Robert Goodale — of Foyle’s War, Births, Marriages and Deaths, and Midsomer Murders fame — is the latest big name to perform with the New Eye Theatre Company, which returns next month with two performed readings.
The company was formed in 2014, helped by Eye resident John Gleeson, a writer and former actor who has appeared in episodes of Dr Who, To the Manor Born and The Bill among others.
And while it was established to help promote new talent, regardless of age, some well-known faces have helped kick-off its very successful start.
Helen Fraser (Bad Girls, The Bill) and Jak Quartermaine (Three Up Two Down, Laura and Disorder) have performed with the company, while Amanda Parfitt (Jewels, Sons and Lovers) will make her debut in Shared Silence alongside Goodale, directed by Canadian William Hope (Aliens, xXx).
It will be performed at the Oaksmere Hotel, Brome, on Sunday, August 7, at 7.30pm, with Saving Marilyn, directed by local film maker Basil Marples.
Goodale’s friendship with Mr Gleeson began in 1979, when working on a job for an Ipswich theatre company.
“I got involved because John has been a long-time contact,” he explained.
“I saw John recently, because I was on tour with a show I had written with my brother David (Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense) and we were in Norwich, and he came along to see it. He said ‘you ought to read this part in my new play.’
“People can expect a very intimate piece with some surprises along the way — but I don't want to give too much away.
"It is a very beautiful and intimately-written piece."
“Ever since I have known him, he has been wonderful,” he continued.
“He is persistent and his passion is unbreakable and it has always been there.
“The John I know now, compared to the John I met more than 35 years ago has exactly the same spirit.
“He has always had a zest and spirit, and a love for life and the arts and theatre and films and a love for the creation of it all, it is all still there.”
n Funds raised from the show will be donated to the Hope Not Hate charity, formed in the wake of the death of MP Jo Cox. Tickets, £12, which includes a glass of wine, from 01379 870316