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

PUBLISHED: 08:45 22 September 2014 | UPDATED: 08:46 22 September 2014

Hannah Walker & Chirs Thorpe: I Wish I was Lonely

Hannah Walker & Chirs Thorpe: I Wish I was Lonely

Martin Figura

Poet Hannah Walker and writer Chris Thorpe explore the impact on our lives of mobile phones in I Wish I was Lonely, the latest stage production of To Kill A Mockingbird revisits the book in a new and original way, folk legends Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick return, Ruth Madoc and Ian Lavender star in a tender one-act play and violinist Tasmin Little opens Fressingfield Music Festival. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this week.


To Kill A Mockingbird

Norwich Theatre Royal, September 22-27, 7.30pm, 2.30pm Sept 24/27, £21-£5.50, 01603 630000,

A novel loved by many for its portrayal of endearing humanity in the face of serious issues such as rape and racial inequality. The play, which revisits the book in a new and original way, enjoyed critical acclaim and sell-out audiences in its first 2013 season at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. After another spell back in the park this summer, the new cast will be heading out on a UK tour and bringing the production indoors, with Norwich its second venue. While there is much about To Kill A Mockingbird that is warm and humorous, it confronts harrowing issues which are still highly relevant today, more than 50 years after the novel was published, dealing with the trial of a black man accused of raping a white woman in a small-town community.


Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, September 22, 7.30pm, £16, £5 under-25s, 01284 758000,

This remarkable pairing played an important part in the tremendous shake up given to British folk music in the middle to late 1960s, yet Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick’s experienced approach lacks none of the fervour of their early days. Dave Swarbrick first came to prominence on the folk scene as a young instrumental virtuoso in the Ian Campbell Folk Group. Having worked alongside other leading musicians such as Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, Beryl and Roger Marriott and A. L. Lloyd, he teamed up with Martin Carthy in 1966. The result was a completely new approach to folk music. All the old skills are demonstrated with a new collection of traditional songs and instrumentals.


Never Too Old

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, September 23-27, 8pm, 2pm Sept 24, 3pm Sept 27, 01284 769505,

Enchanting one-act play comes direct to the Bury Theatre Royal from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, prior to a UK tour. You’re Never Too Old introduces us to two people in the autumn of their years, Ada (Ruth Madoc) and Tommy (Ian Lavender), who ‎meet on a park bench. They fall into conversation and as they chat we learn a little about them and the story that emerges is sad, funny and bitter sweet. Director Danusia Iwaszko, who hails from Bury, said: “Ian and Ruth worked incredibly hard to get it just right. They both have a star quality which shines on stage‎ and they play off the script and one another and produce poignant performances.”


Tasmin Little

St Peter and St Paul, Fressingfield, September 23, 7.30pm, £20 adv/£25 door, 01379 586459,

Violinist Tasmin Little has played with many of the world’s greatest orchestras in a career that has taken her to every continent of the world. In addition to her regular solo performances, she now play/directs orchestras such as London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic, European Union Chamber Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia. In 2007/08 she joined the London Mozart Players as soloist and director in a tour of the UK which also featured her UK conducting debut. Here she opens the Fressingfield Music Festival with a performance of works by Kreisler, Beethoven, Arvo Part and others, accompanied by pianist John Lenehan.


I Wish I was Lonely

Norwich Arts Centre, September 24, 8pm/9.30pm, £8 (£6 cons), 01603 660352,

Would you be lost without your mobile? Can you remember the last time you were truly alone, unable to be contacted by anyone else in the world? These are the questions explored in the latest show from poet Hannah Walker and writer Chris Thorpe which returns after making its debut at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival earlier this year. The audience is encouraged to keep their phones on, and text messages and calls interrupt the show as the two hosts mix poetry, conversation and occasional sound clips. It’s a thought-provoking piece, with a strong creative core that helps connect the audience – both electronically and in person. Hannah said: “There will be some stories and there will be some poetry, some conversation and some interaction.”


KL Comedy Club

King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, September 25, 8.45pm, £8.50, 01553 764864,

King’s Lynn Comedy Club’s autumn season kicks off with four very different comedians taking to the mic. Dynamic stand-up comedian Johnny Kats is a talented and energetic performer with an arsenal of impersonations. For over five years, he has been making audiences laugh worldwide including sold out shows at the prestigious Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Rhodi Rhys combines sharp wit and observation, with a natural geniality. A very unique performer, who excels in recounting his hilarious surreal observations, Paul F Taylor is one of the most exciting comedians currently on the comedy circuit very much in demand. Martin Davies fires off a relentless rapid-fire assault and kills 100% of all known hecklers stone dead.

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