Six of the Best: Cultural highlights not to miss this week

PUBLISHED: 08:32 07 May 2014 | UPDATED: 08:32 07 May 2014

The Two Worlds of Charlie F

The Two Worlds of Charlie F

Cylla von Tiedemann

The Two Worlds of Charlie F, an astonishing piece of drama about the recovery process for injured soldiers, featuring soldiers themselves, pop-reggae legend Billy Ocean, a production of comic opera HMS Pinafore, commemorative exhibition of painter Jenny Creasy and heavily tipped new music star Rae Morris. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this week.


The Two Worlds of Charlie F

Norwich Theatre Royal, May 6-10, 7.30pm, 2.30pm May 8/10, £23-£5.50, 01603 630000,

Royal Marine Cassidy Little has lost none of his sense of humour, even though he has achieved one of his ultimate goals relatively late in life. Surprising really but then he is no ordinary man. “I joined the Marines because of a bet 10 years ago,” Cassidy says. That bet changed his life forever. In 2011 he suffered extensive injuries when serving in Afghanistan, including losing his leg. However, while undergoing an intensive rehab programme, the opportunity arrived to become an actor — a childhood ambition of his. Next week he will be at Norwich Theatre Royal where he will be performing in The Two Worlds of Charlie F, an astonishing piece of drama about the recovery process for injured soldiers. The cast is bolstered by professional actors who gave tips to the soldiers. The servicemen, in turn, relayed their own experiences of being on the frontline to the actors.


HMS Pinafore

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, May 7-10, 7.30pm, 2.30pm May 10, £12, 01603 620917,

The East Norfolk Operatic Society present the hilarious operetta from Gilbert and Sullivan, that takes place aboard the British ship H.M.S. Pinafore where a navy captain’s daughter, Josephine, falls in love with a lower-class sailor instead of her father’s choice, the First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir Joseph Porter. It is a charming story, filled with memorable music and a surprise twist. The second act also includes the short comic opera Trial By Jury concerning a “breach of promise of marriage” lawsuit in which the judge and legal system are the objects of light-hearted satire.


Matteo Raggi Quartet

Lakeside Country Club, Quarry Lane, Lyng, May 7, 8pm, £10, 01362696741,

Based in Bologna, Matteo Raggi is a lyrical master of the jazz tenor saxophone. He performs all over Europe and in the USA. Appearing regularly with American tenor sax legend, Scott Hamilton, it was in Scott’s company that Norfolk fans first heard Matteo on stage at the Lakeside Jazz Club. Expect some driving, accessible jazz with standards to the fore. The band includes pianist Simon Brown, bassist Ivars Galenieks and Brian McAllister on drums.


Jenny Creasy (1941-2010)

Mandells Gallery, Elm Hill, Norwich, May 4-24, Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, free admission, 01603 626892,

A commemorative exhibition of Suffolk painter Jenny Creasy’s work that includes early figurative work from the 1960s and later colourful large-scale abstract paintings. This exhibition reminds us how grateful we are that Creasy became an East Anglian rather than a London or Cornish painter. She went to Ealing Art School at the early age of 15. In the 1960s Ealing was independent and open to joint ventures between students and tutors who were often only a decade older than the young artists they encouraged. The leading painters when Creasy came of age were often associated with artistic groups in Newlyn and St Ives. However she came to live in north Suffolk in 1982. During the next quarter of a century Creasy was an artist of private thoughts, untroubled exploration and hard-won contentment.


Rae Morris

Open, Bank Plain, Norwich, May 7, 7pm, £7, 01603 508050,

Embarking on a career in music it helps if, like Rae Morris, you have mates like Charlie Fink from Noah & The Whale and Ben Garrett (aka Fryars), who produced her first two EP. Another close friend and sounding board is Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club. She has just finished supporting the band on their UK tour and features on three tracks from their No 1 album So Long See You Tomorrow. However the Blackpool singer here steps out alone debuting material from her forthcoming proper solo debut, on which she has been working with LA’s Ariel Rechtshaid, who’s become something of a producer du temps by working with acts as diverse as Haim, Usher and Vampire Weekend.


England Away

Norwich Arts Centre, May 8, 8pm, £12 (£8 cons), 01603 660352,

This latest production from The Future is Unwritten mixes drama and comedy to delve into themes of passion, patriotism and ‘Englishness’ through three distinct scenarios. The story begins in 2001 as four very different England fans are thrown together in Germany the night before that astonishing 5-1 victory for England. Jump back to 1944 and two men argue and dream about the land they have been fighting for on their way home from Germany, contemplating their hopes and fears for a new England. The action is intercut with comedy routines from stand-up Eddy Brimson, punctuating scenes with provocative and hard-hitting material about football culture.

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