Cromer

Oliver! tribute to Sheringham trouper Mike

Just Regional
Nov 22, 2016 3 mins read

A popular “am dram” actor is to be remembered in a youth production of a favourite musical.
Mike Thame, a keen amateur actor and big supporter of the Sheringham Little Theatre, will be honoured in an all-singing all-dancing Oliver! next Easter but the hunt is on this month for the main characters and chorus.
Mr Thame died in May aged 76 after many years appearing on local stages and raising funds for the Sheringham venue.
The fundraising show in April is dedicated to his memory, and one of the young actors he inspired will be taking the classic role of Fagin which Mike portrayed in 2010.
Sam Thompson, now 17, who played Fagin’s young sidekick the Artful Dodger when he was just 10, said he wanted to re-run the show and to play Fagin as tribute in memory of Mike.
He said: “Mike was always really encouraging to me. I was the youngest Artful Dodger and he looked after me, helping me be more confident on stage. He was an amazing man and I am honored to pay tribute to him.”
Sam’s mum, theatre director Debbie Thompson, added: “As a family we were very sad about the loss of Mike. We have fond memories of him and Oliver, which was our first community production and also saw my daughter Katy as a flower girl and husband Simon directing.
“Mike inspired confidence among the young members and had such a wonderful sense of humour. He even managed to work a Norwich City scarf and an ‘up the Canaries line’ into the show.”
Mike’s widow Joan, a trustee at the theatre, said the show honouring her husband “means a great deal to me and the opening night will be very emotional”.
Mr and Mrs Thame were both involved in a drama group in London, so when they moved to Sheringham in 1976 they soon got involved with the town’s Players.
Mike, a retired advertising executive and former salesman at Norfolk Homes, acted and directed for the group over many years.
Mrs Thame said: “He loved it, and when they discovered dry rot in the theatre Mike staged Whitehall farces to raise funds. They lasted 10 years and raised thousands for the repairs.”
Oliver! will be raising money for the theatre’s extension project.
It will run for a week from Saturday, April 8, but with no show on April 9.
Auditions will be held at the theatre on Sunday (November 27) from  10am. There are chorus roles open to anyone who enjoys singing, dancing and acting, but those looking to fill the main parts of Dodger, Nancy, Bill Sykes, Mr Bumble and Bet are being asked to prepare a song, details of which are on the website  www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com or call 01263 822347.

Mike Thame as Fagin.

Mike Thame as Fagin.

Sam Thompson

Sam Thompson

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