Students review Norfolk and Norwich Festival shows

City Academy and City College Norwich students review some of the performances so far ...

Nijinsky Siam performance by the Pichet Klunchun Dance Company, Norwich Playhouse, Tues 17th May

Nijinsky Siam was interesting. The men were very strong and held the poses very well. It was very slow and quiet and was a mix of two different cultures. It was a fantastic thing to be able to do and a great experience, but I wouldn't want to watch it again.

Paula Ford age 12.

Mr.Bumm's Story Machine

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Mr.Bumm's Story Machine … what can I say? One word. Amazing. A combination of both comedy and entertainment Professor Bumm and Professor Wee gained the audience's attention as soon as they walked onto the stage. With a soaking of the crowd the children's imaginations were captured.

Bumm and Wee engaged with the audience by asking silly questions to the children which the adults even found hilarious, this show was definitely not just for the children but for the adults to remember what it was like to be immature and to enjoy themselves for the next 65 minutes. With a variety of stories, poetry and music made up entirely from a few words the audience gave, using their imagination, made the show highly amusing.

From start to finish the audiences laugh could be heard across Norwich. Professor Bumm and Professor Wee's personalities shone through which is why I believe their improvised comedy and storytelling has made its mark.

Finally, after performing on such shows as CBBCs 'The Slammer,' The Black Sheep Co-operation has a wide following of fans of which I now feel a part of and would encourage people, of any age, to take the time to go and watch this show and to see whether they can keep a straight face from start to finish.

Jonathan Frost

Theatre Tineola

This spectacular performance had a noticeable difference to other puppet shows, that you could see the people moving them and were themselves a part of the show. The show was about the travels of the two puppets Kudykam and Tudytam who went around the world in a tea kettle. Their adventures involve being caught up in a storm, looking at dazzling fish under the water, they also end up on an island of sleeping parrots.

The music used along with this show is joyful and fits in very well with the story, it is a big part of the performance as the characters don't speak much nor does the narrator either. Interestingly at one point of their journey there is a song which is in German it works well with the style of the show because they have lots of different ways in it that they present it.

A main part of the story telling was a live circular image that you could see being drawn and moved to the left of the stage. It also allowed the puppeteers to do shadow plays from behind it, with a painted scenery backdrop.

This show was suitable for kids age 4 and up, but was still enjoyed by adults, as the humour can be appreciated by all ages.

Lauren Seeney

Mayra Andrade Review

The global icon and leading Portuguese fado singer Mariza was meant to be performing at Norwich Theatre Royal as part of the Norfolk and Norwich festival, on Sunday 15th May. Unfortunately due to sickness Mariza was unable to perform. A last minute change to the line up saw the premiere performances of Claudia Aurora, a fado singer and songwriter based in Bristol, and Mayra Andrade who was voted winner of BBC Radio 3 World Music 'Newcomer' Award in 2008.

Claudia Aurora was the opening act and performed a variety of original and songs. The first song see performed was 'Silencio' from her debut album. As she projected her voice across the audience you could feel the power and soul in the performance; this gave me goose bumps, and made me feel at ease and memorised by her beautiful voice. Before performing each song Claudia would inform the audience of the meaning behind the song which in several cases made the audience laugh and cheer. From her movement to the soul of her voice the meaning of the songs shone through even though they were performed in Portuguese.

After the interval, Mayra Andrade entered onto the stage and started to perform what I would call feel-good music for this time of year. A combination of what sounded like Spanish and Latin American music made the audience move vigorously in their seats. Mayra's voice was outstanding. I have never heard anything like it. Her mellow, fresh yet husky voice captured the heart and soul of the audience. As the performance came to an end the audience where participating, singing lyrics from her songs and gave her a standing ovation. If this wasn't enough the audience were asking for more. Mayra Andrade and her band entered the stage for one last time and put every piece of their energy into this spectacular last piece.

Mayra Andrade and Claudia Aurora are the most amazing singers I have ever heard and I will never forget them, if Mayra and Claudia are invited to perform at next year's festival then it is most definitely a show worth watching.

Jonathan Frost

Chouf Ouchouf – Zimmermann & de Perrot (Review)

Friday 13th is said to be unlucky for some but, is a night I will never forget. Norwich Theatre Royal saw the return of the highly skilled Groupe Acrobatique de Tangier, an outstanding performance of acrobatics. Throughout the performance you were kept on the edge of your seat anticipating what was to come.

Not only were the acrobats astounding they combined singing with their performance which gave the audience a sense of their culture which you could tell they were particularly proud of. Comedy also played a big part throughout the performance, with the audience laughing and applauding every movement - which was greatly deserved.

You were able to see how much time and effort they had put into the performance and the physical strength needed to put together this once in a life time show. Zimmermann & de Perrot take everyday interactions and give these little things in life a big platform which shone through with humorous repetition and distortion.

In my opinion, words cannot describe the impact Chouf Ouchouf had on the audience. From start to finish the performance entertained the audience with not one person not applauding, laughing or having their breath taken by what they were seeing. Groupe Acrobatique de Tangier are an outstanding group of people with a passion for performing and entertaining the public- a five star show that I highly recommend; and don't forget, 'Look, but take a real good look!'

Jonathan Frost

Caddis, Crystal & Co Exhibition

As you walk in the room you are completely taken in by the art work, there are two tree trunks about 6 metres long each that are covered in gold nails. At first I thought they were also painted in gold paint but they weren't.

To the right of these is a ball of red coral like material, compared to the other pieces in the room it is quite small. It is actually made out of smaller bits of coral attached together and bound with 'necklaces of bread' these just looked like little rings of bread all around the red coral.

There is a large rock work which is cracked into smaller pieces but has been glued back together. It is a light rocky colour – very pale.

There is a modern white rock that has been shaped to have lots of flat sides. It is just as big as the other rock. It has lots of shapes over it mostly triangles and circles, they were placed inside the rock when it was made and then it has been sanded so you can see the shapes. They looks metallic in the light.

On a large table there are five cream coloured tubes randomly placed on top of each other. Their insides are more interesting, they are filled with little metallic stones (fitted around the inside edges of the tubes). Inside some of them you can look all the way through and see to the other end. You can see the dark bobbly stones in there too.

The next artifact is a massive pile of silvery metallic pieces of metal called magnetite. Which is the worlds most magnetic metal.

Cube shaped pieces of Pyrite crystal that is also known as 'fools gold' make up a large cylinder some of the pieces are chipped a little. One end of the cylinder is closed off and the other is open, this allows you to see that the inside is smooth and flat, where as the outside is at different levels and uneven.

Caddis Larvae; these creatures are about 1.5cm and live in rivers using materials such as twigs and leaves to make a case that covers their bodies. What Duprat has done is put them in water with soangles of gold in the place of the materials. The creatures then fashion new cases of gold pieces and bright spots of blue and green in places. There are 11 of the extraordinary golden Caddis Larvae in the exhibition.

Ulexite is the name of the stones that are the next work of Duprat they look mostly clear and lay in a small pile in a glass box. Some of them have white dice in them, this effect is achieved by the stones qualities of magnifying the dice that are put in them. Most of the stones are quite grubby and are shaped at odd angles.

Along one wall were flat pieces of brown flint shaped into heads of animals inspired by the hand creations people make with shadows on walls or ceilings. You can see where around the edges the stone has been chipped off to form the shapes.

Cibachrome by Duprat is the image made by one picture repeated 16 times in different rotations and flips. It was taken in his dark room at a window that he had put some black tape over in certain places to make this effect. It is interesting to look at because to begin with you don't realise it is only one picture.

The penultimate piece of artwork I looked at was a cuboid of 8x8x8 plexiglass cuboids that have been unevenly stuck together by modelling clay which look like white spots through the clear cubes. It is very interesting looking into this cube because of the way the white spots line up, they look strange and un-natural.

Six long ridged columns lay on the floor, they are white with flat black ends. These big columns bend in the middle and stick out over each other.

It was very interesting to be able to see how natural materials can be turned into such intriguing pieces of art work.

Lauren Seeney