Play ‘A Surlingham Girl’: Message from Jocelyn Mack, Drama teacher at Framingham Earl High School

Staff and Drama students at Framingham Earl High School are looking forward to welcoming Surlingham residents to the theatre cafe in our school hall for the premier of ‘The Surlingham Girl’ on Friday, 7th February from 7.30pm. 

I hope that all, who contacted us via the Surlingham website, received their confirmation e-mail and directions to the school. Please phone our school on 01508 492547 if you have not heard back from us and leave your contact details. I will get back to you at the end of the school day.

There is one change to the evening’s programme. Neil Storey is unfortunately unwell and unable to attend our event, but we are very pleased to tell you that Dr. Nick Arber is able to offer us a fascinating insight, prior to the students’ performance, into the castle gaol and reveal what Susannah and Henry experienced whilst incarcerated there. Nick will also bring some leg irons to show us what prisoners were clapped in at the time! 

‘After graduating from art school in 1969, Dr Nick Arber began his working life as the assistant exhibition designer for the then Norwich museums.  One of his early design jobs was to redisplay the collection of chains, death masks and other prison material in the Castle dungeons. This project kindled his long-term interest in the history of the Castle Gaol.  With the growth of family history, visitors came to the museum wanting to know what life had been like for their wayward ancestors imprisoned in the Castle.  Much of Nick’s research carried out over the intervening years has been aimed at answering this question.  In 2009 he completed a PhD thesis at U.E.A.focusing on the history and development of the Castle prison buildings from the 1760s up until the closure of the gaol in 1887.’  

Looking forward to putting faces to Surlingham guests’ names on Friday evening,

Joc Mack

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