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!


At the Turning of the Tide – performance at Hoveton

If you are planning on seeing the performance at Hoveton, the meeting place is the Broads Authority Tourist information centre on Station Road, postcode NR12 8UR.
There will be stewards there to guide you to the actual performance area which is on the river.
There’s plenty of parking at Roy’s car park, although you should really buy something, so arrive early and get something to drink and eat there.


At the Turning of the Tide

Some rehearsal photos for the show, we open Thursday 5th at Wymondham!!

At the Turning of the Tide

Crude Apache present ‘At the Turning of the Tide’, a high energy show full of music, tears and laughter. The show tells the story of the Norfolk Wherries, the great trading vessels of the Broads, which reached their heyday in the mid nineteenth century before suffering a terminal decline with the arrival of the steam railways.

Set in the second half of the nineteenth century and told through the lives of one family, the tale follows the heartaches, triumphs, losses and disasters of the river folk of Norwich and Norfolk.

Accompanied by music from The Punch House band, the sixty minute show is suitable for all the family – bring a blanket or something to sit on, a picnic and a drink and enjoy a trip back in time to witnees some of our most poignant and fascinating heritage.

The Transports nominated for ‘The Peoples Choice’ award at the Norfolk Arts Awards

We’re hoping to get our production of The Transports nominated for the Peoples Choice award at the Norfolk Arts Awards.
Firstly, if you haven’t seen it you must go, it’s a really great show, and fully deserving we think.
Dates and venues are below, and please help us by following the link below and nominating us.

The Transports outdoors!

Crude Apache Transports3The Transports – Norfolk’s Folk Opera

After the massive success of their production in Dragon Hall in 2013, Norwich’s Crude Apache Theatre company are proud to announce a new, outdoor touring production of Peter Bellamy’s legendary folk-opera The Transports – in the Parks and open spaces of Norwich and Norfolk during August.

Originally a 1977 ‘concept album’ that topped all that years folk charts and ‘best of’ polls, The Transports was perhaps the most important work by the influential Norwich based Bellamy. It featured such folk luminaries as Mike and Norma Waterson, Dave Swarbrick, June Tabor and Martin Carthy and in recent years has been included in Mojo magazine’s Top 100 recordings of the 20th Century and the BBC’s Best folk Albums of the 20th Century.

The Transports tells the true story of Henry Kabel and Susannah Holmes. In 1783 they were both convicted of petty theft, imprisoned in Norwich Castle and sentenced to transportation as part the first fleet of convicts to be transported to the new world.

The couple married and prospered in the new world. In an inspiring story of offender rehabilitation Henry made a fortune from sealing and whaling, founded a mail service in Australia and went on to become the Colony’s first Chief Constable. His dynasty survives today and many of his descendants travel from Australia to visit Norwich and its castle where their ancestors were incarcerated.

The very first live production of The Transports took place in Norwich Castle in 1978 and it has since been performed at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Bracknell Festival and at the 1991 Whitby Festival as a memorial to Peter who had shocked and baffled his family and friends when he took his own life that year.

Now Crude Apache, under musical director Tim Lane and Director Panda Monium will recreate The Transports for a modern audience with a cast of 10 singers and 12 musicians.

This new hour long production will add a theatricality to the work and a modern feel to the music without losing the spirit and soul of Peter Bellamy’s remarkable and timeless original.

Performance dates:

Thurs 3rd August – Heigham Park – 7-30pm
Sat 5th August – Whiffler Theatre, Castle Gardens – 7-30pm
Sunday 6th August – Whiffler Theatre, Castle Gardens – 2.30pm
Thurs 10th August – Visitor Centre, Whittlingham Country Park – 7-30pm
Fri 11th August – Becketswell, Wymondham – 7-30pm
Saturday 12th August – The Locks Inn, Geldeston – 7-30pm
Sunday 13th August – Kett’s Heights – 2.30pm

All performances are free – bring something to sit on and a picnic

Jo Edye nominated for Norfolk Arts Award

Jo Edye has been nominated for the Theatre Award at the Norfolk Arts Awards in October.
Jo co-founded Crude Apache in 1994.
Writing, directing and producing, he cut his teeth with ‘The Street’, the story of Norwich’s Argyle Street squat, and ‘Singing the Postman’, about Norfolk musician Allan Smethurst.
Based at Norwich’s iconic Dragon Hall, he directed a string of acclaimed productions – ‘Under Milk Wood’ (2011), Arnold Wesker’s ‘Roots’ (2012), Peter Bellamy’s ‘The Transports’ (2013), ‘Macbeth’ (2014), and George F. Walkers ‘Zastrozzi’. (2016).
He was the driving force behind Crude Apache’s recent season at The Shoe Factory Social Club – a dystopian ‘Richard the Third’ and a politically charged revival of Howard Brenton’s ‘Magnificence’.
Jo is currently writing a play charting the history of the Broads Wherries.

Magnificence by Howard Brenton

Crude Apache presents “MAGNIFICENCE” a play by Howard Brenton.
Wednesday 7th – Saturday 10th June 2017 at 7.30pm. The Shoe Factory Social Club, St. Marys Plain, Norwich NR33AF

A radical new revival of this 1970’s masterpiece by Crude Apache, Norwich’s up close and personal theatre company. Performed amid the stark, industrial backdrop of The Shoe Factory Social Club, “Magnificence” examines what form protest should take and whether violent protest can be meaningful, with a darkly comic edge which will appeal to today’s generation as much as those who lived through the squats and protests of the late seventies.

Read the reviews:




Looking back on a successful 2016 and forward to a busy 2017.

Richard III was a huge critical success, despite keeping the audience in freezing conditions for 3 hours with only mulled wine and hope to sustain them, everyone loved the show.

We managed to donate £147.42 to the homeless charity Emmaus, for which they were very grateful, and still ended up with a small surplus of just over £100. So well done to all involved.

Upcoming in 2017 we have, first up, Tom Francis directing Howard Brenton’s play ‘Magnificence’ at the Shoe Factory in June. In advance of auditions for this, we are planning a read through of the play on Friday 13th January (at a venue to be finalised)

All are welcome, but please email Tom Francis ( to let him know if you want to come along.

Auditions themselves will be held towards the end of February.

Later in the summer Tim Lane and Panda will be taking charge of a new production of ‘The Transports’, to be performed as an outdoors tour in August. Details of auditions etc to follow.

We have a few other bits and pieces bubbling under, including a possible devised show based on a stash of playscripts donated by a random taxi driver and the possibility of a sponsorship deal with a local business.

We will have our AGM at 8pm on Tuesday 10th January at Jurnets bar at Wensum Lodge in Norwich, as ever, all are welcome, and anyone wishing to stand for the committee should email me (

Have a lovely Xmas everyone, and hope to see lot’s of you in the new year

Review from Outline Magazine

I tend to wear a little velvet number to the theatre, not tights, leggings, thermal socks, a vest top, a long sleeved top, a jumper, a coat, a hat, a blanket and gloves. But tonight I’m in The Shoe Factory Social Club, an abandoned show factory on St Mary’s Plain – it’s quickly become Norwich’s newest and most avant-garde performance spaces. Warned in advance that heating would be limited, I prepped properly for a cold November night. Me and my date (a pink hot water bottle) were welcomed warmly, and we joined the 30 strong audience in the basic and harsh surroundings of the Shoe Factory.

Richard III was written by Shakespeare around 1592, based on a king who lived in the late 1400’s. This production, by Norwich’s longstanding Crude Apache theatre company was set in a post-industrial world which suited the cold, raw space perfectly. With graffitied sheets, cardboard boxes, pallets and rubbish creating the scenery, scenes being changed by the cast moving wire fences into different configurations, and costumes the absolute opposite of traditional Shakespearean dress (jeans, trainers, leggings and hoodies) this was a really exciting way for me to see Richard III for the first time.

This is a portrayal of how an anti hero rises, through means of corruption, spin and back stabbing to become King of England. Back in the 1400’s the upper classes, and certainly royalty, were so busy marrying, killing, calling for henchmen and having covert conversations in candlelit anti-rooms about other people that they didn’t really have time to think about what a king should actually be doing, like making laws and trying to avoid war. They made the absolute most of the huge amount of power they held, and often, to be fair, majorly fucked it up as a result.

Russell J Turner is our Richard III, on a crutch, with a crooked back, a long leather coat and a weather beaten face, filled with bitterness, avarice and stone cold determination. He’s mesmorising, and brilliant, and his utter unsuitability for the job of king is made even more clear from his unimposing look, including his crown worn on top of a black beanie. His presence, however, is terrifying, menacing and frighteningly unfeeling. But he’s also funny at times, with some witty asides, and in a way I can’t help but like him – literally getting away with murder from beginning to end (not that he ever gets his own hands dirty, using some creepy, drugged up droog-like henchmen as well as full on baseball bat wielding muscle when needed), his sheer insouciance is, weirdly, a delight.

The first section before the interval saw Richard getting rid of annoying potential adversaries, the second his rise to power through the power of spin from his mate Lord Buckingham, and the third his failure to maintain power, mainly because he doesn’t know how to keep it, and really doesn’t want it anyway – having dispatched almost every man (including the two young princes – you know, the ones in the tower) in the play, his only remaining buddy is a henchman. That’s never a good situation to be in. And then of course, there’s the battle royale at the end, with the classic “My horse! My horse! My kingdom for a horse” line.

The acting is outstanding throughout. Absolutely outstanding. I am gripped, taut and engaged – not always easy when sitting still and freezing cold for nearly four hours. Special mention must go to the women in this company – Melanie Fiander, Joanna Swan and Jenny Belsey moved between their various roles with ease and credence. This play is interesting in that women play a major role, acting as moral adversaries to Richard’s ridiculous manipulations – mentioning that your daughter’s unlikely to want to marry a guy who’s already killed her dad and two brothers seems obvious, but not so much to Richard. Their grief, despair and the fact that they are actually the only characters to stand up to him and speak their minds make the women stronger than the men in this story, and yet their lives are the most destroyed as they have the least power. These three actors were the heart of this play, and played their roles with heartbreaking strength.

I heartily recommend you catch Richard III while you still can. I found being cold added another element to the performance that made it more challenging but ultimately more immersive. Gritty, powerful and innovative, it’s certainly a night I’ll never forget, certainly for the unusual setting but more for the superb performance. You’ll be seeing my open mouthed face in the audience for all future productions, Crude Apache.

In the current climate of political upheaval and the unexpected rise of a man like Donald Trump, who appears to be more interested in power, money and fame than looking after his citizens, and the fear of what that might mean for the rest of our world, the story of a king who lived over 600 years ago doesn’t seem so distant or historical after all. The scary thing is that Donald Trump is a distant cousin of Richard III. True fact. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself because if it does we’re all in big trouble – although any henchmen looking for jobs will be in luck.

Lizz Page, Outline Magazine

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