Dereham Theatre Company


Tickets now on sale for Sleeping Beauty!

Telephone 01362 288 124

Bright & Beautiful Flowers
3A Wellington Road, Dereham
NR19 2BP

Dereham Memorial Hall, where most of our productions are performed

Dereham Theatre Company (formerly Dereham Operatic Society) is a charitable Trust and was formed in 1948 to offer the local community education and enlightenment in amateur dramatic arts. A very grand way of saying that we were formed to entertain the people of Dereham and Norfolk!

Our Shakespearian motto "Mere folk who give distraction are we" comes from Cole Porter's musical "Kiss Me Kate", which we first performed in 1970, and is based upon one of William Shakespeare's most famous plays "The Taming of the Shrew".

We stage three productions a year (not including the productions of our youth group) including a major musical in the autumn, a pantomime over the Christmas period and a play in the spring.  There is something for everyone!

If you are looking to join one of the premier operatic and dramatic societies in Norfolk as either a performer (we actively encourage all whatever your ability or experience, whether you are a singer, an actor, dancer, or just enjoy being on stage), backstage helper, front of house staff or just looking to purchase some tickets for our next show ........ you need look no further; Welcome to our website.

Quick Contacts


Rehearsal Studio
The Studio
Rear of Dereham Memorial Hall
62 Norwich Street
East Dereham
Norfolk, NR19 1AD
All queries should be directed
through our Facebook Page 

Hi-de-Hi Members' Page

Director - Trevor Thurston


Weds 14th and 21st Nov - Read-throughs 7:30pm at The Studio.
Saturday 24th Nov - Auditions 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 3:30pm
Sun 3rd March (9am to 10pm) - Get In
Mon 4th March - Technical Rehearsal
Weds 6th March - Dress Rehearsal
Thurs 7th to Sat 9th March - Performances
Sun 10th March - Get Out

Please note that all cast will be required to pay the following:

  • Acting Membership Fee (Adults £25) - payable at first rehearsal (unless already paid for the current year), AND;
  • £15.00 Show Fee, AND;
  • £10.00 Script Fee  
To submit your audition application form and access the on-line audition pieces, please click here.  


Hi-de-Hi was a TV series set in a fictitious holiday camp ‘Maplins’ in the 1950s.  It reflected the popular holiday camps started in the 1930s by Billy Butlin who created them to ensure that ordinary folk could have a week or so away from the drudgery of work with all entertainment and food supplied together with a chalet to sleep in.  In other words an all-inclusive holiday.

Bearing in mind there were no electronic games to amuse the population, healthy games and competitions were the order of the day and the staff were responsible for organising all events.  In our play those responsible are the Yellow Coats led by Gladys and supervised by Jeffrey, the manager.  Each character, in their own way contributes to hilarious happenings throughout the play.

A visit to YouTube will give some indication of the characters involved but I set out some hints below.

All ages quoted are acting ages!

Size of role indicates time on stage; not necessarily the amount of script to learn.

There is no necessity to learn the audition pieces (but you will perform better if you do!).  Attention should be paid to expression and characterisation.

- Trevor

Please note - any references to "Yellow coats" in the audition pieces (and any other future correspondence) relates only to the characters Betty, Gary, Dawn, Tracy and Sylvia.

GLADYS PUGH Large role. Aged 25 -30 years The senior yellow coat responsible to and fancies her boss, the manager, Jeffrey. Must have a pronounced Welsh accent. Bossy.
JEFFREY FAIRBROTHER Large role. Aged 30 - 40 years The Entertainments Manager. Well-spoken. A somewhat gullible person and ‘mothered’ by Gladys and Peggy. Despite the diversity of his team he tries to run an efficient camp. Must be able to act the ‘drunk’.  Imitates Northern accent at times. 
PEGGY OLLERENSHAW Large role. Aged 25 – 30 years Cleaner who longs to become a yellow coat. Not the brightest of people but willing to please so much so that she is a bit of a dogsbody.  However she is a character that the audience just love.  Lancasdhire or Northern accent
TED BOVIS Large role. Aged 30 – 55 The camp comedian and compare. Full of himself and a somewhat dubious character not being adverse to the odd fiddle.  Traditionally of large build but not necessarily so but a northern accent would be helpful. Has an ex-wife Hilary who brings a bailiff to support her claim for alimony.
SPIKE DIXON Medium role. Aged 35 – 55 Big mate of Ted. First appears as a dustbin.
FRED QUILLY Medium role. Aged 40 + Appears as a jockey. Looks after the camp's horses.
MR. PARTRIDGE Medium role. 60 + years Punch and Judy Man. In trouble for belting a child round the ear. Taciturn – origins in Music Hall.
YVONNE STUART-HARGREAVES Medium role. Aged 30-55 years A snobbish well-spoken exhibition Ballroom Dancer who considers her employment much beneath her station. Married to Barry.
BARRY STUART-HARGREAVES Medium role. Aged 30 – 55 years Dancing partner and married to Yvonne. Rather precious.
SYLVIA GARNSEY Medium role. Aged 18-25 All yellow coats are medium roles but only a few lines although lots of time on stage. Maybe required to sing and dance a simple routine.
BETTY WHISTLER Medium role. Aged 18-25 As per description for Sylvia (above)
TRACEY BENTWOOD Medium role. Aged 18-25 As per description for Sylvia (above)
GARY BOLTON Medium role. Aged 18-25 As per description for Sylvia (above)
DAWN FRESHWATER Medium role. Aged 18-25 As per description for Sylvia (above)
HILARY BOVIS Small role, aged 30-55 Divorced wife of Ted.
BAILIFF Very small role.  Aged 30 – 50 Well spoken. Very small role which may be doubled with Mr Pritchard.
MR. PRITCHARD Small role, Aged 30 – 50 Metropolitan Police Officer on holiday.  Small role which may be doubled with the Bailiff.


October 2018

Diary Dates

Sleeping Beauty
27th Dec 2018 - 1st Jan 2019
Dereham Memorial Hall


2019 Spring Play

7th - 9th March 2019
Dereham Memorial Hall


2019 Autumn Musical

1st - 5th October 2019
Dereham Memorial Hall