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Hostry Festival set to return for a seventh year

PUBLISHED: 18:09 19 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:05 03 August 2017

The launch of the Hostry festival brochure at the Cathedral.
l-r: Stash Kirkbride, Caroline Jarrold, Very Rev'd Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich, Peter Barrow, Claire Cullens, Norfolk Community Foundation.

The launch of the Hostry festival brochure at the Cathedral. l-r: Stash Kirkbride, Caroline Jarrold, Very Rev'd Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich, Peter Barrow, Claire Cullens, Norfolk Community Foundation.

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From theatre to music to art and more, this year’s Hostry Festival features a packed programme of events. Arts correspondent Emma Knights finds out more.

Hostry Festival 2017 - The Eagle Has Two Heads. Photo: Matt Dartford.Hostry Festival 2017 - The Eagle Has Two Heads. Photo: Matt Dartford.

Excitement is building for this year’s Hostry Festival which each October brings an array of all things cultural to Norwich Cathedral.

Tickets for the autumn arts extravaganza went on sale this week, and with the full 2017 line-up now revealed there is lots for audiences to look forward to.

The festival will run from October 15 to 29, and among the highlights are its four core projects: the central theatre production which in 2017 is The Eagle Has Two Heads by french playwright Jean Cocteau; the return of the Paint Out Norwich open air art competition which this year has five days of activities; the Norfolk Arts Awards which celebrate our county’s rich cultural scene and include a special EDP People’s Choice Award voted for by our readers; and performances by Total Ensemble Theatre Company.

Other events Include: Curtain Up, decribed as a musical journey through the business of show; a classical concert with local young musicians and with Julian Lloyd Webber as guest of honour; and the return of Never Too Late, a special celebration of how it is never too late to try something new.

The launch of the Hostry festival brochure at the Cathedral.The launch of the Hostry festival brochure at the Cathedral.

Stash Kirkbride, artistic director and co-founder of the festival, said there was a great mixture of events and that he was especially looking forward to presenting The Eagle Has Two Heads, a love story in which a queen’s would-be assassin falls hopelessly in love with her.

He said: “This year the central play is so unique and rare to see. People will have the chance to see without doubt one of the most romantic French plays delivered at a very high standard, and for the first time ever we are doing our main theatre show in the round.”

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Jane Hedges, said: “Once again there is a fantastic range of activities which should engage people with many different interests and across the age groups as well. The cathedral is always so pleased to be hosting the Hostry Festival which seems to go from strength to strength. The thing we most look forward to is the fact we can celebrate so many different aspects of life and also people’s talents and skills which bring so much joy to people.”

The EDP is a media partner for the Hostry Festival. For more about Hostry Festival events, visit www.hostryfestival.org or call 01603 598676.

Hostry Festival 2017 - Total Ensemble Theatre Company. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography.Hostry Festival 2017 - Total Ensemble Theatre Company. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography.

Four Hostry Festival highlights

• Paint Out Norwich - The open air art competition will see artists dotted around the city and celebrating Norwich in paint. There will be an array of activities taking place from October 14 to 18, including a public paint out on October 15 and the main competition from October 16 to 17, followed by an exhibition at the Hostry until October 28.

• The Eagle Has Two Heads - This French melodrama by Jean Cocteau is the festival’s central play and will be performed at the Hostry from October 23 to 28. It is a love story in which a queen’s would-be assassin falls hopelessly in love with her.

Artist Anthea Eames at work painting Fye Bridge during the Norwich Paint Out. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYArtist Anthea Eames at work painting Fye Bridge during the Norwich Paint Out. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

• Norfolk Arts Awards - The county’s cultural champions will be celebrated at a glittering awards ceremony at the Hostry on October 20.

• Total Ensemble Theatre Company - The Norwich-based theatre company will be reprising its show It’s a Wonderful Moon, George! at the Hostry on October 21, and will be presenting a preview of the company’s 2018 production Boy in the Lighthouse.

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