Every year Norfolk and Norwich are treated to an amazing and richly varied creative arts programme with the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
The festival provides a stunning line up of over 100 shows incorporating nearly every form of creative media from classical music, visual arts, circus, dance and theatre, to a range of family and free events. All performances will be taking place in and around Norwich and Norfolk between the 6-21 May.
You can take in a range of classical concerts from the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra to lunch time concerts by students of the Royal Academy of Music and a performance by classical guitar virtuoso John Williams.
The contemporary music offerings present real diversity. A nine piece ensemble from Cuba play engrossing ‘roots music’ while Congolese super band Staff Benda Billi which translates as ‘look beyond appearances’ are a group of inspirational paraplegic street musicians. Kyle Eastwood and his band (yes, oldest son of Clint) play their own kind of ‘jazz with special influences’. And there’s so much more, from innovative singing to inspirational fiddle playing.
Under the category of circus, theatre and dance you can see a very timely play which looks at the current situation facing young people in Iran as they try to make themselves heard. Groupe Acrobatique de Tangier put on a spectacular display of acrobatic talent at the Theatre Royal while the Ballet Nacional de Espana perform a dramatic flamenco show which portraits the life of the famous flamenco star Carmen Amaya.
Three alternative events highlight impacts of climate change: Invisible Dust, Plane Jam and Tracing Water.
Great shows for families include Professor Bumm’s Story Machine, a hugely entertaining show for youngsters. When the story machine goes horribly wrong the professor and his assistant have to ask the audience to assist with the story telling, resulting in hilarious consequences. There’s even an introduction to the arts for truly tiny tots with BabyO a show for babies aged 6-18 months which encourages their responses with a journey through music, sounds and words.
There’s lots of free events too. Kicking off the festival is a Saxophone Massive at Millennium Plain – more than 200 saxophonists from across Norfolk, professional to novice, come together. The Wolves features huge mechanical puppets and an array of special effects which will eerily weave their way through Norwich streets. On Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May there be lots of other free entertainment going on in Norwich City Centre.
This is only a tiny snapshot of what this fantastic Festival has to offer. There’s a whole lot more to suit every artistic taste. Do grab a programme or visit the website and enjoy this celebration of so many talented artists
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