Viva presents Prime Time Murder in Soham

PUBLISHED: 11:01 03 October 2011

Viva Theatre in Soham

Viva Theatre in Soham

Not only will you be kept on the edge of your seat trying to guess the identity of the killer in this exciting whodunit taking place 19th-21st October, but you will also be expected to join in with the action too

IF you go to watch the award-winning Viva Theatre Company’s latest production, ‘Prime Time Murder’, don’t expect to just sit back and relax.

Not only will you be kept on the edge of your seat trying to guess the identity of the killer in this exciting whodunit taking place 19th-21st October, but you will also be expected to join in with the action too.

You’ll actually play the part of the studio audience watching a recording of the game show ‘If The Cap Fits’ when things take a turn for the macabre. You’ll even get to decide which contestant gets the ‘Cap’ – but not the chop!

The thriller – which will be performed in Soham before moving to Exning for the final night - has been written especially for the group by acclaimed actor and playwright, Michael Burrell, who has written for the Royal Shakespeare Company and has won many plaudits for his work.

This is his second collaboration with Viva, the first being “The Fen Treasure Surprise” which he wrote and directed for the junior arm of the company, the Viva Youth Theatre, back in 2003. He also wrote ‘The Narrow Escape’, a play marking the 50 year anniversary of the infamous 1944 Soham rail explosion, commissioned by Arts Development East Cambridgeshire.

Prime Time Murder, which features many Viva veterans as well as some new faces, is set in the studios of the fictional TopRoute Television and has all the ingredients for a perfect whodunit. There’s couple of celebrities, one of them clinging to her rapidly fading career, the other who thinks his selfish behaviour is justified just because he’s famous; a frustrated mother, irritated by the limitations imposed on her life; the glamorous host whose problems go beyond his fondness for alcohol. And of course there’s the crew, each with their own axe to grind.

Performances are at The Brook, Brook Street, Soham, on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th October and at Exning Community Church Hall on Friday 21st October. All shows start at 7.30pm.

Tickets are on sale now. For the Soham shows call the Viva Box Office on 01353 722228, email vivayouth@hotmail.co.uk or call in at the Viva Centre, 7 Churchgate Street, Soham.

Tickets for the Exning show should be bought from Exning Post Office or call 01638 577292.

They are priced at £8 (£7 concessions).

The cast and Michael Burrell are available for photographs and media interviews. Please call 01353 722228 to arrange.

Established in 1997 Viva began life as a small youth theatre run by a team of volunteers. Its first performance, ‘Bugsy Malone’, was played to an audience of 400.

But Viva grew and grew with more children joining and grander, more ambitious productions and charity status followed. It now stages at least two major productions a year playing to audiences of up to 1000 and for the past five years has taken shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – many of which have received five stars. And the awards keep coming, the latest being the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – The MBE for Voluntary Groups.

An adult theatre group was established in 2007 – also an award winner – performing classics such as ‘Hobson’s Choice’ and ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. Today it has 30 members who perform at least two productions a year.

And Viva has branched out into other areas as well such as after school drama clubs and accredited arts training such as LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) and the Arts Award.

In 2008 it purchased its own premises, a converted Methodist Chapel in Churchgate Street, Soham, where it continued to run its successful charity shop and latterly a café in 2011 which generate core funds for outreach and performance work. Without a doubt, Viva’s roots are firmly planted in the local community and it continues to flourish.

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