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Music, mirth and murder in Frinton this summer

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That perhaps-surprisingly long-running West End hit, Yasmina Reza’s Art in the Christopher Hampton translation opens this year’s Frinton summer theatre season on 10 July. It run, as do all the other plays being presented by Connaught Productions, for just a week and is followed by something of a first for the theatre under its present management – the Tom Lehrer tribute show Tomfoolery! – in a co-production with Eastern Angles. This opens on 17 July.

Theatre programming is never an exact science, and certain plays by popular authors seem to have the essence of "flavour of the month" about them. Two of the three Ayckbourn's Norman Conquests are up the coast in Norfolk this summer; Round and Round the Garden is in Frinton with a different in-house production for the week of 24 July.

It’s followed by a double-bill; Agatha Christie’s The Rats is paired with John Mortimer’s Knightsbridge to give an evening of murder and misunderstandings between 31 July and 4 August. Tim Firth’s Sign of the Times, under several titles, has never achieved the popularity of his Calendar Girls; you can see it and make up your own mind about why this is so from 7 to 11 August.

Patrick Marlowe is a local actor and playwright, several of whose dramas have been premiered at this theatre. This season sees Good Intentions, at least as far as the Stock Market is concerned (14 to 18 August). The summer programme concludes between 21 and 25 August with Charley’s Aunt by Brandon Thomas, also a play with East Anglian connexions, as it was given its copywriting performance, appropriately enough on 29 February in the leap year of 1892.


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