New shows announced for this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival

15:36 28 January 2016

Great Yarmouth’s Hippodrome is to be transformed into a magical island for a new production of The Tempest at this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

The show, which will be directed by the festival’s artistic director William Galinsky, is one of a number of new events announced for this year’s May festival.

It is being described as a “completely unique production” of the Shakespearean play about shipwreck and enchantment and will take to the Hippodrome stage from May 13 to 21.

Mr Galinsky said: “I am thrilled to be able to announce more programming for the 2016 festival, which feels like it may well be our biggest and best yet. In particular I’m delighted to be able to now share that I will be directing a brand new production of one of Shakespeare’s most fascinating plays – The Tempest. It’s an honour to be able to stage the play in one of Britain’s oldest purpose built circus spaces, Great Yarmouth Hippodrome is a completely unique and iconic venue to be able to work in.”

Peter Jay, from the Hippodrome, said: “We are really, really excited about it.

“It’s quite a unique venue where you can actually have water and everything else combined. It is going to be a pretty amazing show and it is great to be part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

“It is going to be great for the town too.”

He said Mr Galinsky and his creative team had been having lots of meetings at the venue and that he was looking forward to seeing how the show develops.

“It’s a really, really exciting project for us,” he said, adding that he hoped it would attract new audiences to the Hippodrome.

“I don’t think anything has ever been done like this here before.”

Mr Galinsky will be collaborating with designer Laura Hopkins (who worked on the Black Watch production which came to the festival in 2013), lighting designer Mikes Brookes and composer Nick Powell.

Other new festival events announced today include:

• Wild Life, which audiences were given a taste of at last year’s festival, focuses on teenagers and songs created by young singer-songwriters from across Norfolk. The young people have been working with Pol Heyvaert from Belgian theatre company CAMPO and will take to the Norwich Playhouse stage.

• Singer-songwriter and political activist Billy Bragg will perform a solo show at Great Yarmouth Hippodrome.

• Indie band Tindersticks will perform their 10th album, The Waiting Room, at OPEN in Norwich.

• Norwich Arts Centre will once again present the [Live] Art Club. The first performances announced include Chris Thorpe’s Confirmation, which is about political extremism, and Chris Thorpe and Jon Sponner’s Am I Dead Yet?, which is about death and dying.

• Musical ensemble I Fagiolini will present an evening of French song and poetry at Norwich Cathedral

Yesterday’s announcement follows on from news last week the festival will present Fierce Light, a poetry project reflecting on the horrors of war and specifically the Battle of the Somme.

Fierce Light is a co-commission involving the festival, Writers’ Centre Norwich and 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary. It will culminate in a poetry event at Norwich Playhouse, followed by an exhibition of poetry, films and images at East Gallery.

More acts are still to be announced for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival which will run from May 13 to 29. Visit

Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at


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