The show afterwards was the Bonanafana Social Club so there were lots of people wandering around the bar area in their over-the-top finery, and the beer was flowing.
Inside the Spiegeltent, the show starred 'Astrid' and 'Otto', aka Die Roten Punkte (The Red Dots) a brother and sister rock act. I have seen them before in 2009 when they previously came to Norwich - they are very funny. Their act is a mixture of slap-stick, stand-up cabaret and gig. In spite of their buffoonery, they are very good musicians (drum kit and guitar) in their chosen rock-style (ie not very subtle). As brother and sister they squabble, as they may have done all of their lives, and also show very close loyalty and affection (sometimes a little too close when Otto displays a desire for 'bad touching' on occasions. Astrid is brighter and naughtier, Otto is a little dim, conscientious and good. She dictates the pace and is the most outrageous. They compete, they argue and they play. And there is pathos for good measure
Their timing is slick, and their routine well-practised, they are engaging and very good value. In spite of appearances as Berlin-seque German cabaret artists, they are in fact an Australian act, but quite believable. They are in Norwich a few days more so you can treat yourself to to a bit of German-style cabaret. One of their pieces (Untitled) was worthy of the label Live Art, and was actually quite fascinating.
After Die Roten Punkte and a drink with friends, I ambled on down to Norwich Arts Centre where Live Art Club was in full swing. When I arrived, the main auditorium was set out with raked seating a a small stage. Under the spotlight was Stacy Makishi, a performance artists from Hawaii via Dalston, London. She was a bundle of weird energy. If Live Art isn't your thing, you may have found it a bit 'too weird' but it was in fact clever story-telling as she tripped through parts of her life and history like a bee on a bicycle, buzzing around the stage, tiny and wearing (relatively) huge glasses, a little bug (I am not meaning to be rude here) with her head tipping sideways and up, jumping up onto the leather chairs and bouncing around the stage space.
She uses references to The Sopranos via screen projection using the film dialogue to drop into her story and a variety of props to describe her menopause. It was all pretty wacky but fun and for me, comes under the heading of 'interesting' – in other words, I can't quite work out whether I like it or not but it is different and an adventure in being an audience.
Leaving Stacy's performance in the main auditorium, we walked straight into the work of Other, Other, Other, a Norwich-based Live Art collective, who were interacting with the building, mostly through sound. On the wall was a schedule of places - starting with the Bubble Wrap roll in the main foyer where the artists 'travelled' along a large roll of big bubble wrap by rolling or tumbling in a variety of ways popping very loudly as they went along. Whilst we watched, we barely noticed a whole forest of red balloons floating across towards us with Sshhhh printed on one side. They were weighted down with tiny bells which tinkled as we walked amongst the balloons. I stayed there for a while as it was very soothing pushing the light balloons along and hearing them react gently. By this time the artists had disappeared for the Toilet Queue something or other and I decided to head of home rather than follow them, as I was getting sleepy and it was a bike ride home for me.
There is more from the Live Art Club during this coming week - check the website www.norwichartscentre.co.uk and try something late night and different. And the Festival bar is open late, 2am I believe so a good place to hang out if you don't feel like going home.