You are going to hear quite a lot from me in the next couple of weeks as there is lots to catch up on and lots happening during the weeks of the Festival. If it is too much contact for you, just press the delete button until it settles down again (I won't be able to keep it up!). On the other hand, keep reading and some of what I have to say might just hit the mark!
Tonight at Theatre Royal was Sans Objet, a contemporary choreography with a robot arm and two acrobat/dancers as main cast. Was tremendous. Visually dramatic and maybe a sign of things to come in the future as man and machine mixed, moved, interacted with each other on a stage set like a car assembly line. A large robotic assembly arm was animated by a puppeteers, given it an expressive and quasi human persona . There was great use of light and dark, extra-terrestrial and prehistoric with the huffing puffing sighs and whirrs of hydraulics being the only voice on stage. It was well-produced and choreographed and further proof to me that it is not always the events that jump out of the Festival brochure that are the most exciting, and it is worth digging deeper into the pages and trying some of the lesser known works. I hope that the enthusiastic applause made the journey to Norwich worthwhile for the performers. It was very clever.
Tomorrow (19 May) I am going to see Max Richter also at Theatre Royal - also looking forward to that. Hailed as the most influential composer of his generation, British electro-acoustic artist Max Richter is inspired equally by Bach, punk rock and ambient electronica. Richter’s sonic world blends a formal classical training with modern technology, with work including scores for the award-winning film Waltz with Bashir and Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. I really like this kind of classical/contemporary/ambient style of music so it is right up my street.
Friday night for me is Wild Life, a show which involves a number of talented teenage singer-songwriters from the Norfolk area who took part in a pilot show last year and have developed this performance with Belgian director Pol Heyvaert for this year's Festival. Shown at Norwich Playhouse it has been developed into a show that is funny, beautiful, angry and honest. Wild Life explores the lives of young people and the universal experience of how music makes you feel. I have a feeing that this is another of those shows that is worth taking a chance on and there are several opportunities to catch a performance as it is on for several nights
On Saturday 21st , Lisa Fischer (supported by Grand Baton) is performing at Theatre Royal - although maybe her appearance is overshadowed by the clash with the Mahler's 8th, Symphony for 1000 mega-performance at the Norfolk Showground, if you are not a great fan of classical choral/orchestral music then maybe Lisa Fischer would be a good option - she certainly has a lovely face and a matching voice - made famous by being the star of the Oscar-winning Twenty Feet From Stardom. Lisa is best-known as the woman who sings her heart out with the Rolling Stones – the YouTube of her 'Gimme Shelter' duet with Mick Jagger has had millions of hits. And she is here in Norwich.
Over the whole weekend is Vocal Invention, a weekend of workshops and concerts run by our very own music ground-breakers Sian Croose and Jon Baker and the rest of the Voice Project team - they are amazing and each year, they show that Norwich-based talent is every bit as amazing as talent from elsewhere. Not sure if it is all booked up yet but if voice is your thing then you should check it out for sure in case there are places.
There are still opportunities to see The Tempest at Great Yarmouth Hippodrome. I went last Saturday night and although it is a long show (3 hours), the time flew by. The Hippodrome gave the play a very 'otherworldly' feel which was great, although the venue's acoustics lost some of the more complex speeches at times. There were also times when I thought that the adage 'less is more' could have been applied but overall it was a very enjoyable and innovative production. Fish and chips and an early evening drive through Halvergate Marshes in a Citroen DS really completed a lovely evening out. So go and see The Tempest while you can - think it runs to Saturday - in fact, if you haven't been to the Hippodrome yet, you really should see this show directed by William Galinsky
And don't forget the Live Art Club at Norwich Arts Centre with delights such as the Egg Festival Café, everyday 9am-12pm you can have breakfast with a smile and some slapstick action plus late night gems that you won't encounter elsewhere next up is:
[LIVE] ART CLUB - CHRIS THORPE AND JON SPOONER: AM I DEAD YET?
Chris Thorpe and Jon Spooner
Thursday 19 May 8pm at Norwich Arts Centre
It comes highly recommended and Chris Thorpe has had several successes at Edinburgh Fringe
Over the weekend 21/22 is the Garden Party in Chapelfield Gardens, the glorious Spiegeltent and also lots of other bits and pieces running through the Festival such as the City of Literature Festival (lots of writerly events and readings), The Dennis Design Centre, the Public Jukebox. Walk with Me at Felbrigg Hall, It's Happening In Norwich - film by Jan Turkowski - loads more - I can't really tell you all - that's what the www.nnfestival.org.uk website is for
What Next? and Norfolk & Norwich Festival panel discussion
The next What Next?event hosted over the Norfolk & Norwich Festival will be on Friday 27 May. Please see further details below and information about how to sign up (RSVP required please).
Live Panel Discussion Friday 27 May, 11.30am-2pm
At Norwich Arts Centre, St Benedict's Street, Norwich
PERFORMING ARTS PRACTICE IN THE NETHERLANDS
Panel includes Lotte van den Berg, Tin Men and the Telephone, Strijbos & Van Rijswijk and
William Galinsky, Artistic Director of Norfolk & Norwich Festival
The discussion is followed by a networking lunch at 1pm with the opportunity to meet our artists from the Netherlands, other festival artists and visiting programmers and arts professionals
It is free but please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend
In other areas than the Festival
Aude Gotto presents The Bach Players at The Octagon Chapel
'The Food of Love' celebrating Shakespeare's 400th anniversary
Thursday 2 June 2016, 7.30pm
Tickets are on sale from www.ticketsource.co.uk/bachplayers, from Prelude Records and on the door
From Norwich Puppet Theatre
We're taking a trip to the beautiful Bishop’s Garden on 5 June, with performances of Pied Piper, puppet making workshops and more! This is always a popular day out and a chance to see the garden and buy plants too
We're delighted to be taking part in the Norfolk and Norwich Festival again this year. You can find us at the Garden Party in Chapelfield Gardens, and be sure to catch Mary English at the theatre. A show which incorporates puppetry, visual theatre and an original sound score.
Summer puppet workshops
Summer at the Puppet Theatre is packed full of workshops for children and families. The ever-popular MagiMation returns, along with Summer Puppet Club. And for the little tots, we have Puppet People and Creepy Crawlies puppet making workshops. Book now.
Murder in the Library
The Library Restaurant has a new venture - Murder and a Meal. For £35 a head (not a chopped off one!) you get a pre-dinner drink, nibbles, a main meal and a dessert plus you get to solve a murder, What's not to like ? 26 June and you need to call the restaurant to book on 01603 616606
And an appeal for survey for market research for a new writing company
'Grown out of East Anglia's thirst for greater support for writers/directors/performers and crew in theatre/film/television/radio, NR4 is East Anglia’s newest Performing Arts Company. Dedicated to working with local talent, we raise the profile of writing and connect with other local, national and international networks so that the stories of East Anglia are heard.
But, we need your help to know what it is YOU need from NR4! We want to know what support you need for your artistic practice, what you want to see change in the region, and what you want to achieve. By filling out this survey, you will be part of a changing East Anglian landscape that celebrates performing arts, our voices and our stories!
Dates for the diary
Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios
28 May-12 June
Art Car Boot at Redwell Brewery site Sunday 19 June
This annual event has become an firm fixture in the Norwich calendar, don't miss it - more soon
Urban Art Fair (3rd July) and Lord Mayor's Celebrations (2/3 July)
Organised by our indefatigable Norwich City Council events team in the centre of Norwich - free events - see www.norwich.gov.uk
Saturday 25 June Original Projects presents 1 Wow of a time - an artist guided trip to Great Yarmouth - details are in the Art in Norwich booklet and www.artinorwich.org.uk
Maddermarket Theatre new production Return to the Forbidden Planet
22 july-29 July - predicted to be a sell-out so book early
The last show to be directed by Norwich's best-loved theatre director Peter Beck before he sets off on an ambitious plan to produce his own shows, Return to the Forbidden Planet always promises fun and reverse polarity or is it hilarity, I never know. In any case, Peter beck and Stash Kirkbride have had a noticeable transformative effect in the two years that they have had a joint artistic director role but Stash is now concentrating on the Hostry Festival and Total Ensemble whilst Peter is looking to make his mark as a regional and national director based in Norwich - great idea!
New places to eat and drink
North which used to be the King of Hearts Cafe, now taken over by Frank's Bar
Eaton Park Pavilion Cafe - now run by the Bicycle Shop
Brick - a woodfired pizza place just next to the Sir Garnet pub by the market
There's lots on here and lots more to come so I will be back soon with more 'culture' for you, hope that you get to some of these
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