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Norwich Heart, Heritage Economic & Regeneration Trust

Singing the Postman


Singing the Postman - Crude Apache Theatre Co.

Eventbrite - Singing the Postman - Crude Apache Theatre Co.

Singing the Postman is a poignant musical comedy drama from Crude Apache Theatre Co.

Although born in Bury Lancashire, and later living in Lincolnshire and Grimsby, Allan Smethurst, the Singing Postman will be forever associated with his adopted home of Norfolk. He lived in Sheringham and Stiffkey, first coming to the county at the age of 2.

Rather than a straightforward biography it tells the tale of three Singing Postmen tribute acts, Billy, Terence and Geoff. By chance they meet in a pub one rainy night on their way to a Singing Postman Birthday Memorial Show in Framlington. Stranded by the bad weather and floods they are forced into each other's company and start to discuss their fascination with - and different takes on - this most singular of singer/songwriters.

Will they get to the gig? Will they resolve their differences? And will they find redemption through the wisdom of the Singing Postman?

Singing the Postman is a must see for any fans of Alan Smethurst, and an insight into his songs and life for those less familiar with this most unusual of songwriters.

Allan Smethurst was born in 1927, spent most of his formative years in Norfolk and loved the county. He was living in Yorkshire, working as a postman and homesick for the county when he began to write songs in a Norfolk dialect. These were comic, yet closely observed, songs about rural life. The subject matter ranged from the village cricket match and the ladies darts team to mass-produced food (Oi Can't Git A Noice Loaf). 

The songs came to the attention of various BBC Radio programmes including Women's Hour, Today and crucially a Norfolk based BBC presenter called Ralph Tuck who was keen to promote Smethurst and first dubbed him The Singing Postman.

Unable to secure record company interest Tuck decided to use his own money to record and press a 7” extended play vinyl record. This sold more than 10,000 copies in four months. At the time the EDP announced that the Singing Postman was outselling the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in Norfolk's record shops. In 1965 he shot to national fame with 'Hev Yew Gotta Loight Boy?' sung in his distinctive Norfolk dialect with guitar accompaniment. 

His new success shot him into the spotlight, leading to many television appearances, including Top of the Pops. He was signed to Parlophone Records, home to The Beatles, and seemed set for a lucrative career.

Singing The Postman is written by Crude Apache founder member Jo Edye and directed by Tim Lane. Jo commented 'I think we have managed to pay a tribute to Allan while also telling the stories of three very different people, all linked in some way to Allan's life. I hope the audience will get to find out more about him as seen through the eyes of the characters and they'll also get to hear seven of his songs'

Singing the Postman is a must see for any fans of Alan Smethurst, and an insight into his songs and life for those less familiar with this most unusual of songwriters.

Since their formation Crude Apache have presented over 50 accessible, affordable and entertaining plays in and around Norwich. Their members are drawn together by friendship, passion for theatre and a love for Norwich and the surrounding area. 

The play lasts 70 minutes.

Thursday 5th November, 8pm
Friday 6th November, 9pm
Saturday 7th November, 8pm

Tickets £8

Eventbrite - Singing the Postman - Crude Apache Theatre Co.