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Video: Norfolk and Norwich Festival reveals its full programme for the May arts extravaganza

18:56 05 March 2014

Launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2014 in the Forum, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2014 in the Forum, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Festival fun will soon be descending upon the city and county as the Norfolk and Norwich Festival reveals its 2014 line-up of weird and wonderful acts.


The festival is from May 9 to 25, and audiences are promised 17 days full of classical and contemporary music, art, theatre, circus, outdoor shows, literature, and more. Highlights include everything from a cardboard recreation of St Peter Mancroft Church to a city Garden Party full of theatrical treats to a special City of Literature programme to the return of the Adnams Spiegeltent. Music events range from a Philharmonia Orchestra concert to performances by South African trumpet maestro Hugh Masekela and American funk fusion band Snarky Puppy, and one of the art events will see Cathedral Close transformed into a gallery. The free finale, Safe House, is an outdoor spectacle where a mysterious house appears and takes the audience on a surreal journey.

Festival events are spread across the county - including in Norwich, King’s Lynn, Diss, Holkham, Loddon, Great Yarmouth and Wymondham - with performers travelling from across the globe to entertain. New for this year is It’s Your Festival, a day sponsored by Norwich BID where local performers are invited to take to stage.

“The festival all about great art, terrific fun, great sense of community, come and be a part of it!” said NNF director William Galinsky.

“It’s 17 days of the most extraordinary arts coming to the region, great experiences, things you can take part in, whether that’s a community building project to build a Norman church or watching an opera performed by human sausages! [Gloria - A Pigtale].”

NNF14 The People's TowerNNF14 The People's Tower

• For more, including how to book tickets and apply for It’s Your Festival, visit

• Norwich City Council has approved the NNF’s fixed term premises licence application for the Spiegeltent at Chapelfield Gardens.

• Do you have a story about the arts in Norwich? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at

Hugh MasekelaHugh Masekela

• Outdoor and Family Events

The People’s Tower, outside the Forum in Norwich on May 10, will bring people of all ages together to create a huge replica of St Peter Mancroft’s tower out of cardboard blocks as part of the free outdoor art programme sponsored by Lafarge Tarmac.

Other free events includes a weekend of family entertainment - starting with Diss Family Day on May 16 followed by a Garden Party in Norwich’s Chapelfield Gardens and outside The Forum on May 17 and 18 - when umpteen performers will entertain with acrobatics, comedy, storytelling and spectacle.

The free festival finale in Norwich’s St James Development Site on May 24 is called Safe House and will see aerialists scale the walls and pound the streets while a mysterious house dramatically transforms itself.

Meanwhile some of the children’s events, for which tickets must be bought, include Unicorn Theatre’s show Not Now, Bernard which is about boy who finds a monster in his back garden, and Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall for the under fives which is making a returns to the Adnams Spiegeltent.

• Music

The Philharmonia Orchestra is at Norwich’s St Andrew’s Hall while Norwich Cathedral hosts early music ensemble The Sixteen and a Norwich Cathedral Choir candlelit concert. Norwich’s Voice Project is at Holkham Hall while the Festival Chorus is performing with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at St Andrew’s Hall. Pianist Louis Lortie is at Wymondham Abbey and Mahogany Opera Group presents Gloria – A Pigtale at Norwich Playhouse. Other great music events are performances by South African trumpet maestro Hugh Masekela, jazz pianist Mike Westbrook, singer Madeleine Peyroux, American funk fusion band Snarky Puppy and Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté.

• City of Literature

In association with Writer’s Centre Norwich, some literature highlights include author Kate Mosse delivering the Harriet Martineau Lecture at Norwich Playhouse, and at the same venue The Kinks leader Ray Davies will discuss his latest memoir, novelists Darren Shan and Alexander Gordon Smith will talk about their books, and Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard will introduce his My Struggle novels. AL Kennedy is a judge at Literary Death Match at the Adnams Spiegeltent which will also host The Salon, a local literary talent showcase. The Lives Of Great Women Writers, a one-day festival, is at Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry.

• Visual Art

Stephen Brandes’ The Last Travelogue Of Albert Sitzfleisch will transform Cathedral Close into an open art gallery from May 9 to 25. Using multiple billboards with reports from this fictional traveller’s journey through Europe, a trail will be created through Upper Cathedral Close.

Tim Davies’ Within at The Gallery, Norwich University Of The Arts from April 24 until May 24 will include a new film reflecting the city’s history, culture and architecture.

Tipping Point, which will be found in the Undercroft beneath Norwich’s War Memorial from May 9 to 18, is the world premiere of a kinetic sound sculpture from artist Kathy Hinde.

• Theatre, Performance and Spiegeltent fun

The Adnams Spiegeltent is at Chapelfield Gardens from May 14 to 25 with a programme of glamour, thrills and fun.

From May 14 to 17 the UEA Sportspark will host Opus No 7, a theatrical experience with larger than life puppets and duelling pianos by Russian director Dmitry Krymov. Circa presents new show S - which sees acrobats fly and contort to music by the Kronos Quartet - at Norwich Theatre Royal on May 18 and 19, while Michael Clark Company’s show animal/vegetable/mineral is at the theatre on May 24 and hip-hop festival Breakin’ Convention is at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on May 13. Actor John Hurt will be in conversation with John Granger, the man who inspired his career, at Norwich Playhouse on May 18. Curious Directive premieres Pioneer, about the first manned mission to Mars, at the Playhouse from May 12 to 14.

The play Long Live The Little Knife will be popping up in Diss, Norwich, Loddon, Great Yarmouth and Wymondham, and the late night [Live] Art Club is at Norwich Arts Centre from May 9 to 24.


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