A change in Festival director always has a big influence in the city as it changes the dynamics and the Festival partners with many organisations so it has a big influence on what happens here in our city of culture.
The Writers Centre Norwich at Dragon Hall is busy being transformed into the National Centre for Writing as a new wing is being built as we speak to encompass a performance space, a writers' refuge and more of a public-facing hub for literature. This is the result of a lot of hard work, fundraising and amazing support from the City and County councils, the Arts Council and many private trusts and foundations. Led by Dr Chris Gribble, the Writers Centre is one of the brilliant outcomes of our European Capital of Culture bid nearly 15 years ago now which changed the cultural landscape of Norwich. The Writers' Centre is also welcoming a new Programme Manager, Peggy Hughes who has come from Scotland to take over from Jon Morley who has gone to China! Peggy is also an exciting appointment and will be a great asset to the Norwich cultural scene, so welcome her if you meet her at any point. And we look forward to seeing the new building extension open in the spring.
At Theatre Royal Norwich, the (relatively, he has been here a year now) new CEO Stephen Crocker has been making his presence felt by whipping up a storm of enthusiasm around him. He has recently launched a new International Concert Series starting with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in October which was a fantastic concert. There is more to come in the new year including the European Union Chamber Orchestra and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Not to be missed as these are such high-calibre orchestras. Stephen also plans to bring the Hallé Orchestra to Norwich so lots to look out for and you can keep track via Music in Norwich.
UK City of Culture bid?
Following Hull's successful year of culture, there's a call for Norwich to think about bidding for UK City of Culture in 2025. It is big thing to go for and entails a lot of money and work but equally it is a campaign which pulls the city together for a common goal. David Powles, editor of the EDP and Evening News has been gathering opinion about whether it would be a good move for Norwich. Personally I think that Norwich has moved beyond. We would no doubt benefit from the extra publicity and kudos but the judges look for places that are really in need of a big step-change and in many ways, Norwich has too much. We are already a UNESCO City of Literature and we have a very good cultural infrastructure and some brilliant cultural leaders but a joint bid with Great Yarmouth might be an idea worth considering as both places could benefit.
Norfolk Arts Forum Executive
I was honoured to be voted in for a second year as the independent representative on the Norfolk Arts Forum executive. That means that I attend three meetings a year with cultural leaders in the county and can take any ideas or issues back to the Forum executive committee, and also I can feedback via this newsletter on issues that concern the cultural sector in Norfolk and the regions so please get in touch if you have anything you would like me to bring up.
2017 for Culture Shift
As a recap of my own year, I produced two editions of Art in Norwich and Music in Norwich plus publicising music and art events through a variety of website and social media. I have a plan to do the same for performance in Norwich as there is so much going on and it would be good to have a place to publicise it. I also started off an annual Sir Thomas Browne Day project to make Sir Thomas Browne (a 17th century doctor and polymath who lived in Norwich) better known and also to stimulate 'Brownean' work - he was a person who questioned everything around him - and this will build more this year. I have just finished producing a poetry book - design and print production - and I helped to organise a very successful day around creativity, DIY and legal rights with UEA. I have also been increasingly linking with Great Yarmouth and in 2018 plan to help to publicise the good things happening in the 'town down the road' from Norwich. Yarmouth is a very interesting and historic place that gets a lot of bad press so I am aiming to turn that around. So a busy 2018 ahead as well as a satisfying 2017.
Events over Christmas
Over the Christmas period there are a few things to keep you busy - two concerts coming up on Saturday - Norwich baroque and the Cathedral Choir team up at Norwich Cathedral on Saturday 23 7.30pm with the Messiah which will really get you into the deeper spiritual side of Christmas even if you are not religious, and Viva Voce will be singing a Christmas concert at St Peter Mancroft on 23rd at 6pm.
The Garage has Red Riding Hood : My First Panto until 29 December. This is ideal for young children as the scarier side of this traditional story by Grimm has been smoothed out, and the children are encouraged to be really interactive so if your youngster is not so good at staying in his/her seat then this would be a good option. The setting is magical and my two grand-daughter (5 and 2) loved it.
Also for youngsters and adults alike is the Christmas show at Norwich Puppet Theatre - Steadfast Tin Soldier. The story itself is very simple - about a toy soldier who falls in love with a toy ballerina but the show is beautifully designed by Joy Haynes (Banyan Theatre) and performed by Paul Preston Mills. There are different kinds of puppets and props and some great shadow and projections scenes. Performer Paul has to work really hard but to great effect and this show can be enjoyed by all ages. It is just an hour long and show times are 11am and 2.30pm with some evening shows at 7pm until Saturday 30 December www.puppettheatre.co.uk/whats-on/puppetry/the-steadfast-tin-soldier
For adults and older children, Planet Theatre Productions are performing A Christmas Carol directed by the talented Peter Beck and starring many familiar faces. Planet Production brought us The Producers last year and Return to the Forbiddeen Planet before that. The run started on Tuesday and continues until 31st December with three shows a day (after which I assume that the cast just fall over) and is performed at Daynes Hall, which is tucked away behind Tombland and the Cathedral - see the map on the website www.planettheatreproductions.co.uk where you can also buy tickets. I am going tonight and will let you know how it goes but I expect it to be as brilliant as their previous shows.
And of course, there is the annual Theatre Royal panto, this year it is Sleeping Beauty - which is a brilliant extravaganza of traditional fun, oh yes it is!
Christmas concerts; Norwich Baroque at Norwich Cathedral 7.30pm and Viva Voce at St Peter Mancroft 6pm
Saturday 23 December
This weekend there are two Christmas concerts on Saturday 23 December. At 6pm Viva Voce have a Candlelit Christmas Concert at St Peter Mancroft Church and Norwich Baroque have teamed up with Norwich Cathedral Choir and are performing The Messiah by Candlelight at 7.30pm - you can check details at www.musicinnorwich.org.uk
Jammin' at Platform 12 on 1st Wednesdays
For the last couple of years Francesca Mann and Clifford Andrews have been running the 1st Wednesday Club at Platform 12 piano bar in St Benedicts. Their curated monthly mixed art evenings have hosted all kinds of musicians and performers including concrete poets, visual artists, potters and more but in December they decided to take a break for a while and stop running the club for a while. This caused a stir amongst the performers, many of whom wanted to carry on. So under the new name of Jammin' at Platform 12 the Cordeaux Trio (resident jazzish trio) and friends will be playing starting in 3 January 2018. It's free and Platform 12 a really nice bar, just opposite Pizza Express and the Bicycle Shop. We are aiming for relaxing music, opportunities for musicians and a chance to try things out. So remember that thought - every 1st Wednesday of the month at Platform 12 for a mixed, relaxed performance vibe. If you want to contribute/ join in, please get back to me, Marion
There are lots of art exhibitions - notably Rembrandt : Lightening the Darkness at Castle Museum and the Russia Season and Roger Law at the Sainsbury Centre until February and April respectively - SCVA does have Christmas opening hours so please check before going. Have a look here
Some of the galleries close over Christmas but you can find details of exhibitions in the Art in Norwich booklet which you can pick up at the Tourist Information Centre and all of the arts racks, or you can download a pdf with contact details and it's a good idea to check before visiting.
Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth also has a photography exhibition at the moment : Only in England photographs by Tony Ray Jones and Martin Parr. Tony Ray Jones was an early 'observational' fly-on-the-wall photographer who went around to coastal towns where working class people went for their holidays and taking shots of them enjoying their holiday time. His work influenced Martin Parr and this exhibition of work by Tony Ray Jones also has a set from Martin in response. There is also a public competition, Only in the East where the public are invited to take photos of Great Yarmouth. It is a great opportunity to really look at this place which is stuffed with culture and heritage
NORFOLK & NORWICH FESTIVAL are recruiting a new EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
(Part-time (0.6 FTE); permanent)
Norfolk & Norwich Festival’s (NNF) vision is to use the power of the arts to make our part of the world a truly great place to live, work, learn and play. NNF is the flagship arts festival for the East of England with a reputation for innovative and inspirational programming and commissioning. One of the big four UK international arts festivals, each May we transform and celebrate our city and county through an internationally acclaimed programme of music, theatre, literature, visual arts, circus, dance and outdoor arts, enjoyed by over 75,000 people.
NNF has a turnover of c.£2.5 million, employs 24 permanent staff and expands significantly in the run up to and during the Festival. NNF is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation as well as a Bridge Organisation with a mandate to develop arts and cultural opportunities for children and young people in the East of England. NNF is also funded by Norwich City Council and the generous support of many sponsors and donors.
This is an exciting time to join the organisation. In January 2018 Daniel Brine will join the organisation as Festival Director, succeeding our former Artistic Director, William Galinsky, who stepped down in May 2017.
The Executive Director creates the environment in which NNF’s artistic vision can flourish. S/he oversees the organisational management and financial planning, management and reporting. S/he facilitates the work of the senior staff fostering leadership and collaboration in the Senior Management Team. S/he leads the Finance and Operations teams and supports the work of the Communications and Development teams, ensuring communications and development strategies meet corporate objectives.
The ideal candidate will be an exceptional business leader,
preferably known and respected in the wider cultural sector and capable of representing the organisation at all levels and in diverse political environments. S/he will have excellent financial and management experience in a senior position.
We actively encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds and value the positive impact that difference has on our teams.
Deadline for receipt of applications Monday 8 January 2018 (12 noon)
For further information please see our website www.nnfestival.org.uk/about_us/vacancies
Broadland Band is seeking a conductor.
Broadland Band is a community concert band rehearsing in Cantley on Wednesday evening from 7.30 to 9.30pm. Our current conductor is retiring at the end of December and Broadland Band is seeking to appoint a new conductor/musical director for the New Year. All enquiries welcome. For further details please contact Pete Clark on 07818 187999, or e-mai
So with that, I will sign off for 2017 and wish you very festive greetings wherever you are and whatever you are doing and see you in the new year
The Shift Norwich: Culture Shift, Design Shift, Digital Shift
Developing and promoting Norwich as a city of culture
Director Culture Shift network
Telephone 07946 261651
LinkedIn Marion de Mello Catlin Skype marionecatlin
Twitter accounts marionofnorwich and norwichcultcity
Culture Shift Network is a free communication resource for the arts and cultural community of Norwich. If you would rather not receive email updates please email back asking to unsubscribe. Please feel free to forward on to other networks and contacts, and if you would like to be added to the list for your own copy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.theshiftnorwich.org.uk. Thank you