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Wartime show by talented pupils

PUBLISHED: 08:42 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:03 07 July 2010

The cast of The Hired Man.

The cast of The Hired Man.

Talented youngsters in Dereham are getting ready to take to the stage in a musical about the lives of a farming and mining community during the decades that surrounded the first world war.

Talented youngsters in Dereham are getting ready to take to the stage in a musical about the lives of a farming and mining community during the decades that surrounded the first world war.

Budding actors and addresses from Northgate High and Dereham Sixth Form are this week starring in Melvyn Bragg's The Hired Man with songs by Howard Goodall.

It tells the story of Bragg's grandparents' journey from being land labourers to colliers and back to the land once more.

Jim Rymer, show director and head of productions at Northgate, said: “It is a very beautiful, fast-paced love story set against the backdrop of the tragedy of the first world war.”

About 60 students aged 11 to 18 are in the show and 20 are working backstage on props, costume and stage management.

Mr Rymer said the show was a good way to help the students understand a time period that is not often covered in history lessons and also help to give the youngsters experience of what it is like to work as theatre professionals.

Joe Phelps, 17, from Dereham Sixth Form and who is appearing in the show, said: “I have learnt so much about working life and mining conditions, and the first world war by doing the show. The show really helps you connect with the past.”

The Hired Man is at Northgate High every night at 7.30pm until Saturday.

Tickets cost £7 (£5 for under 18s and OAPs).

To book call 01362 655555.

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