The joys of Sir Cliff Richard’s “Summer Holiday” are set to be brought to life in Suffolk and Norfolk this year as part of a laughter-filled production.
Summer Holiday, produced by Matthew Townshend Productions (mtp) as part of Theatre on the Coast 2022, will see actors perform in Reydon, Sheringham and Great Yarmouth to the backdrop of classics from the Cliff and the Shadows catalogue.
The show follows four bus mechanics from Hertfordshire who are inspired to take a double decker across Europe, where they are joined by members of a girl band.
A double decker bus, similar to that featured in the 1963 film of the same name, is set to make appearances with the actors along the East Anglian coastline throughout August.
Matthew said this year will be “bigger than ever” and has called on people to get involved.
He said: “Summer Holiday is approaching its 60th anniversary – it was a huge hit at the time and remains incredibly popular today.
“It is remembered with enormous affection. If you mention four young lads and a double decker bus, most people – even those much younger – will start singing ‘We’re all going on a summer holiday!’.
“The show will transport people back to a more innocent age, days of real optimism and hope – and days when a holiday to the seaside to watch entertainers such as Sir Cliff were a real treat.
“What could be a better fit than celebrating the iconic British summer holidays on the beautiful east coast?”
The bumper plans come after a turbulent period for Theatre on the Coast, which was on the brink of folding due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Battered by Covid, the production company was saved by more than 140 generous benefactors who raised in excess of £8,000 in donations to keep it alive. mtp also received £33,000 in support from Arts Council England’s Cultural Regeneration Fund at the end of 2021.
Matthew added: “’Summer Holiday’ will be the perfect opportunity for people to come together and embrace the revival of local theatre.
“It is a really great feel-good, family summer, sunny show.
“The songs are clever – they are very funny, very catchy and they will get you dancing.
“We have been hoping to expand to Norfolk, developing an association with the well-established Sheringham Little Theatre, since we first launched in 2019. This is the way we need to survive, sharing work up and down the east coast.”
“Summer Holiday”, sponsored by Original Cottages, will begin just outside Southwold from August 9, with five nights of shows at the new Big Barn Theatre (at Old Hall Farm and Maize Maze, Reydon).
The Bachelor Boy and the gang will then cross the border for five nights at Sheringham Little Theatre from August 16, before a final five nights at St George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth in time for the bank holiday weekend.
Each venue will also hold a matinee performance.