Heacham church historian endorses Pocahontas musical
Christine Dean, a history enthusiast from St Mary’s, Heacham is endorsing a new musical production of Pocahontas, after helping the Michala Jane Dance School research the local history behind the story.
On Sunday, February 18, 7.30pm a new musical production of Pocahontas will be performed at the Norwich Theatre Royal with 200 children taking part from Norwich's Michala Jane Dance School.
The musical has been written with research gathered by local history enthusiast Christine Dean, an active member of St Mary’s Church, Heacham, who has been passionate in celebrating and promoting the links between the West Norfolk village and the Native American princess
Just over 400 years ago in the first English colony in America at Jamestown, Virginia, Pocahontas, the daughter of Powhatan, Chief of the Chesapeake Indians, married Norfolk farmer John Rolfe, founder of the Virginian tobacco industry. The marriage created a climate of peace between the Jamestown colonists and Powhatan's tribes for several years.
John Rolfe’s parents, grandparents and other relatives are all buried in St Mary’s Church, Heacham. When in 1616 Pocahontas visited London with her husband John Rolfe and young son Thomas it is thought that they may also have visited Heacham to meet his family and village legend says she planted a mulberry tree there.
Over the past 12 years St Mary’s Church has actively celebrated the historical links by hosting the Virginia Chorus Childrens’ Choir, hosting a Pocahontas and John Rolfe themed Flower Festival, and in 2014, a special 400th wedding anniversary service with Bishop Graham and 26 Pocahontas Dames.
Christine Dean provided Michala Jane with books and resources to inform her new musical production, Pocahontas, including a copy of 'Mrs John Rolfe of Heacham Better Known as Pocahontas' written by John Haden, the lay preacher and retired headmaster of Wymondham College who wrote the reource with Heacham Junior School pupils in 2006.
Now Mrs Dean is looking forward to the Michala Jane School of Dance production. She said: “Come and enjoy this spectacular children’s real Pocahontas history musical dance show that retells this important history - how the Princess Pocahontas changed international Christian history 401 years ago and founded the new American nation!”
Michala Jane said: “Norfolk plays a pivotal part in our tale, so come see us on 18 February at Theatre Royal Norwich and be part of something special as we make history with our 15th major theatre production.”
To purchase tickets for the production click here.
Photo of Michala Jane School of Dance Pocahontas cast members visiting Heacham