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New film showcases town’s forgotten fishing village

PUBLISHED: 11:41 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:41 05 August 2020

Lowestoft's fishing village, known as The Grit, will be showcased in a new film that premieres next week. Pictured are Writer and Narrator Dean Parkin, Composer & Pianist Maurice Horhut

Lowestoft's fishing village, known as The Grit, will be showcased in a new film that premieres next week. Pictured are Writer and Narrator Dean Parkin, Composer & Pianist Maurice Horhut "Tickler Sam", Sally-Ann Burnett "Ruby". Tim Fitzhigham "Billy & Host", David Redgrave "Neo & Happy Welham". Picture: Peter Everard Smith

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A new film of an acclaimed touring show is set to be premiered next week.

Dean Parkin. Picture: Courtesy of Poetry PeopleDean Parkin. Picture: Courtesy of Poetry People

Pearls from The Grit, the film, has been created from the theatre show written by Dean Parkin that toured venues in Norfolk and Suffolk in 2018 and 2019.

The evocation of Lowestoft’s lost fishing village has its Facebook Premiere at 7.30pm on Thursday, August 13 and it is then available on YouTube.

With the original show touring 16 venues across Suffolk and Norfolk, attracting some 3,600 attenders to 25 performances, the tours were made possible thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and an Arts Council England National Lottery project grant.

This new 75-minute film of Pearls from The Grit has been created by film-maker Nathan Berry, together with Mr Parkin, from a sold-out live performance last November at the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield.

In the early 1900s Lowestoft’s fishing village – known as The Grit – was home to 2,300 people, schools, churches, shops and 13 pubs.

Mixing stories, poems, photographs, film and song, Suffolk-born writer Mr Parkin and a professional cast bring it all back to life.

Meet no-nonsense fisherman, Ned; Billy, a larger-than-life skipper during the fishing boom; and Ruby (Billy’s daughter), one of the tireless taskforce of women keeping everything afloat.

All the music is performed by the show’s composer and musical director, pianist Maurice Horhut (Tickler Sam).

Mr Parkin is also on stage throughout as the show’s narrator, with entertaining interruptions (via archive recordings) from his old friend Jack Rose.

An extended new edition of the book of The Grit – co-written by Mr Parkin and Mr Rose in 1997 and the inspiration for the stage show – was published in September 2019.

Mr Parkin said: “The Grit is a really special subject, close to my heart, and the response to the show was tremendous.

“It’s lovely to be able to share it again now, free and of course safely online, with audiences and fishing village descendants all over the world.”

The 75-minute film of Pearls from The Grit has its Facebook Premiere at 7.30pm on Thursday, August 13, viewable via Poetry People’s Facebook page and subsequently on Poetry People’s YouTube channel.

A film trailer is available now via bit.ly/pearlsfilmtrailer


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