Mustard video: Norfolk and Norwich Festival unveils its full programme for 2013

08:18 06 March 2013

Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2013: Beyond by Circa

Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2013: Beyond by Circa


The city and county are getting ready to take centre-stage as the Norfolk and Norwich Festival reveals its full line-up for its 2013 arts extravaganza.

Ten festival highlights

• The free 50-minute festival launch event Reve d’Herbert (Herbert’s Dream) by Compagnie des Quidams will see Norwich’s Cathedral Close transformed into a magical dream world. May 10 and 11 at 9.30pm.

• The Adnams Spiegeltent is in Chapelfield Gardens from May 17 to 25, featuring cabaret, circus and variety. New Spiegeltent shows include Les Enfants Perdus – a modern day variety show with a twist of decadence – and Circa’s Beyond – a circus spectacle exploring the relationship between man and beast. Ticket prices and times vary.

• Bluemouth Inc’s Dance Marathon steps back in time to the human endurance contests of 1920s and 1930s America. Audience members can dance the night away at the 210-minute show at Epic Studios, Norwich. May 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 at 7.30pm. Tickets each night £15.

• Step into the back of an ambulance and rush through the city streets while finding out about the day-to-day life of paramedics. Curious Directive’s The Kindness of Strangers starts outside Norwich Playhouse on May 10 at 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm, and on May 11 and 12 at 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7pm. Tickets £8.

• The Voice Project: Ideas of Flight sees 100 local singers perform a concert inspired by birds at Norwich Cathedral. May 11 at 8pm. £8-£20.

• Verdi’s Requiem performed by the Festival Chorus and London Philharmonic Orchestra at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich. May 26 at 7.30pm. Tickets £7-£35.

• National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch is based on recollections of soldiers who served in Iraq. It is coming to the UEA Sportspark, Norwich, in April, ahead of the main festival. April 17-20, 7.30pm. Matinee April 20, 2.30pm. £29.50 (matinee £15).

• Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s Life and Times: Episodes 1-5 tells the story of one very ordinary life based on the transcript of a 16-hour telephone call. The show can be seen over four evenings – or in a mammoth 12-hour show. Single performances May 21-24 at 7.30pm. Marathon performance May 25 at 1.30pm. £15 for single performance. £35 for five episodes over four evenings or marathon.

• Brian Griffiths’ These Foolish Travels installation will bring a ‘village’ of carnivalesque dwellings to Norwich Castle. May 11-June 2. Monday-Saturday, 10am-4.30pm. Sunday, 1-4.30pm. Free.

• Philharmonia Orchestra’s performance Our Hunting Fathers – Britten in Norwich is at St Andrew’s Hall on May 13 at 7.30pm. Tickets £10-35.

The annual celebration of all things cultural is back for 17 days in May, with a packed programme that was announced at the official festival launch in Norwich’s The Forum yesterday.

This year’s festival kicks off on May 10 and 11 with Compagnie des Quidams’ Rêve d’Herbert (meaning Herbert’s Dream), a free dream-like spectacle in Norwich’s Cathedral Close where performers will be transformed into giant lanterns which light the way to a mesmerizing finale.

Meanwhile, the festival’s closing show on May 26 will see the Festival Chorus and the London Philharmonic Orchestra join forces to present Verdi’s Requiem at Norwich’s St Andrew’s Hall.

And in between these two contrasting events, the festival is presenting a jam-packed programme crammed with an array of circus, visual art, family entertainment, dance, music and more.

William Galinsky, the festival’s artistic director, said: “It is 17 days of the most extraordinary art, culture and events from the four corners of the globe.

“There are great events for all the family, some fantastic concerts and gigs including big names and names that will soon be household names, some circus and theatre, some sublime art, some great nights out at the Adnams Spiegeltent and some fantastic outdoor acts from the MG Free programme.

“For me, there are always so many highlights.

“I am really looking forward to Aurora Orchestra coming back with the performance Battle. Dance Marathon is going to be a lot of fun at Epic Studios, and the two brand new shows in the Adnams Spiegeltent look great.

“The opening night in Cathedral Close is going to be absolutely beautiful too.”

He added: “The festival is going to be a mind-blowing celebration. Everyone is going to feel that spring has sprung, that it is great to be alive, and they are really going to enjoy the fact that they live here in Norwich and Norfolk.”

Some big-scale festival events had already been announced prior to yesterday’s launch, including the return of circus spectacle How Like An Angel to Norwich Cathedral, National Theatre of Scotland’s war drama Black Watch which is coming to the UEA’s Sportspark just ahead of the May extravaganza in April, and New York-based Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s premiere of part of their epic show Life and Times, a story of one very ordinary life based on the transcript of a 16-hour telephone call.

Among the array of entertainment to be joining them in the full line-up, festival favourite The Spiegeltent, this year sponsored by Adnams, is returning to Chapelfield Gardens for nine nights with two new cabaret-come-circus shows in the programme which also includes Ragroof tea dances and themed-nights from the Bo Nanafana Social Club.

People can also put on their dancing shoes and dance until they drop at Bluemouth Inc’s American-inspired Dance Marathon at Epic Studios.

Meanwhile, the MG Free programme, sponsored by May Gurney and which also includes the Cathedral Close opening night spectacle, will see an array of weird and wonderful acts for all the family fill the city’s parks, streets and open spaces at different points during the festival.

This year’s festival has lots especially for the under-fives, including Mozart with Puppets, a Baby Disco Dance Hall and the outdoor show Little Universe.

For fans of visual art, a carnivalesque collection of tents and temporary dwellings will be put up in Norwich Castle for UK artist Brian Griffiths’ new installation These Foolish Travels, while the previously-announced Houghton Revisited exhibition at Houghton Hall gives people the chance to see the magnificent art collection of Great Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole.

The Undercroft under Norwich’s war memorial will again be used as an exhibition space, this time for Rhona Byrne’s It’s All Up In The Air, where people can have a go at speed moaning and laughter yoga.

Meanwhile, the back of an ambulance is the setting for a new show about the life and times of paramedics by Great Yarmouth-based Curious Directive.

The magic of the big top will be heading to the county, with circus troupe Les 7 Doights de la Main presenting a spectacle of acrobatics, circus arts and theatre at Norwich Theatre Royal and Compagnie Galapiat bringing their latest show to the Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth.

One hundred local singers will present The Voice Project’s Ideas of Flight at Norwich Cathedral – a choral song-cycle inspired by birds in flight – and The Voice Project Quintet and Trio Zephyr will also perform chamber performances of the show at Salthouse Church and St Benet’s Abbey.

As previously announced, the Philharmonia Orchestra will celebrate the Britten Centenary with Our Hunting Fathers, while other classical highlights include Britten Sinfonia, instrumentalist Steven Osborne, young ensemble Aurora Orchestra, cellist Oliver Coates, a Royal Academy of Music Concert Series, and a collaboration between composer Elspeth Brooke and puppeteer Seonaid Goody.

More contemporary music will include previously announced French star Woodkid with his multimedia show combining folk and electronica; and also singer-songwriter John Grant; Iranian Grammy Award nominee Kayhan Kalhor; and Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré.

The festival’s Words and Ideas programme will include an evening with poets Don Paterson, Sophie Hannah and Hannah Lowe, a lecture about Harriet Martineau by Ali Smith, and a night in conversation with novelist and columnist Will Self.

Norwich Arts Centre will also host an alternative art club full of emerging performers from around the region.

Greater Anglia is the travel partner for the festival.

For more information on all the festival events, including dates and times, visit

To book tickets, go to, call 01603 766400, or visit the Theatre Royal box office.

COMMENT – Page 26


  • Who pays for it all ?

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

  • It is great to see that Our Hunting Fathers has been chosen to mark the Britten centenary here in Norwich - especially as it had its first performance in St Andrew's Hall at the Norwich Festival in 1936.

    Report this comment

    Trevor Ashwin

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

  • Here we go again..Some interesting stuff padded out with complete dross that masquerades as artentertainement.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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