50 things not to miss this autumn in Norwich
09:59 14 September 2012
Summer might be slipping away, but autumn won’t disappoint. From art to dance, music to theatre, there’s a plethora of cultural delights in the coming weeks. SIMON PARKIN offers a guide to some of this autumn’s hottest tickets.
Norwich Theatre Royal, September 17-22
Will Young and Michelle Ryan head the cast in this multi-award winning production. Having premiered in 1966, and been turned into the movie with Liza Minnelli, Kander and Ebb’s landmark musical turns Weimar Berlin of 1931 into a dark haven of decadence, at the heart of which Sally Bowles performs at the Kit Kat Klub…
One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest
UEA Drama Studio, October 11-13
Minotaur Theatre Company returns with a challenging new version of Dale Wasserman’s stage adaptation in time for the 50th anniversary of Ken Kesey’s infamous novel. RP McMurphy feigns insanity to escape his prison sentence but is confronted with a new force: Nurse Ratched.
Norwich Theatre Royal, October 16-20
Originally created as part of the World Shakespeare Festival for London 2012 Festival, this Royal Shakespeare Company production has an all-black cast and uses the Bard’s great political thriller to find dark contemporary echoes in modern Africa.
Norwich Theatre Royal, November 5-10
The first ever UK tour of the critically acclaimed London production of Alan Ayckbourn’s haunting study of grief, obsession and the supernatural. Musical prodigy Julia Lukin was discovered in a pool of blood in a dingy attic. Twelve years later her father still wants answers and tonight he shall have them...
Oh What A Lovely War
Maddermarket Theatre, November 15-24
This First World War musical satire was first staged in 1963 but is still full of political bite. Popular songs such as Goodbye-ee, Pack Up Your Troubles and Keep The Home Fires Burning along with comic routines contrast with images of the stark reality of war.
The Importance Of Being Earnest
Norwich Playhouse, November 20-21
Oscar Wilde’s theatrical masterpiece is widely-acknowledged as one of the greatest comedies in the English language. This London Classic Theatre production features all the characters, sparkling dialogue, gloriously improbable plot twists and a sprinkling of romance and follows their acclaimed production of Equus.
One Man, Two Guvnors
Norwich Theatre Royal, December 4-8
The National Theatre’s smash-hit comedy, a West End and Broadway sensation, comes to Norwich. Richard Bean’s award-winning play, based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, with songs by Grant Olding, remains a glorious celebration of British comedy, mixing of satire, songs, slapstick and glittering one-liners.
Beauty & The Beast
Norwich Theatre Royal, October 2-6
Northern Ballet’s stunning new production sparkles with a kaleidoscope of colour and haute couture-style costumes, typically breathtaking dancing and an infectious score including music by Saint-Säens, Bizet, Debussy, Poulenc and Glazunov, played live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia.
Norwich Playhouse, October 6
Brooklyn-based Decadance redefine the image of women in hip hop. This evening promises knock out performances fusing old-school hip hop styles with cutting edge 3D video technology taking the dancers into an abstract world where b-boying, body-popping and house dance come alive against a morphing cityscape.
Agnes and Walter
Norwich Playhouse, October 10
The Norwich-based Smith Dance Theatre’s delightful flight of fancy set the Edinburgh Festival Fringe alight with its poignant and compelling comic story-telling. The story of secret wishes, suppressed desires and a garden shed inspired by The Secret Life of Walter Mitty here gets a welcome return performance.
Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty
Norwich Theatre Royal, November 20-24
Matthew Bourne’s latest re-imagining of a ballet classic gets a premiere. Sleeping Beauty sees the acclaimed choreographer return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete the trio of ballet masterworks that started with Nutcracker! and the international smash hit Swan Lake.
Rambert Dance Company
Norwich Theatre Royal, November 29-30
The Rambert’s latest visit features 22 of the world’s finest dancers performing the Rambert version of Nijinsky’s seminal ballet L’Après-midi d’un faune, which is paired with Mark Baldwin’s colourful modern-day response What Wild Ecstasy. The programme also includes Tim Rushton’s heartstoppingly athletic Monolith.
Norwich Playhouse, September 21-22
Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Tim Key brings his latest adventurous, bizarrely beautiful bath-obsessed hour to Norwich. Like the award-winning Slutcracker, his new show features collections of pithy poems and short stories and some gorgeously shot short films.
Norwich Playhouse, October 5
It has been over a year since his father died, and Sean is dealing with his death in a way that only Sean can — at the stand-up mic. His show Life Becomes Noises promises to be a hilarious yet poignant tale is a beautiful insight into the lighter side of dying and getting older, going to places that comedy rarely goes.
Norwich Playhouse, October 13
Once merely quirky, bordering on the twee, Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated Josie Long discovered a spikier edge with political material, and you can expect that to be developed further alongside more personal material in Romance and Adventure.
Norwich Theatre Royal, October 14
After a six year absence from stand-up, Jack Dee is back, agonizing over the slightest of annoyances and misdemeanours. The star of Lead Balloon, his sit-com where he basically plays a version of himself, he turns grumpiness into an art form.
Norwich Playhouse, October 15
The whimsical Irish stand-up returns with his latest show. Joyful, intelligent whimsy, he’ll do some standing-up, sitting down and songs from a small plastic 1980s keyboard. Plus he’ll explain why life is basically the Olympics, but at the end you don’t get a medal, you die.
Norwich Arts Centre, October 16
Scotland’s teen prodigy award-winning comedian has really come of age in the past couple of years. Having started gigging aged just 16 he has appeared on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and had his own BBC show The Adventures of Daniel. His latest effort is imaginatively titled The Show.
Norwich Arts Centre, October 23
Following last year’s sell-out UK tour of Still Life, Paul Foot, who is something of a comedians’ comedian, returns with a brand new show — the intriguingly titled Kenny Larch Is Dead. It always pays to expect the unexpected from the man who has been described as “sublime, original and brilliant”.
Norwich Theatre Royal, October 24
After a two year break Ross Noble is back doing what he does best. Famed for his fiery and fluid freewheeling style, he is expert at picking surreal comedy from tiny particles of random nonsense. Expect more of the same in latest show Mindblender.
Killing Them Softly
Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini star in this crime thriller about two petty criminals recruited to rob a high stakes, Mob-protected poker game which has been getting rave reviews. Pitt plays an enforcer hired to track down the culprits.
In 2072, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past in this sci-fi thriller starring Bruce Willis that sees to pitched as a cross between Inception and 12 Monkeys.
Tim Burton returns to stop-motion animation, this time black and white and 3D, for this long-treasured project about a boy harnesses the power of science to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life — with just a few minor adjustments.
Daniel Craig is back as 007 in the 23rd in the longest-running film franchise of all time. Sam Mendes is the surprise choice to direct this installment which sees Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her and MI6 comes under attack.
The Oscar-buzz is already building around Paul Thomas Anderson’s drama about the founding of a new religion in the 1950s, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, which isn’t based on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Ben Wheatley’s Kill List was one of the best British films of recent years so hopes are high for this black comedy thriller which centres on a pair of lovers taking their first holiday together. No surprises that things don’t exactly go according to plan.
UEA, September 21
Sheffield singer/songwriter and previous member of Pulp, Richard Hawley has carved out a niche for his retro sound but his latest album Standing At The Sky’s Edge finds him rocking out. And finally out of the wheelchair that hampered his Latitude performance, he’ll be doing full justice to it here.
Waterfront, September 22
Born Bobby Ray Simmons, B.o.B is one of hip-hop’s most inventive and exciting young artists. The multi-talented lyricist and musician’s second album Strange Clouds features a plethora of guest appearances including Lil’ Wayne, Chris Brown and Taylor Swift.
UEA, October 5
For their latest album Street In The Sky, the Coventry indie-rockers have continue to dip into the rich song-writing vein that has produced a raft of indie sing-along hits when they were still too young to vote. Indie may be out of fashion, but they roll on.
Waterfront, October 7
Having featured in the BBC Sounds of 2012 poll and topped NME’s Cool List for 2012, Azealia Banks warms up for her forthcoming Lady Gaga collaboration with a UK tour including this Norwich date. The New York producer and MC will be showcasing tracks from her forthcoming debut album.
UEA, October 8
Fresh off the back of a sold out UK tour and a Lovebox festival headline appearance, everyone’s favourite bittersweet dance-pop cum disco-soul troupe Hot Chip visit as part of a limited series of live dates as they continue to plug their rather excellent new album In Our Heads.
Waterfront, October 20
This psychedelic-indie quartet, who met at art school in Edinburgh, are one of the few new guitar bands to make great strides this year, with their self-titled debut album gaining rave reviews and building on the success of singles Waveforms and Default.
Bat for Lashes
UEA, October 26
With echoes of Björk, Kate Bush and Siouxsie Sioux, Natasha Khan continues her exploration of mystical indie rock sounds as she arrives back in Norwich on the back of her new album The Haunted Man. If her performance at Latitude is anything to go by, don’t miss it.
Folk N Beer Festival
Maddermarket Theatre, September 28-30
The Maddermarket’s mix of folk and real ale festival will include performances by BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated trio Faustus (Sep 28); Maddy Prior (Sep 29), who will be teaming up with multi-talented instrumentalist Giles Lewin; acclaimed singer Bella Hardy (Sep 30); and the Acoustic Strawbs (Sep 30).
Dub Colossus Dub Band
Norwich Arts Centre, October 3
When their first album, A Town Called Addis, was released back in 2008, a blend of contemporary and traditional Ethiopian styles, jazz and dub reggae, Dub Colossus was a studio-based project. Here they bring bring their unique fusion to life with a full live dub band.
Norwich Arts Centre, October 4
Alt-folk hot poperty Karine Polwart draws from folk music’s long tradition while keeping pace with the ceaselessly changing times. She has a talent for crafting unique, enduring melodies, in songs of powerful contemporary relevance.
Bollywood Brass Band
Norwich Arts Centre, October 27
Bollywood meets brass meets bhangra thanks to this pioneering Indian-style band. Wielding saxophones, tabla, dhol drums and a colossal sousaphone, they blend irresistible Hindi film hits with riotous Indian wedding music and Punjabi beats.
Norwich Arts Centre, November 1
Mercury nominated and Mobo award winning alto-saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch is one of the most exciting and versatile young musicians in both the British jazz and hip hop scenes. He returns as part of Norfolk Black History Month.
Latitude Poetry Club
Norwich Arts Centre, September 19/October 17/November 21
Norwich poet Luke Wright curates this monthly spin-off from Latitude. Forward Prize nominee Luke Kennard (Sept 17) is a purveyor of savagely surreal satires. Festival favourite Byron Vincent (Oct 17) brings his sharp, cynical monologues. Then there is caustic, rhyming political verse and snappy one-liners from Radio 4’s Elvis McGonagall (Nov 21).
Norwich Playhouse, September 28-30
As part of celebrations for the bi-centenary of Dickens, Miriam Margolyes reprises her acclaimed Olivier Award-nominated production, portraying over 23 of Dickens’ best-loved characters, from doe-eyed young heroines and brow-beating old harridans.
John Cooper Clarke
Norwich Arts Centre, September 29-30
What can you say about John Cooper Clarke? The Salford poet became a punk legend in the 1970s and early 80s and after some years in the wilderness was won a new generation of young fans from the Artic Monkeys to Plan B. His classic Chicken Town even featured on The Wire.
UEA Literary Festival, October 8
Michael Chabon won the Pulitzer for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and had Wonder Boys turned into a film starring Michael Douglas. He will be talking about his latest novel Telegraph Avenue.
UEA Literary Festival, November 8
Lefty-comedian, turn Blackadder writer, turned novelist, turned playwriting collaborator with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ben Elton visits to talk about his latest novel Two Brothers.
The Yellow Sofa
Norwich Playhouse, October 3
An original Glyndebourne commission, this opera is based on a short story by one of Portugal’s best-loved writers Eça de Queirós. Godofredo Alves’s comfortable, ordered life is turned upside-down when he discovers his wife, Ludovina, in the arms of his best friend and business partner on his favourite yellow sofa.
John Innes Centre, October 8
Pianist Evegenia Rubinova plays a programme that includes Prokofiev, Scriabin and Rachmaninov at a concert that will be broadcast live on Radio 3.
Kanako Ito & Martin Storey
St Andrew’s Hall, October 20
Japanese vioinist Kanako Ito and acclaimed cellist Martin Storey team up for this concert that features a programme of Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn.
Britten Sinfonia 20th Birthday Concert
Norwich Theatre Royal, October 23
This special 20th birthday concert has a repertoire is drawn from Britten Sinfonia’s most inspiring projects and features close collaborator, violinist Pekka Kuusisto. Premières include a piece by Alissa Firsova.
Glyndebourne On Tour
Norwich Theatre Royal, October 30-November 3
This autumn’s Theatre Royal visit by Glyndebourne brings two more productions: the comic highs of Mozart’s scathing satire The Marriage of Figaro and Rusalka, Dvorák’s hauntingly beautiful dive into the underworld, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.
Norwich Arts Centre, September 15
Hand-shadow experts Finger and Thumb Theatre bring a playful performance using traditional techniques of shadows, shapes and sounds to tell the story of a curious circus bear who goes out to explore the world and meets a menagerie of wild animals.
Norwich Playhouse, October 2-3
Scamp Theatre bring their production of former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo’s compelling sequel to his much-loved War Horse. It’s a moving account of the changing face of the English countryside centred on a farmer and his grandson.
There’s A Monster In My Piano
Norwich Puppet Theatre, November 1-2
What do you do when you hear a strange munching noise inside a piano? Call the Piano Doctor. Garlic Theatre’s latest is an offbeat jazzy tale starring puppets, clowning, animation and a very highly strung monster indeed.
Sparks In The Park
Earlham Park, November 3
Norwich’s biggest fireworks night extravaganza returns with two displays, one for children one for all the family, plus burning the guy, fairground fun and much more. Early-bird money-saving tickets go on sale from October 15.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
Norwich Playhouse, November 28-December 9
David Wood had enjoyed great success adapting Fantastic Mr Fox, The Gingerbread Man, BFG and Babe the Sheep Pig. His latest is based on the much-loved picture book written and illustrated by Judith Kerr and featuring songs and lyrics by David Wood.