It began as a series of conversations less than a year ago. Then following the nose on ideas which lead to larger meetings. Larger and LARGER. From the sitting room to the bar at NAC. (That really is larger)

Then we had researchers and a division of labour happened. I‘d hoped it wasn’t going to be quite so cut and dry and indeed a good thing is that we, the participants, can throw our pen-ny worth in as the rehearsals are cranked out and the whole fabulous engine begins to take motion. Sometimes I feel a steam punk influence creak in, anything and everything can be used, adapted, upcycled to an alien perfection; other times we just skid on the banana skin and take a turn with panto.

…And it works.

I was involved at the research stage along with others. I really enjoyed discovering things I had no prior info on. Such as that footprint from 950,000 BCE, or John Dee’s library, or the wild vibrancy of the 17th century coffee shops. I had a slant. Non-conformism.

Others looked up the arrival of the Huguenots, the arrival of other visitors who stayed and who impacted Norwich (mustn’t give too much away) and bringing it up to date with Chilean and Uganda refugees’ own verbatim accounts.

CYI is about our history and about our now. It’s a universal marriage but this one’s set in Norwich.

Being in the play is about to get sweaty. Rehearsals come thick and fast: music rehearsal, scene rewrite, more rehearsal….Learn your lines is the mantra. The heat is on. Some swear by a ‘learn your line’ app, I’m in the old school. Keep chanting (and hoping!). Got a bit more time…?? can get scary. Let go of my script? Wah?? I’m still clinging onto it as a fake safety net. However, deadline is 11th June.

Everybody in the show is a volunteer. That’s priceless really and there’s a bank of goodwill which is currently in credit. There will be tears. Right now, we’re all still in the preamble. It’s cosy, but I’m aware that crazy June has arrived and she’s flashing her smile at us all.