Friday 4 August 2023

The Cemetery Club

Three Jewish widows get together each month and visit their respective husbands' graves. When widowed butcher Sam appears on the scene, their lives and relationships change...

Ivan Menchell's observant, witty, poignant and often hilarious play is presented by a group of Norwich's finest. Come and see what our audiences are enjoying so much.

Photography: Barry Parsons

"What a superb script and what a totally talented, completely believable trio of experienced actresses. A delight to watch and much to think about on the way home." Zanna

"Gosh, it was wonderfully thought provoking, both sad and difficult subject,  yet hilarious - the drunk scenes of the trio 😁😁😁. I know the New York they were referring to and what a joy for me to be reminded of it. Fabulous. Mazel tov!" Kathleen

"My goodness, what an amazing performance this afternoon with outstanding standing ovation from me, poignant moving play. From the beautiful Theatre, to Staff, Set, costumes (fur coat beautiful) back of house and acting in another league, loved you all xx" Carole

"Went this afternoon, absolutely brilliant performances by all cast members, particularly the ‘ad-lib’ from Ida* right at the beginning of this afternoon’s performance. Lots of laughter and some
tears too, loved it " Anita

"A really superb performance from this theatre team. Each character so well differentiated. The appearance of Sam could have upset this but instead what a nuanced actor! It can be hard to avoid overdoing American accents but these were just enough to make me feel as if I was in a NY theatre. A tribute to the playwright too that nothing felt overdone. A clever touch to subtly change the mantelpiece ornaments in Act 2. By the way was Ida's trip in the first scene accidental? If so - or if not! - she carried it off superbly*." Meg

*Note: Ida (Mandy Kiley) took a trip on a step during the matinee performance (the bruises were impressive!), but most members of the audience thought it was part of the action as she covered it so beautifully...

"Consistant quality acting from a superb cast. Well done once again Sewell Barn Theatre." Robin

"This play is well written, and is played with great competence and energy by this skilled cast directed by Claire Stretton. The set is one of the most impressive that I have seen at the Sewell Barn and as ever the players make full use of this atmospheric space. It is a play that I might have hesitated to go to as a customer, judging wrongly that I would not be interested in the content and context, but that would have been a big mistake." Julian Swainson - Norwich Eye (click here for full review)

"Saw this last night, great set, brilliant performance from all! Highly recommended." Jessica

"Hilarious, yet deeply moving. Your performances will stay with me. xx" Jen

"Really enjoyed Wednesday’s performance - congratulations to all involved." Shelagh

"This is a play of conversations and there are some witty exchanges in the back and forth between the three women, with all the cattiness of best friends – Claire Stretton’s direction keeps this sharp and pacey. There are several laugh out loud moments, especially in a later scene showing the aftermath of a drunken night out. Benfield and Tichborne demonstrate great range, as we find out more about their characters’ real lives and motivations. Ivan Menchell’s script doesn’t quite do enough to explain Ida’s journey, but Kiley brought a strong portrayal of her tentative steps back to romance." James Goffin - Cultivated UK (click here for full review)

"Very enjoyable evening back in the Sewell Barn Theatre, in the audience this time for The Cemetery Club. Go and see it if you can. Very touching and funny, great script and cast! Highly recommend!" Alison

"The key to the show was in the delivery, and thankfully the production was blessed with four experienced and skilled leads – Mandy Kiley, Julie Benfield, Gill Tichborne, and David White - each of an age to be credible as characters dealing with the loss of their partners in different manners. For the most part it was a wry, sardonic sort of comedy with the occasional smattering of poignancy, until a change of pace in the second half brought with it more raucous laughter and some desperately sad moments." East Anglian Theatre Podcast (click here for full review)

"Funny and moving in equal measure, with good performances all round. Well worth bagging a seat." Judi

"I must say I have found both my first time at the Sewell Barn and watching Menchell’s play a pleasant endeavour that left me concerned for my lack of knowledge that both existed! Congratulations should be handed to that cast, crew, director and theatre employees for an affordable and delighting night." Finley Little, The South Theatre Reviews (click here for full review)

"It's a delight." Charlotte

"Absolutely loved it. Take tissues for the final scene..." Alex