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

10:19 08 September 2014

Tales from the MP3 being staged at The Garage in Norwich

Tales from the MP3 being staged at The Garage in Norwich

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The award-winning 20 Stories High theatre group bring real teenagers onto the stage telling real tales straight from their MP3 players, Lil’ Jimmy Read plays the blues, Norwich trio Mammal Hands mix jazz and electronica, there is a fascinating exhibition of photographs taken by Lilah Wingfield and the Norwich Print Fair returns. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this week.

THEATRE

Tales from the MP3

The Garage, Chapelfield North, Norwich, September 9, 7pm/September 10, 1.30pm, £10 (£5 students), £22.50 family, 016903 630000, www.thegarage.org.uk

The award-winning 20 Stories High theatre group bring real teenagers onto the stage telling real tales straight from their MP3 players. As they hear the words in their headphones, the performers deliver line for line to the audience what they are hearing. With unflinching honesty they discuss, religion, sex, race, friendship and family. Boys and girls play each other and cultural identity is swapped, revealing challenging and insightful perspectives. This acclaim production includes live music, poetry and beatboxing. A unique new play from one of the UK’s top theatre companies for young audiences.

MUSIC

Lil’ Jimmy Read

Fisher Theatre, Bungay, September 10, 7.30pm, £10, 01986 897130, www.fishertheatre.org

Leon Atkins, better known as Lil’ Jimmy Reed, is the real deal. As will be attested to by anyone who is privileged to hear his stinging guitar work, gritty vocals. A tall charismatic figure, Lil’ Jimmy is one of the last remaining performers from the blues’ golden generation. His music embodies a raw Louisiana blues tradition that goes right back to its roots in the poverty-stricken Deep South. His big break came when blues legend Jimmy Reed failed to make a date at an upscale blues club in Little Rock, Arkansas and Leon got to take his place in the band.

EXHIBITION

A Glimpse of Empire

Holkham Hall, until September 14, 10am-5pm, free admission (£2.50 car parking), 01328 710227, www.holkham.co.uk

Fascinating exhibition of photographs taken by Lilah Wingfield recording her childhood at Holkham Hall and her visit to India for the Royal Durbar in 1911. Through her lens we can glimpse the world of grand country house parties, butlers, valets and ladies’ maids, balls and the Season, soon to be a thing of the past. In 1911, Lilah travelled to Delhi for the Royal Durbar. There she saw George V crowned Emperor of India, the apex of a fortnight of relentless ceremony and unheard-of extravagance, the most lavish display to prove their devotion to the Raj. The pictures are a truly remarkable, unselfconscious record of this spectacle from a bystander’s perspective.

THEATRE

First Do No Harm

Granary Theatre, Wells, September 11, 7.30pm, £9 (£8 cons), 01328 710193, www.granarytheatre.co.uk

This powerful, fast-moving play by Hilary Spiers, shortlisted by the Ronald Duncan Playwriting Competition, dramatises a forgotten corner of history, charting the huge personal and societal cost of establishing a national healthcare service and securing universal suffrage. Against the backdrop of the suffragist movement and England on the brink of war, Harold and Maud Leggett arrive in a small market town in the Cambridgeshire Fens where Harold is to practise as the town’s only ‘Panel’ doctor, under Lloyd George’s controversial health and welfare reforms. The established medical fraternity, led by the redoubtable Dr Ridgeway, is firmly opposed to the new system and soon Harold and Ridgeway are at loggerheads. The consequences are catastrophic.

EXHIBITION

Norwich Print Fair

St Margaret’s Church Gallery, St Benedict’s Street, Norwich, until September 20, Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, free admission, www.norwichprintfair.co.uk

Now celebrating its 19th year, Norwich Print Fair has grown to become one of the best loved and largest independent selling shows of its kind in East Anglia. This year it once again brings together 29 of Norfolk and Suffolk’s finest printmakers, a mix of firm favourites and new artists, displaying a wide variety of hand-made print techniques. Among the new artists showing original prints for the first time this year are Clare Bailey, Vanna Bartlett, Neil Bousfield, Sally Freer, Niall Grant, Alison King and Jayne McConnell. On September 13 and 20 all of the artists will be present, displaying extra work, sketchbooks and printing plates to illustrate their varying techniques. On September 14, Printmakers in Action offers a chance to observe artists at work.

MUSIC

Mammal Hands

Norwich Arts Centre, September 11, 8pm, £7 adv/£9 door (£7 cons), 01603 660352, www.norwichartscentre.co.uk

A trio of like-minded musicians from Norwich — Nick Smart keyboards, Jesse Barrett drums and percussion, and Jordan Smart saxophones — who mix exciting new music and electronica influences with contemporary jazz creating something new and exciting launch their long-awaited debut album, Animalia, out on September 15. The trio met in 2012, while busking in Norwich. Drawing on influences from bands such as Sons of Kemet and Esbjorn Svensson Trio, minimalist composers like Steve Reich and John Adams, electronic artists like Bonobo, Aphex Twin and DJ Krush, and elements of North Indian and African music. Joining them will be the mighty Manchester-based piano trio GoGo Penguin.

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