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 2021

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.

DATES of performances all in July:

Fri 9th (eve) Heigham Park

Sat 10th (eve) Waterloo Park

Sun 11th (mat) Ketts Heights

Thu 15th (eve) Heigham Park

Fri 16th (eve) Ketts Heights

Sat 17th (mat) Waterloo Park

Sat 17th (eve) Becketswell, Wymondham

Sun 18th (mat) Cow Tower

I’ve yet to confirm times but probably matinees will be 2-30pm and evenings 7pm.

DATES of rehearsals:

Rehearsals will begin on or around Sunday 6th June. All cast will be required for Sunday afternoon rehearsals, probably 1pm to 5pm, which will take place outside. These will be singing rehearsals and the group scenes. During the week we’ll meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, probably 7pm to 10pm. These will be indoors and will be smaller groups. We will observe whatever rules are in place to allow us to rehearse. We could even do six at a time in my garden. Who knows.

The week leading up to opening night will be more intense. Full runs of the show on Sunday July 4th in the afternoon and also the evenings of Monday 5th, Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th.


Esme Larner – (20s/f/minimal solo singing) Esme wants to stretch her wings and experience life. She does not want to end up like her mother.

Meggy Larner – (40+/f/sizeable singing role) Esme’s mum. After escaping a small Scottish island, she has spent her whole life gutting herring in Yarmouth. She is starting to question that decision.

Pru Larner – (teens/f/minimal solo singing) Esme’s sister. She wants to be a sailor. She can’t. It’s not fair.

Henry Larner – (20s/m) Esme’s brother. He doesn’t want to be a fisherman. If only he could tell his Dad.

Stan Larner – (40+/m/sizeable singing role) Esme’s dad. Constantly surprised by the women in his life. But he can rely on Henry, right?

Mharie Sinclair – (40+/f) Meggy’s sister. A woman of Orkney. Never uses several words where one or a hard stare will do. Loves a good cup of tea.

Effie Sinclair – (teens/f) Mharie’s elder daughter. Always happy to pile in with her fists. Loves a good cup of tea.

Eila Sinclair – (teens/f) Mharie’s younger daughter. Usually found making tea.

Jonet Flett – a herring girl with very good eyesight.

Liosa Flett – her sister, also a herring girl. Knows the tides like the back of her hand.

There are a great many other herring girls aged from 13 upwards. They are all quite hardy and love to knit.

Frannie Harpingdon – (30+/f) Once met Christabel Pankhurst. Just don’t refer to her as “my dear lady”.

Her friends:

Arabella – a romantic.

Caroline – who has a tendency to say the wrong thing.

Pip – who is desperate to get into politics.

Skipper – (40+/m) Skipper of the fishing boat Perseverance, Sam’s boss. Never one to back away from a hard decision.

Nate – (20+/m) Mate on the Perseverance. Below everyone except Henry.

There are four other fishermen to complete the crew of eight.

Meredith Blower – (40+/m) Boss of the largest herring curing company in Yarmouth.

Lizzie – (20+/f) Secretary to Meredith. A secret strike sympathiser.

Jack Goldman – (30+/m) Branch secretary of the Yarmouth union (TGWU).

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!

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!!

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