The Norfolk & Norwich Operatic Society returns to Norwich Theatre Royal from January 31 to February 4, 2017, with the fabulously wicked musical comedy The Witches of Eastwick.
The NNOS last trod the Theatre Royal boards in January this year with Sunset Boulevard, a story which exposes the dark side of fame, and now they are returning to the ‘dark side’ once again with a tale of a devil-ishly attractive man and three beautiful women who are caught in his magical web.
The Witches of Eastwick began life as a John Updike novel published in 1984. Its success quickly led to a movie version released in 1987 starring Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer and Cher as the three witches, alongside Jack Nicholson as the devilish Darryl Van Horne. Sold using the tagline ‘Three beautiful women; one lucky devil’, the film was a big hit and was nominated for several Oscars.
Courtesy of musical impresario Cameron Mackintosh, The Witches of Eastwick the musical opened in July 2000 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane with Ian McShane (of Lovejoy fame) taking the leading role of Darryl Van Horne. With songs such as Make Him Mine, The Glory of Me, Loose Ends and Something, it has since flown further afield to charm audiences internationally and at home, including a UK Tour in 2008-2009 which opened at Norwich Theatre Royal and starred Marti Pellow in the lead role.
The action takes place in the late 1950s in a quintessentially sleepy and uptight New England town called Eastwick, with suburban streets, bored women, inadequate men and unhappy marriages hidden behind closed doors. So when the devilish Mr Darryl Van Horne arrives in town the excitement and intrigue begins. Seducing each of the women in turn, he teaches them how to expand their powers though a new unorthodox lifestyle which scandalizes the town.
The Norfolk & Norwich Operatic Society production will see Darryl played by Terry Boast, and in the roles of the (not so wicked but naughty) witches are Andrea Ferguson as Sukie, Kathryn White as Jane and Claire Chandler as Alex.
Terry Boast is a Norwich admin assistant by day but in his spare time has worked with Mixed Voice, Limelight Studios, Spooky Kid
Productions and Knightshift Dance Company. He has most recently been seen by Norwich audiences in West Side Story at The Playhouse in August (2016) and the highlight of his theatrical pursuits to-date has been meeting Hollywood film director Ron Howard after working on his feature film RUSH.
Andrea Ferguson is well-known to NNOS audiences. She joined the society in 1993 and has been in everything from Barnum, Carousel and 42nd Street, to Hello Dolly, Sweeney Todd and Anything Goes. A menswear personal stylist for John Lewis, Norwich, where she has worked for 25 years, she was selected as a teenager to perform at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane as a solo dancer with Alvin Stardust.
Kathryn White first came to Norwich to study English Literature at the UEA and has lived here for nearly ten years. An office and project manager for a local creative design consultancy, she has been involved with Threshold Theatre Company and The Witches of Eastwick will be only her second performance with NNOS, having appeared in their 2014 production Anything Goes.
Claire Chandler hails from near Cromer and attended Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead and then RADA in London. She is a director of her family’s business, Ivy Farm Holiday Park at Overstrand, and has performed in many productions with the Cromer & Sheringham Operatic Society, including playing Nancy in Oliver. She is looking forward to her very first show with the NNOS.
With rousing songs and lots of visual effects, including the witches taking flight, the show promises a magical evening for audiences. It contains scenes of an adult nature and therefore is recommended for age 14+.
The show runs from Tuesday, January 31, to Saturday, February 4, at 7.30pm nightly with 2.30pm matinees on Thursday and Saturday. Tickets cost from £7 to £21.50 and are available now.