We Will Stand – a show by Crude Apache

In 1936 thousands of women endured low pay and harsh conditions packing herring in the yards of Great Yarmouth. This is the story of how those women took on the fishing industry to fight for fair wages. We Will Stand  is a tale of female empowerment and seafaring history told in Crude Apache’s signature energetic style: triumph and tragedy sit alongside humour and song. Join us outdoors for this free family show, bring a blanket and a picnic and join the protest!

Full dates are:

Fri 24th June Heigham Park, Norwich 7-30pm

Sat 25th June Waterloo Park 2-30pm

Sat 25th June Becketswell, Wymondham 7-30pm

Sun 26th June Ketts Heights, Norwich 2-30pm

Thurs 30th June Heigham Park, Norwich 7-30pm

Fri 1st July Waterloo Park, Norwich 7-30pm

Sat 2nd July Town Walls, Blackfriars Rd, Great Yarmouth 2-30pm

Sun 3rd July Cow Tower, Norwich 2-30pm



This year we will stage We Will Stand after its postponement from last year. The show is the story of a massive strike by Yarmouth’s herring girls in 1936. These women took on the establishment to demand better conditions for themselves and their families. It’s a great local story. In Crude Apache style, we have woven into it a tale of family conflict and added a few original songs by the fabulous Tim Lane.

On SUNDAY 1st MAY at 2pm we will hold a read through of the script and informal audition at Wensum Community Centre, Hotblack Road, Norwich.

There are many roles available and we are also seeking help backstage and in production roles. Please come along if you are interested. All welcome.

Norfolk Arts Awards…again

Despite a fallow year and a half (we haven’t really done anything since the wildly successful ‘At the Turning of the Tide’ at the Maddermarket in February 2020, pictured) we have been nominated for the ‘EDP Peoples Choice’ award at the prestigious Norfolk Arts Awards this October.

It’s a public vote, and we’re up for ‘Best Large Organisation’.

The link to vote via the EDP website is here:

And here’s a few reasons why we’re so great!

Crude Apache have been entertaining audiences for the last 28 years with their energetic performances of classics from Shakespeare to Wesker and Dylan Thomas, little known gems such as Peter Bellamy’s folk opera ‘The Transports’ and their own unique brand of local historic story-telling, celebrating the lives of people as diverse as Robert Kett, Billy Bluelight and the incomparable bard Allan Smethurst, known to most as The Singing Postman.Crude Apache have built their success on being able to call on a massive base of collaborators ncorporating the best local acting, writing, directing and musical talent.Their last show, ‘At the Turning of the Tide’, celebrated the great trading wherries of the Norfolk Broads and sold out the Maddermarket theatre for five memorable nights, an amazing achievement for a completely local story written and directed by a local writer and theatre producer. Plans for the future are now being worked on, with an outdoor touring production next summer in conjunction with the Catton Grove Community Partnership telling the story of the Great Yarmouth Herring Girls strike of 1936, and in 2023  will be working with the estate of Ewan MacColl to bring a version of his radio ballad ‘Singing the Fishing’ to the Maddermarket stage – the history of the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Herring fishing industry told through the voices and music of those who were there.Crude Apache have been telling stories since 1994, and intend to continue to do so.


Summer Show Plans Dashed

I’m very sad to announce the postponement of our summer show “We Will Stand”. The extension of Covid restrictions meant that performing was just impossible. Moving it back a few weeks or couple of months is also problematic due to holiday plans and other commitments. We have decided to carry it over until next summer.

There is some good news however. Plans are afoot for a small project in the autumn – Covid permitting. Further details will follow shortly. Suffice to say, at some point, eventually, we will return to you.

Can’t wait.


The Crude Apache summer production 2022

In 1936 the women who worked in Yarmouth’s herring curing industry went on strike. For three days tonnes of fish rotted on the quaysides until the curing companies agreed to negotiate with the women. This event will form the background for our summer show 2021. The production explores the changing relationships between our hero, Esme Larner, and the other women in her life. Her mum, Meggy, came to Yarmouth from Orkney when she fell in love with a local fisherman. Her sister, Prudence, is desperate to sail but tradition dictates that women are unlucky at sea. Her employer Frannie Harpingdon is an ex-suffragette keen for women to play an equal role in the labour movement.

Contemporary sources suggest the women had no leaders or ways of organising. However, hundreds of women in Yarmouth and Lowestoft stood together against the large curing companies; seven of those women signed an agreement with management to end the strike. I have to disagree with contemporary sources. I cannot discover the names of those seven women and few details of the strike have survived. This show is my attempt to bring their almost forgotten story to a wider audience. It is, of course, highly embellished by my imagination.

At the Turning of the Tide

Crude Apache in association with the Maddermarket Theatre present ‘At the Turning of the Tide’, written and directed by Jo Edye and Panda Monium, with musical direction by Tim Lane
The mid-nineteenth century, and the white heat of industrialization is ripping apart the country.
As new technology drives the unrelenting progress, standing in the way is not an option.
At the Turning of the Tide tells the story of one family caught up in this maelstrom.
On the wide open landscapes of the Norfolk Broads, and unchanged for a hundred years, the working wherries ply the waterways from Norwich to Yarmouth, Acle and Wroxham and all the towns and villages in between, bringing and taking the barrels and bales and bricks and coal and all the lifeblood of the people who belong to this wide open, desolate landscape.
This is the story of their heartaches, triumphs, losses and disasters.
Based on Crude Apache’s critically acclaimed summer show which toured the Norfolk Broads outdoors last summer, with music by Tim Lane and The Punch House Band, the play has been re-written and re-designed to fit in the intimate surrounding of Norwich’s historic Maddermarket theatre.

Open auditions

Crude Apache at the Maddermarket

Following the success of last summers outdoor tour, we are reviving At the Turning of the Tide to fit in the Maddermarket Theatre in January next year.

This is a play with songs, rehearsals starting gently in October, and getting more intensive as we get closer. January will be pretty full on.

Performance dates are the week commencing 20th January until Saturday 25th.

The mid nineteenth century, and on the wide open landscape of the Norfolk Broads the working wherries ply their trade.
From Norwich and Yarmouth they carry the barrels and bales and bricks and coal to and from the people who belong to the villages of this desolate landscape.
Now into this timeless place comes a new technology which brings prosperity but also change. And for some the change is not welcome.
This play tells the story of one family caught up in this decisive time, their triumphs and disasters, their hopes and fears.
Based on the critically acclaimed show which toured the Broads last summer, the play has been re-designed to fit the intimate surrounding of the Maddermarket theatre.

Main Characters (ages are rough playing ages)

Toby ‘Stan’ Stannard, Skipper of the Wherry ‘Perseverance’ – male 40 – 50
Jenny Stannard (nee Bell), his wife – female – 40 – 50
Victoria Stannard, his daughter – female – 14 – 30
Albert Stannard, his son – male – 14 – 30
Maggie, a landlady and businesswoman – female 25 – 50
Lachlan McCleod, her minder – male – 20 – 40
Finlay McLeod, his brother – male – 20 -40
Charles Montague, a surveyor – male – 20 – 40

Other parts

Millicent Hardiman, a lady – female – 30 – 50
PH Emerson, a renowned photographer – male – 30 – 60
Bob, a boatyard owner – male – 30 – 60
Jack, a wherryman – male – 30 – 60

and other parts to be played by members of the cast

Audition Dates – all 7:30 – 9pm – The Shoe Factory Social Club, St. Mary’s works, St. Mary’s Plain, NR3 3AF

Monday 2nd September
Tuesday 3rd September
Monday 9th September
Tuesday 10th September
Monday 23rd September (Venue TBC)
Tuesday 24th September (Venue TBC)

Auditions will be in a workshop format.

Please email me or call and let me know your details and the dates you can do and I will schedule you into one.
07867 882 304

The Crude Apache 25th Anniversary Event

on sale from the 1st May – tickets for the event of the year:

AGM and Xmas Party!!

Saturday December the 8th will be the date for the annual Crude Apache AGM and knees up – venue TBA, AGM from 7, more details as we get them!

%d bloggers like this: