50 of the best nights out in Norfolk

Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly star in The Dresser, which is coming to Norwich Theatre Royal this autumn

Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly star in The Dresser, which is coming to Norwich Theatre Royal this autumn - Credit: Contributed by Norwich Theatre Royal

Norfolk's theatres can't wait to welcome audiences back this autumn. After a tumultuous 18 months, actors, musicians, performers and singers are back on stage - and it's their pleasure to entertain you. Here are just some of the hottest tickets to buy now.

Drama 

The Dresser, Norwich Theatre Royal, October 5-9,  
Inspired by memories of working as Donald Wolfit’s dresser as a young man, Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly star in Ronald Harwood’s affectionate and hilarious portrait of life backstage at the theatre. 

Our White Skoda Octavia, St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, October 19 and The Garage, Norwich, October 30 
Eastern Angles Theatre Company presents Our White Skoda Octavia, a story of family life, told with truth, humour and tabla rhythm. 
In a small town in the east of England, Amjad decides to take up taxi driving. But when money is tight and stifled ambitions hang in the air, cracks begin to appear.  
Written by Shamser Sinha and directed by Sameena Hussain, the moving play shines a light on the struggles of contemporary life inspired by conversations with residents in Peterborough and Ipswich. 

Rosa Mendoza, The Garage, Norwich, October 20 and 21; Sheringham Little Theatre, October 22; St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, October 23 and Westacre Theatre, October 29 
fEAST Theatre Company presents Rob John’s new dark comedy, which explores a triangular relationship over four years. 
In February 2016, Keith and Pamela Dawson, owners of the Poppyland Guest House in Cromer advertise for a new chambermaid and an eccentric free spirit from southern Spain lands the job. Rosa Mendoza has a natural talent for breaking rules and crossing boundaries - and nothing at The Poppyland will ever be the same again. 

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Diss Corn Hall, October 22 
The Pantaloons present their horrifically innovative take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s murky tale of murder, mystery and transmogrification. When lawyer John Utterson fears that his friend Dr Jekyll is being blackmailed by the shadowy Mr Hyde he begins an investigation to reveal the truth of the strange case.  

Looking Good Dead, Norwich Theatre Royal, October 25-30 
EastEnders icon Adam Woodyatt (AKA Ian Beale) and star of stage and screen Gaynor Faye team up for Peter James’s gripping new play. 
Hours after picking up a USB memory stick left behind by another passenger on a train seat, Tom Bryce inadvertently becomes a witness to a vicious murder. Reporting the crime to the police places him and his family in grave danger. 

Groan Ups, Norwich Theatre Royal, November 15-20 
Following The Play That Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong, award-winning Mischief Theatre return with a brand-new comedy about growing up. 


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Stand-up comedy 

Jack Dee, Norwich Theatre Royal, September 26 
The deadpan star of Lead Balloon, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and Josh makes a welcome return to the stand-up circuit. 
“In these difficult and uncertain times people need hope – a ray of sunshine to brighten their day. And that’s very much where I come in,” says Jack. 

Jenny Éclair, Sixty! (FFS!), Norwich Playhouse, September 29 and October 15 
Having hit 60, but still a year younger than Madonna, Jenny Éclair confronts a new decade of decrepitude. What will her 60s hold? And is it a legal requirement to buy Nordic walking poles? 

Most Read

Ed Byrne – If I’m Honest, Norwich Playhouse, October 1 and October 8 
Join Ed as he takes a long, hard look at himself and tries to decide if he has any traits that are worth passing on to his children. 
He is a regular on the small screen, having appeared on shows including Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week and QI. 

Iain Stirling: Falling Upwards, Norwich Playhouse, September 26 and 27 and King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, October 13 
Love Island narrator Iain Stirling has been wondering how people manage to be normal – so for his biggest ever nationwide tour he explores his inability to function in the most basic of public settings, social media’s constant pressure to live your best life and that one time a man stole his shoes. 

Emily Atack Has Left The Chat, Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, October 2 
Emily Atack has said goodbye to her carefree 20s and is now wondering what life is like as a mature, responsible grown up...if she finds one, she’ll ask. Until then she’ll be bringing her trademark humour to explore everything from work to dating to her latest obsession, leaving the WhatsApp Group. 

Luisa Omielan: God is a Woman, Norwich Playhouse, October 14 
At a time when it feels like the world is about to be set on fire and we’re asking ourselves why it’s all going so horribly wrong and what can we do to fix it, BAFTA Breakthrough award-winner Luisa Omielan’s latest show God Is A Woman couldn’t be more timely. 

Alan Carr brings his latest stand-up show to Norwich Theatre Royal this autumn

Alan Carr brings his latest stand-up show to Norwich Theatre Royal this autumn - Credit: Contributed by Norwich Theatre Royal

Alan Carr: Regional Trinket, Norwich Theatre Royal, October 13-14 
From the high of his star-studded wedding day to the low of lockdown stuck on a farm, a lot has changed since Alan’s last tour – including Alan. Nowadays it’s all about finding happiness and joy in the small things – why be a national treasure, when you can be a Regional Trinket? 

Ross Noble: Humournoid, Norwich Theatre Royal, October 16 
What happens when a creature is created and bred to do stand-up? Nobody knows because that isn’t a thing. What is a thing is Ross Noble doing a show – and making a welcome return to Norwich Theatre Royal. 

Mae Martin: SAP, Norwich Playhouse, October 23 
In their brand new stand-up show the co-writer and BAFTA-nominated star of the sitcom Feel Good looks at the uphill battle of trying to do the right thing in a world that seems to have lost its moral compass. There’s also a lot about sloths, moose, hot dogs, love and tree sap.  

Bridget Christie: Who Am I, Norwich Playhouse, October 24 
The 50-year-old critically-acclaimed stand-up is hot, but not in a good way. It’s a menopause laugh-a-minute with a confused, furious, sweaty lady who is annoyed by everything. 

Rob Newman’s Philosophy Show, Norwich Playhouse, October 27 
In this all-new show, multi-award-winning stand-up Rob Newman weaves together Nietzsche’s sunglasses, James Bond in Toxteth, electric spiders and singing Neanderthals into a hilarious show which offers new hopes for a changing world. 

Alistair McGowan: The Piano Show, Norwich Playhouse, October 28 
In the wake of his number one album in the UK classical album charts, Alistair McGowan’s new show combines his talents as a master impressionist and comedian with his new-found talent as a classical pianist. 

Tez Ilyas: The Vicked Tour, Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, November 4 
A brand-new stand-up show from the star of The Tez O’Clock Show, TEZ Talks and the award-winning Man Like Mobeen. 

John Bishop: Right Here Right Now, King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, November 11 
Comedy superstar John needs no introduction, other than to tell you that he’s bringing his highly-anticipated new show Right Here, Right Now to King’s Lynn. 

Jayde Adams: The Ballad Of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face, The Garage, Norwich, November 19 
If you want to be a ‘successful independent woman person’ you better have something you want to say and you better be wearing a Serious Black Jumper. In this five-star show, Jayde, as seen on Snackmasters and Crazy Delicious, will rifle through the noise and self promotion and figure out what’s actually going on. 

The Scummy Mummies, Princess Theatre, Hunstanton, November 19 
Grab your gin in a tin – the Scummy Mummies are back. And after the year they’ve had, Helen and Ellie are going out-out, so join them for an evening of comedy, songs, filth and laughs. 

Musicals 

Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Norwich Theatre Royal, September 28-October 3 
Disney’s classic movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks has been given a magical musical makeover, starring Dianne Pilkington (Mamma Mia!, Wicked and Cats) and Charles Brunton (The Rocky Horror Show and Matilda the Musical). 

The Rocky Horror Show returns to Norwich Theatre Royal

The Rocky Horror Show returns to Norwich Theatre Royal - Credit: The Other Richard

The Rocky Horror Show, Norwich Theatre Royal, November 1-6  
Strictly winner Ore Oduba shows off his moves as Richard O’Brien’s legendary musical The Rocky Horror Show returns to Norwich Theatre Royal. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, it features Sweet Transvestite, Damn It Janet and, of course, the pelvic-thrusting Time Warp. 

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World, Norwich Playhouse, November 23-December 5 
Norwich Playhouse hosts the world premiere of a brand new pop musical from the company behind the smash hit SIX. Join Jade as she breaks away from her class to take a peek behind the scenes of the not yet open Gallery of Greatness in the local museum. Along her journey she meets the original wonder women, including Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie and Emmeline Pankhurst. 

An evening with... 

Jenni Murray In Conversation, Norwich Playhouse, September 30 
Join Radio 4 Woman’s Hour legend Jenni Murray talks honestly about how at the age of 64 she decided that she had to make a connection between her weight and health issues before it was too late. She’ll tackle emotive topics, such as why we overeat, the consequences of the obesity epidemic on an overstretched NHS and why shouting ‘fat cow’ at a woman isn’t considered a hate crime. 

Amanda Owen – Yorkshire Shepherdess, King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, October 10 
In this show, shepherdess Amanda Owen shares heart-warming tales and honest anecdotes from her remarkable farming family life in North Yorkshire. 

John Cooper Clarke (supported by Luke Wright), presented by Norwich Arts Centre, The Halls, Norwich, October 12 
John shot to prominence in the 1970s as the original people’s poet. His unique poetry writing and rapid-fire delivery style was recorded and put to music by legendary producer Martin Hannett. He released four big selling albums in the late 70s and early 80s and was supported by soon to be superstars including Joy Division, New Order and Duran Duran and was a guest at shows by the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Clash. His poetry collection, 10 Years In An Open Necked Shirt, is one of the biggest selling poetry books in the UK.  

Actress Stephanie Beecham is appearing at the Hostry Festival

Actress Stephanie Beecham is appearing at the Hostry Festival - Credit: Contributed by the Hostry Festival

Stephanie Beacham in conversation with Peter Wilson, The Hostry Building, Norwich Cathedral, October 30 
The first lady of glamour, actress Stephanie Beacham will be sharing memories of her illustrious film and TV career as part of the Hostry Festival. She has starred in Tenko, Connie, Bad Girls, Star Trek, Bad Girls, Coronation Street – and of course as Sable Colby in Dynasty, where she proved a match for Joan Collins’s Alexis. 

Michael Portillo: A Life Of Two Halves, Diss Corn Hall, October 30 and Cromer Pier, November 4 
It took Michael Portillo little over 10 years to get a seat in the Commons and then rise to a point where he was considered a possible leader and future PM. But since leaving the house almost a decade ago, he has found an alternative career celebrating the great Victorian railways. 
 
Rutherford And Fry’s Complete Guide to Absolutely Everything *Abridged, University Of East Anglia Lecture Theatre 1, October 30  
In their first ever live show, as part of Norwich Science Festival, Dr Hannah Fry and Dr Adam Rutherford will show you that reality is not what it seems. Common sense is neither common nor sensible, and our minds have evolved to lie to us all the time. If we believed what our minds tell us, we’d all think the world is flat (it’s not even round), the sun orbits the Earth (nope) and that a day is made of 24 hours (close, but also no).     

Carol Drinkwater – An Act Of Love, The Hostry Building, Norwich Cathedral, October 31 
Multi-award-winning actress Carol Drinkwater, best known for her portrayal of Helen Herriot in the 70s and 80s BBC TV series All Creatures Great And Small will be talking to Rebecca Chapman about her latest novel, An Act Of Love, as part of the Hostry Festival.

Actress Hayley Mills will be appearing at the Hostry Festival, of which she is a patron

Actress Hayley Mills will be appearing at the Hostry Festival, of which she is a patron - Credit: Bee Gilbert


Hayley Mills In Conversation With Stash Kirkbride, The Hostry Building, Norwich Cathedral, October 31 
Hostry Festival patron, screen legend Hayley Mills, will be talking about her Hollywood years when she starred in films including The Parent Trap, In Search of the Castaways, Summer Magic and Whistle Down the Wind with artistic director Stash Kirkbride. 

Adam Buxton Rambles, Norwich Playhouse, October 31 
Norfolk-based comedian and podcast host Adam Buxton reads from his Ramblebook, ruminating on topics including parenthood, his formative cultural influences of the 80s, boarding school, his dad and David Bowie. 

David Suchet: Poirot and More, Norwich Theatre Royal, November 7 
For more than 25 years, David Suchet captivated millions worldwide as Agatha Christie’s elegant Belgian detective. The Emmy and Olivier award winning actor will be talking about his many roles, which also include Lady Bracknell, Cardinal Benelli and Freud when he appears at Norwich Theatre Royal. 

James McDermott – Manatomy, Wells Maltings, November 11
James McDermott will read from his collection of wry, witty and cheeky poems, with a screening of his film on the same topic, exploring how the experiences of growing up gay in a homophobic world and in rural millennial England affect a gay man’s relationships with himself, his partners, the LGBTQ+ community and the wider world. 

An Evening with Lady Glenconner, Norwich Playhouse, November 21 
Lady Glenconner has spent her life as a friend of the royal family. She was maid of honour at the Queen’s coronation and lady in waiting to Princess Margaret, and her recent memoir offered an extraordinary account of major events in royal history. 
Now she returns with a new novel, a mystery set at her home, Holkham, during the Second World War. 

Music 

Kathryn Tickell And The Darkening, Diss Corn Hall, September 28 
Northumbrian composer and performer Kathryn Tickell and her five-piece band, The Darkening, return to the gig circuit following a sell-out tour in support of the album, Hollowbone.  Kathryn is also a regular presenter for BBC Radio 3’s Music Planet. 

Jason Donovan celebrates the 30th anniversary of his debut album with shows at Norwich Theatre Royal and King's Lynn

Jason Donovan celebrates the 30th anniversary of his debut album, 10 Good Reasons, with shows at Norwich Theatre Royal and King's Lynn - Credit: Contributed by Norwich Theatre Royal

Jason Donovan, King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, October 8 and Norwich Theatre Royal, October 11 
The Australian star hits the road for a rescheduled tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his debut album Ten Good Reasons. Sing along and swoon to all his pop hits including Too Many Broken Hearts, Especially For You and Any Dream Will Do. 

Ronnie Scott’s Orchestra, Norwich Playhouse, November 5 
Direct from the world-famous jazz club, The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, led by the club’s musical director, tell the story of the legendary venue. 

Engelbert Humperdinck, Norwich Theatre Royal, November 13 
During his 50-year career Engelbert Humperdinck has sold more than 140 million records, including 64 gold albums, 35 platinum, four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe and stars on three walks of fame.  

Marti Pellow Greatest Hits Tour, Norwich Theatre Royal, November 27 
The former Wet Wet Wet frontman will be performing songs from his 12th studio album Stargazer live for the first time. 

Dance 

Matthew Koon in Northern Ballet's Merlin, which is coming to Norwich Theatre Royal

Matthew Koon in Northern Ballet's Merlin, which is coming to Norwich Theatre Royal - Credit: Guy Farrow

Northern Ballet: Merlin, Norwich Theatre Royal, October 19-23 
Discover how the world’s most famous sorcerer mastered his magic to unite a warring kingdom in Northern Ballet’s Merlin, choreographed by Olivier award-winning Drew McOnie. 

Rambert2 – Double Bill, Norwich Playhouse, October 20-21 
In February 2020, 650 early career dancers attended open auditions to join the Rambert2 ensemble. Just 11 were chosen and they make their on-stage debut in Sharon Eyal’s uncompromising Killer Pig and Micaela Taylor’s Home. 

Sati and Shiva: Diwali, Norwich Playhouse, November 6 
This new dance piece from the Natayapriya Dance Company celebrates Diwali with vibrant dancing, beautiful music and dramatic storytelling. 

Family 

The Keeper's Daughter's production of The Time Machine is touring to venues across Norfolk

The Keeper's Daughter's production of The Time Machine is touring to venues across Norfolk - Credit: Al Pulford

The Time Machine, Sheringham Little Theatre, September 30 and Westacre Theatre, October 2 
Join a mysterious Victorian time traveller on an adventure where he encounters alien species, explores new landscapes and battles the dreaded subterranean Morlocks in The Keeper’s Daughter’s take on HG Wells’s classic sci-fi story. 

Maddie Moate, Norwich Playhouse, October 23-24 
Children’s TV presenter and YouTuber Maddie Moate brings a selection of stories from her debut book, Stuff, to life on stage as part of Norwich Science Festival. Expect tales that span science, history and geography. 

Spontaneous Potter Kidz, Norwich Playhouse, October 30 
Harry Potter fans will love this show, which sees an entirely new magical adventure improvised on the spot with a live musical accompaniment. 

Dragons and Mythical Beasts, Norwich Theatre Royal, November 9-11 
Unveil myriad dark secrets and come face to face with magnificent monsters and terrifying beasts in this spectacular puppet show from the creators of the West End hit Dinosaur World Live. 

The Gruffalo, Norwich Playhouse, November 17-November 28 
Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s classic picture book.  

Contacts

For full venue listings and bookings see:

Norwich Theatre Royal/Norwich Playhouse: norwichtheatre.org

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich: maddermarket.co.uk

Norwich Science Festival: norwichsciencefestival.co.uk

The Garage, Norwich: thegarage.org.uk

Norwich Arts Centre: norwichartscentre.co.uk

Hostry Festival: hostryfestival.org

St George's Theatre, Great Yarmouth: stgeorgestheatre.com

Wells Maltings: wellsmaltings.org.uk

Westacre Theatre: westacretheatre.com

King's Lynn Corn Exchange: kingslynncornexchange.co.uk

Cromer Pier: cromerpier.co.uk

Sheringham Little Theatre: sheringhamlittletheatre.com

Diss Corn Hall: thecornhall.co.uk

Princess Theatre, Hunstanton: princesshunstanton.co.uk

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