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100% Norfolk – Theatre Royal, Norwich

Director: Emma Bernard

Reviewer: James Clark

[rating:4]

This is an ambitious and engaging community centred production focused around the very people who represent different boroughs in Norfolk, with various age ranges, from children through to Betty Hodges at 83. A little sceptical before the curtain lifted, I immediately became enthralled in the lives of the cast and before I knew it 90 minutes were up and the curtain was closing.

100% Norfolk is brought to us as part of the Norfolk &Norwich Festival by Rimini Protokoll, who have received international acclaim for their documentary approach to theatre and this is part of a continuing project including; 100% Berlin, 100% Vienna and 100% Vancouver.

With a cast of one hundred, the first 45 minutes are given to each member introducing themselves and revealing something about their lives in the form of an object that represents them. This is politely achieved one person at a time and some of what you hear is touching, funny and upsetting. It feels like a very personal and brave moment for some, combined with raw emotion that can be difficult to put across. It is like meeting 100 people one at a time and finding out about something that really mattered to them.

100% Norfolk uses statistics to identify the unique differences between us all. It manages to do this in a way that doesn’t come across as boring to those who aren’t lovers of mathematics by completely focusing on real, every day, and in this case Norfolk, people that we meet and mix with while going about our everyday lives.

You may not be comfortable about all the topics quickly introduced, but it is interesting to see which side of the stage the cast will run to too agree or disagree with a statement, which allows you to think about where your own morals, thoughts, ideals and concepts lie.

With such a large cast it is a great shame not to have the room to mention everyone here, but well done to the entire cast of 100% Norfolk.

If you have a curious nature and wonder what goes on in the life of your neighbours and those that you see a round you in your everyday life then this is a really good place to begin.

Runs until: Saturday 19 May

 

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