Holmes writer takes Sir John to Norwich

Chris James is having his winning play performed at the Maddermarket in Norwich. ANL-161122-154502009
Chris James is having his winning play performed at the Maddermarket in Norwich. ANL-161122-154502009
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Haverhill writer Chris James has had his play about poet laureate John Betjeman accepted for performance at The Maddermarket in Norwich after winning a competition.

Friendly Bombs, which opens on December 5, tells of Betjeman’s days writing wartime slogans during the Blitz and his love of Joan Hunter Dunne which inspired the famous poem, A subaltern’s love song.

Chris James is having his winning play performed at the Maddermarket in Norwich.

Pictured: Chris's Grandfather, Billy Wells, who acted there for 40 years ANL-161122-154303009

Chris James is having his winning play performed at the Maddermarket in Norwich. Pictured: Chris's Grandfather, Billy Wells, who acted there for 40 years ANL-161122-154303009

Told with plenty of comedy the play’s opening will be something of a poignant moment as Chris’s grandfather Billy Wells trod the boards at The Maddermarket for 40 years and was a well known actor of his day.

Chris, 41, who is now writing his third Sherlock Holmes novel, has also won the Oxford Brookes poetry competition’s open section with his poem Today Cromer is Moscow, where he intermingles an icy February Cromer with images from a by gone Moscow.

The inspiration came to him as he was spending a freezing half term day out with his wife Maria and their three children. “One of the buildings had a dome like the onion domes in Russia and the inspiration came. While it was a disappointing day it had some surprisng benefits.” he said.

The play Friendly Bombs is directed by Kate Warner and runs over five lunchtimes between December 5 and 9.

Chris, who works as a brand manager for the Scout Association, says writing is relaxing. He has been a writer since he left university at 21 and went on a creative writing MA at the University of East Anglia with former poet laureate Andrew Motion.

His new book of poems comes out in January and is about the final expedition of Captain Scott to the Antarctic, with each of the 65 poems reflecting each person on the ill-fated journey.

Tickets to the play are £6, £5 concessions, and are available from 01603 620917 or www.maddermarket.co.uk