed her feelings for the show’s leading man, an absurdly unorthodox waiter, and a lifeboat drill, and the boat’s passage will be anything but calm.

Heading the all-star cast is John Partridge, who is best known to TV audiences for his role as Christian Clarke in EastEnders and also recently won Celebrity Masterchef. He is also no stranger to the stage having appeared in hit shows like Chorus Line, Chicago and La Cage Aux Folles, the latter two which toured to Norwich Theatre Royal.

Starring opposite him will be one of the brightest stars in the theatrical world, Charlie Stemp. The Olivier Award-nominated star will join the cast fresh from starring in Snow White at the London Palladium. His previous musical credits include Hello Dolly on Broadway opposite Bette Midler, the acclaimed West End run of Half A Sixpence, and he is set to play Bert in the 2019 revival of Mary Poppins.

The cast also features West End star Issy van Randwyck (Fascinating Aida), comedy stage and TV favourite Matthew Cottle (Game On, The Windsors, How The Other Half Loves at Norwich Theatre Royal), Rob Ostlere who played much-loved doctor Arthur Digby in the BBC’s Holby City, and Simon Dutton who memorably portrayed Simon Templar in the remake of The Saint.

It also boasts a strong creative team headed by director Rachel Kavanaugh whose previous credits include The Wind In The Willows at London Palladium, Half A Sixpence for Chichester Festival Theatre and a number of productions for the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. She is also a former Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

John Bultitude, of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “Tom Stoppard’s eye for characterization and unusual situations goes full steam ahead in this comedy hit. John Partridge’s flair at capturing character coupled with the chance to see Charlie Stemp’s energy and talent on stage and a strong supporting cast will make Rough Crossing a must-see in 2019.”

Rough Crossing is at Norwich Theatre Royal from Monday 25-Saturday 30 March at 7.30pm, and Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.

Tickets £10-£29.50. Discounts for Friends, Corporate Club, Over-60s, Under-18s and Groups. Captioned performance on Wed 27 March at 2.30pm.

To book, log onto or call the box office on 01603 630000.