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

PUBLISHED: 08:43 28 July 2014 | UPDATED: 08:43 28 July 2014

Funny on paper, living cartoon comedian Ennio Marchetto

Funny on paper, living cartoon comedian Ennio Marchetto


Living cartoon Ennio Marchetto transforms the art of origami into comedy magic, The Stranglers return to the Norfolk coast to close the Holt Festival, there’s an imaginative and energetic production of Cosi fan tutte, while Tall Stories return with a revival of their hit musical stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this week.


Ennio Marchetto

Norwich Playhouse, July 28, 8pm, £16 (£14 cons), 01603 598598,

A one-man living cartoon, award-winning Italian comic Ennio Marchetto transforms the art of origami into theatrical magic. In lightening fast succession and using nothing but paper, he morphs into a virtual constellation of stars that literally unfold from one to another in exaggerated costumes. Accompanied by a non-stop music soundtrack, this Olivier award-nominated and wildly entertaining show uses ingenious paper costumes, razor-sharp mimicry and split second timing to create a whirlwind of popular icons as Ennio magically morphs into parodies of up to 70 personalities including Gaga, Obama, Bono, Beyonce and the Queen. No celebrity is safe and he will be unveiling lots of new creations as he previews by latest version of the show ahead of the Edinbrugh Festival next month.


The Stranglers

Theatre in the Woods, Holt, on July 27, 9pm, £40, 01263 711284,

Norfolk holds a huge emotional attachment for JJ Burnel of The Stranglers. For, a decade ago, tucked away in a rented cottage at Holme-next-the-Sea, near Hunstanton, he wrote some of the band’s finest songs in recent years.

The Norfolk Coast album became a critical and commercial success and the three month sojourn in West Norfolk in 2004 became the place where he not only re-birthed his writing career but spent healing time getting over a failing marriage to his now ex-French wife. Stranglers made their revival permanent by recording the successful albums Suite XVI and Giants, both of which keep the prominent bass and keyboard sound which set the tone of the trademark Stranglers twist. Now living between the south of France and London, circumstance means 52-year-old father of two JJ has rarely come back to Norfolk. He will however make a welcome return when The Stranglers headline the Holt Festival.


Flowers and Figures

Anteros Arts Foundation, Fy Bridge Street, Norwich, until August 2, Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, free admission, 01603 766129,

Norfolk artist Diana Lamb returns to the Anteros gallery with a new body of work based on two of her favourite themes; the garden and the human form. She describes her practice of repeatedly exploring ideas that interest her as being “almost like a mantra” and in Flowers and Figures recurrent images recurrent images include the seasons, nature s abundance and familiar objects and people in Diana’s life. Her free and expressive technique result in images which have a looseness and vitality and she chooses the most appropriate materials to suit her subject matter, from ash stick and ink to printmaking and collage. “My aim is to be honest and direct, not to be ‘tricky’,” she explains. “To draw and paint freely and expressively, to be serious about my work and to enjoy the working processes, however hard they seem!”


Nuru Kane and the BFG

The Bicycle Shop, St Benedict’s Street, Norwich, July 29, 7.30pm, £8, 01603 625777,

Originally from Senegal, Nuru Kane moved to Paris in the 1990s and is now internationally famous on the world music scene in France, North Africa and Japan. In Paris, his vocal and multi-instrumental abilities found him in demand both fronting his own band and guesting with others. Yet Kane did not truly find his musical direction until a trip to Morocco left him captivated by the rhythms of Gnawa. While his music is loosely described as Afrobeat, his influences take in blues, jazz, reggae and funk. Towering well over 6ft tall in trademark headgear and 24 hour sunglasses and playing his three stringed Moroccan bass – guimbri - he is, in style and music, the missing link between Youssou N’Dour and Bootsy Collins.


Cosi fan tutte

Granary Theatre, Wells, July 31-August 3, 2.30pm/7.30pm, July 31 £10/August 1-3 £14, 01328 710193,

Following their successful staging of The Turn of the Screw last year, part of the Benjamin Britten celebrations, Seastar Opera return with Mozart’s brilliant comic opera in an imaginative and energetic production directed by Susie Self. By turns hilarious and touching, Cosi fan tutte follows the story of two young couples who encounter romantic storms when conniving Don Alfonso makes a bet that their girlfriends will allow their hearts to stray. They don’t count on the cunning of the Don and his mischievous accomplice Despina. The production features young singers from both the Royal College of Music and the ENO. Hear them before they become famous!


The Gruffalo

King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, August 1, 2pm, August 2-3, 11am/2pm, £11, £30 (3)/£40 (4) family, 01553 764864,

Tall Stories return with a revival of their hit musical stage adaptation of the award winning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Mouse can scare hungry animals away with tall stories of the terrifying Gruffalo, but what happens when he comes face to face with the very creature he imagined...? The Gruffalo has been performed to well over a million people worldwide and has even hit the small screens in a star-studded TV animation. A perfect family treat with plenty of songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3+.

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