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

Ben Freeman as The Fonz in the musical Happy Days Ben Freeman as The Fonz in the musical Happy Days

Monday, March 10, 2014
9:33 AM

Happy Days are here again with the 1970s TV favourites turned into a musical, The Bible gets the Reduced Shakespeare Company treatment and Katherine Ryan heads to Yarmouth. SIMON PARKIN picks six things not to miss this week.

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SHOW

Happy Days

Norwich Theatre Royal, March 10-15, 7.30pm, 2.30pm Mar 12/15, £35-£6.50, 01603 630000, www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
Happy Days are here again with the premiere of a brand new UK tour based on the hit TV series, featuring the unforgettable ‘King of Cool’ Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli. Join your favourite ‘50’s family, the Cunninghams, and the rest of the gang – Potsie, Ralph Malph, Joanie and Chachi - as they battle to save their beloved diner Arnold’s from demolition. In a race against time, can everyone’s favourite hero ‘The Fonz’ save the day? Sugababe and TV favourite Heidi Range takes on the role of Pinky Tuscadero, in what is her first major musical theatre role. Casting The Fonz proved a bit trickier and after seeing dozens of people, the role went to Ben Freeman who combines a high profile in the likes of TV’s Emmerdale with a strong theatrical reputation most recently in the West End hit Wicked. The iconic role of Mrs Cunningham is taken on by Cheryl Baker, who had grown up with the show and had always wanted to play the show’s matriarch.

MUSIC

David MacGregor

The Bicycle Shop, St Benedict Street, Norwich, March 12, 7.30pm, £8, 01603 508050, www.thebicycleshop.com
David MacGregor is a virtuous solo finger style guitarist from Scotland. For many years he was based in the UK playing in several bands. In 2009 after having a lesson with the award winning guitarist Martin Taylor, he decided to concentrate on a solo jazz guitar career. After seven successful months of touring and travelling America, here will be performing for the first time in Norwich an intimate show of solo jazz guitar. His avant-garde work combines original compositions inspired by his travels and the many genres he has played with old jazz standards and new modern arrangements.

THEATRE

For Their Own Good

Norwich Playhouse, March 12, 7.30pm, £10 (£8 cons), £7 students, 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk
A Fringe First award winner at Edinburgh last year, this award-winning show tells a moving and darkly comic tale about the only certainty in life — death. Combining beautiful puppetry, new writing and documentary material, the show by Birmingham-based Untied Artists explores the difficult subject of death, using the work of a knackerman (someone who puts down horses) as an allegory for our feelings and attitudes towards the end of life. With unflinching honesty and an eerily detached workmanship, two pair investigate the pitfalls of being high up the evolutionary chain. Can the way we kill animals teach us anything about our own demise?

COMEDY

The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged)

Diss Corn Hall, March 13, 7.30pm, £17.50 (£15.50 cons), 01379 652241, www.disscornhall.co.uk
Following the long-running sell-out success of their digested versions of the Bard, plus spin-off into ancient Greece, the three cultural guerrillas of The Reduced Shakespeare Company here set their reductive sights on the good book. It’s an affectionate, irreverent ride from fig leaves to Final Judgment as the they tackle the great theological questions. Did Adam and Eve have navels? Did Moses really look like Charlton Heston? And why isn’t the word “phonetic” spelled the way it sounds? Can bolts of lightning be far behind?

THEATRE

Palm Wine and Stout

New Buckenham Village Hall, March 12, 7.30pm, 01953 860216, full details at www.easternangles.co.uk
Segun Lee-French was born in England to a white mother and a father who disappeared back to his native Nigeria when Segun was only six months old. Father and son had not met since and this was a gap Segun eventually decided he needed to bridge. Segun’s trip of discovery has now been turned into Palm Wine and Stout by touring theatre group Eastern Angles. In the play, which is packed with humour and music, the man returning to Nigeria with his mother, Jane, is called Taiye and the father he is returning to see is Abraham. A lot of the action hinges on Taiye’s relationship with his half-brother Femi, who meets him at the airport in Nigeria. Femi is the son of Abraham’s Nigerian wife, Stella — and she’s not best pleased.

COMEDY

Stand Up At St. George’s! feat: Katherine Ryan

St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, March 13, 8pm, £10 adv/£12 door, 01493 331484, www.stgeorgestheatre.com
Katherine Ryan, recently seen on the BBC’s Live at the Apollo aking a comical swipe at Beyonce, is the latest big name heading to the region’s newest monthly comedy club. The Weird Coastal Buoys (WCB) comedy club, at St George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth on the second Thursday of every month, has an impressive roaster of upcoming talent and in often dangerously fierce pop-culture obsessed Canadian comic Katherine they’ve pulled off a real coup. She is just about the funniest women in comedy right now, selling out theatres and being a show stealing regular on the likes of Mock The Week, 8 out of 10 Cats, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Have I Got News For You. Support comes from comedy club regular James Alderson, Paul Dunn, Joesphine Lacey and musical comedian Gwilum Argos.

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