Six of the Best: Norfolk cultural highlights not to miss this weekend

Victoria Melody and Major Tom Victoria Melody and Major Tom

Friday, April 11, 2014
8:39 AM

Victoria Melody and her basset hound, Major Tom, bring their one-woman, one-dog show, rising musical stars from Zimbabwe, The Arcadia Quartet launch Holkham’s concert season and eyes to the skies for astronomical celebration Yuri’s Night. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this weekend.

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Family

Sleeping Beauty in Woods

Norwich Puppet Theatre, until April 12, 2.30pm, 11am Apr 12, £8.50 (£7 cons), £6.50 children, £24 family, 01603 629921, puppettheatre.co.uk

This adaptation of the story of Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm, conjures a dreamlike fantasy of palaces and forests, ogres and fairies, princes and babes. A fairy grants the King and Queen their wish of a new baby. But when invited to the christening she casts a spell that the kingdom will fall asleep for 100 years. This bold production from Little Angel Theatre uses puppetry, video projections, automata and live music. Baby-friendly staging on April 12 (11am).

Music

Mokoomba

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, April 11, 8pm, £12.50 (£10.50 cons), £5 under-25s, 01284 758000, www.theapex.co.uk

Rising stars from Zimbabwe, Mokoomba produce an enthusiastically eclectic mix of pan-African styles and Tonga rhythms, with powerful and intense vocalist Mathias Muzaza. They hail from a small village in the Victoria Falls region, home to the Tonga-speaking minority. With their album, Rising Tide, they intrigued and surprised music critics and earned themselves invitations by everyone from WOMAD to Jools Holland. Rather than copying the mainstream, their music is fresh mix of Tonga rhythms offset with Congolese grooves and dashes of rap, ska and Latin.

Theatre

Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down

Sewell Barn Theatre, Constitution Hill, Norwich, until April 12, 7.30pm, 2.30pm Mar 12, £9 (£7 cons), 01603 697248, www.sewellbarn.org.uk

A woman’s body is found in a quarry eight years to the day since her son died in the same place. Three women, strangers to each other but for the fact they have one common link. That link is Royce Boland. As each one talks, there emerge three different interpretations of reality. And only after all three have finished does there appear a fourth and final truth. Richard Cameron’s multi-awarding winning play is as beautiful as it is moving. “This play is challenging and unique. It continually shifts perspective – rehearsals are like an intriguing puzzle – we find a new piece every evening,” says director Michelle Montague. “Past and present combine as each woman comes to terms with her life.”

Comedy

Victoria Melody: Major Tom

St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, April 11, 7.30pm, £5, 01493 331484, www.stgeorgestheatre.com/Norwich Arts Centre, April 16, 8pm, £10 (£8 cons), 01603 660352, www.norwichartscentre.co.uk

Victoria Melody and her basset hound, Major Tom, have experienced weirdly parallel worlds of female and canine celebrity. Performer and artist Victoria entered Mrs Galaxy UK (the “married” version of Miss UK) to explore her own prize-winning potential after becoming inspired by the struggles of Major Tom, a star of the amateur dog show circuit. The result is Major Tom, a one-woman and her dog show that questions the seductive power of beautification, celebrity and competition. Laced with humour, the show involves authentic documentary film footage as woman and dog are groomed for their big moments in front of judges.

Family

Yuri’s Night (& Day)

Seething Observatory, Toad Lane, Thwaite St Mary, April 12, 2pm-6pm/7.30pm, £3.50, £1.50 children, 01953 600534, www.norwichastro.org.uk

Norwich Astronomical Society celebrates Yuri’s Night, a global celebration of humanity’s past, present and future in space. There afternoon includes a wide range of children’s events from 2pm. Decorate a rocket before the “rocket man” helps launch them high. There’ll be comet making, talks, solar viewing through special solar scopes, as well as scale of the solar system and other activities. Look at the moon and stars from the societies telescopes. Then as the skies darken it is a chance for adults to look at the moon and stars from the society’s telescopes, plus a talk will be delivered by society chairman Dave Balcombe.

Classical

Arcadia Quartet

Holkham Hall, April 13, 7pm, £25, 01328 713111, www.holkham.co.uk

The Arcadia Quartet was formed in 2005 while students at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Romania. The quartet’s career has been burgeoning in Europe and further afield. Here they begin the 2014 chamber music concert series in Holkham’s glorious Marble Hall with a programme comprising three of the greatest string quartets in the repertoire Haydn String Quartet in E, Janárek: String Quartet No.2 ‘Intimate Letters’ and Beethoven String Quartet in C.

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