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Festival Diaries - artistic director Jonathan Holloway

PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:18 02 July 2010

Jonathan Holloway inside the Luminarium at last year's festival.

Jonathan Holloway inside the Luminarium at last year's festival.

Mary Hamilton

Jonathan Holloway, artistic director of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, shares his diary for the day.

Mary Hamilton

Jonathan Holloway, artistic director of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, shares his diary for the day.

Game on. It's Friday. Chapelfield Gardens is dressed up like it's going to a party. The Festival Spiegeltent is about to open its doors to the first glad-ragged circus-goers.

Artists of unparalleled talent and drive are arriving by the hour to make Norwich their capital of culture for the next sixteen days. The moment of the unleashing of the Festival is thrilling.

Directing a Festival is a wild rollercoaster of a job. One moment I am discussing this evening's performance with perhaps the most famous composer in the UK, the next I am inspecting the loos outside the Festival Spiegeltent with my production team.

I get to bring burlesque stars from New York, acrobats from Canada, orchestras from Moscow and stunning pyrotechnicians from France here to the city of Norwich.

And I get to include the work of young people across the county in an internationally respected celebration of music, circus, theatre, dance and visual arts. Surely there's no one luckier than me today?

At 4.45pm today the 2010 Norfolk & Norwich Festival was set to launch to the thunderous groove of the Dhol Foundation and the unbridled joy of Happy Urban Chaos by Les Vernisseurs.

An hour later, I was celebrating the imminent launch of this year's Norfolk Open Studios.

Then this evening I will race from the first part of the UK premiere of La Vie - a fabulous circus-cabaret show designed for a spiegeltent - to see the opening of Antonio Forcione's performance in The Playhouse, then onto Michael Nyman and David McAlmont's collaboration at Norwich Theatre Royal. The night will finish back in the Spiegeltent at about 2am.

This is going to be a Festival of choices for me and for the thousands of people who will buy a ticket or turn up to one of the free events.

But whatever choices I make, I know that 2010 is going to be a Festival to remember.

Festival Launch Event is on Millennium Plain (outside The Forum) at 4.45pm - 6.00pm.

Antonio Forcione Quartet is at Norwich Playhouse at 7.00pm (returns only).

Michael Nyman & David McAlmont is at Norwich Theatre Royal at 8.00pm.

La Vie by Les 7 Doigts de la Main is at the Festival Spiegeltent at 7.30pm.

To book tickets call 01603 766400 or visit www.nnf10.org.uk

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