Crude Apache summer show 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.

Rehearsals will begin in June. The eight performances will run over July 8th-11th and 15th-18th in parks around Norwich (Heigham, Waterloo, Ketts Heights and Cow Tower) and a performance at Becketswell, Wymondham. There will be no audition. Please contact me through the Crude Apache facebook page if you would like to be considered for a role. Rehearsals will be Sunday afternoons (outdoors!) and Monday and Wednesday evenings (indoors). I can’t promise everyone a meaty role but their are loads of really top ensemble scenes including Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, a shipwreck and The Strike. There are also five fabulous songs written by the amazing Tim Lane, and The Punch House Band will, of course, provide the music.

And I haven’t even mentioned Covid – oops.


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.

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

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

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

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.

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).

There are also other fisherman and herring girls. I’m holding off naming them all until I find out how many people are interested. But basically, men are fishermen, women are herring girls. They are always called herring girls even though they varied in age from around 13 to over 60. Most of them were Scottish. They loved to knit.

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!!

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.

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