One of the stars of this year’s Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime is throwing his weight behind a bid by a Norfolk church to boost its coffers after being targeted by lead thieves.
Ben Langley, who plays Silly Billy in Jack and the Beanstalk this Christmas, will be making a guest appearance at the festive fair at St Mary’s Church in Newton Flotman, near Long Stratton. The event runs from 10am-3pm with light lunches and cakes available. Ben will be arriving at 12 noon.
He will be exploring the stalls and meeting some of the parishioners who are helping to raise money for the church.
The fair was initially going to boost the parish coffers to make the building more of a space for community events but now money is going to have to be diverted to replace the lead following November’s theft and also increase security at the building.
It is the second time the church has been targeted in recent months following an attempted lead theft back in May.
The Revd Canon Sally Gaze, Team Rector for the Tas Valley which includes Newton Flotman, said: “Newton Flotman is a wonderful community. We are all pulling together after the lead theft and still intending to invest in adapting our building for more community use as soon as possible. We’re really looking forward to having Ben with us. The fair will be lots of fun.”
Ben’s visit comes amid rehearsals for this year’s pantomime which opens on December 13 and runs through until January 15. He joins a star cast which includes world-renowned dancer, choreographer and performer Wayne Sleep, and the Theatre Royal’s panto stalwart Richard Gauntlett.
John Bultitude, of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “Ben was delighted to visit Newton Flotman in his native South Norfolk and help support the fundraising efforts. The festive event is a key part of the church’s calendar and it is great to have the chance to help them end 2016 in a positive way. Oh yes it is.”

Jack And The Beanstalk, Tuesday 13 December 2016-Sunday 15 January 2017. Tickets £7-£23.50. Under-threes free. Discounts for Friends, Over-60s, Under-18s and Groups. Signed performances on Saturday 7 Jan at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Audio-described performances on Wednesday 4 Jan at 1pm and Saturday 7 Jan at 2.30pm. Captioned performance on Sunday 8 Jan at 1pm and 5pm. Relaxed performance on Friday 13 Jan at 5.30pm which is bookable in person or by phone on 01603 630000
To book, log onto www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.