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

14:02 29 September 2014

All-singing, all-dancing Puttin On The Ritz coming to Norwich Theatre Royal

All-singing, all-dancing Puttin On The Ritz coming to Norwich Theatre Royal


Glitz, glam and the warm nostalgic glow of the golden age of Hollywood feature in the all-singing all-dancing Puttin’ On The Ritz, all-male Shakespeare company Propeller bring their youth version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, hip hop pioneers Jungle Brothers, Anglo-Breton poet Claire Trévien brings her sea poems to the stage and there is John Godber’s raunchy snowbound comedy On The Piste. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this week.


• Puttin’ On The Ritz

Norwich Theatre Royal, September 29-October 4, 7.30pm, 2.30pm Oct 1/4, £21-£5.50, 01603 630000,

Lights, music, glitz and dance: the moves of Fred Astaire and the music George Gershwin, Irvin Berlin and Cole Porter. What’s not to like about Puttin’ On The Ritz? Glitz, glam and the warm nostalgic glow of the golden age of Hollywood feature in the all-singing all-dancing American production. The most famous song and dance moments of Fred Astaire, with the music George Gershwin, Irvin Berlin and Cole Porter, are recreated in the hit show which comes to Norwich Theatre Royal next week with special guest star Lorna Luft, daughter of legendary Hollywood actress Judy Garland. Some top West End and touring singers and dancers will bring the celluloid magic to the stage in a show which Lorna also promises will be a treat for nostalgia fans.


• Propeller’s Pocket Dream

Sheringham Little Theatre, September 29, 1.30pm, £12, £7.50 students, 01263 822347, Playhouse, September 29, 7.30pm, £12 (£10 cons), 01603 598598, George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, October 1, 1.30pm/7.30pm, £10 (£8 cons), £7.50 students, 01493 331484, Theatre, King’s Lynn, October 2, 10.30am, £12-£10, £7.50 students, 01553 764864,

Edward Hall’s all-male Shakespeare company Propeller have won a strong following for their annual visits to Norwich Theatre Royal with their rigorous approach to the Bard’s text combined with a modern physical aesthetic that creates productions full of clarity, poetry, speed and imagination. Just as popular, on a smaller scale, is their off-shoot Pocket Dream, in which they stage 60-minute versions especially devised for young audiences. The latest sees a revised staging of their acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, being staged in Sheringham, Norwich and Great Yarmouth. The ensemble encourages audience to join in with a lively discussion afterwards.


• Jungle Brothers

Norwich Arts Centre, September 30, 8pm, £16, 01603 660352,

One of the best hip hop groups of all time, the original Native Tongue Head honchos, The Jungle Brothers return with a career-spanning live set. Mike Gee, Afrika Baby Bam, and DJ Sammy B have been around since hip hop’s golden age. They first appeared on the NYC scene with the release of the groundbreaking Straight Out The Jungle in 1988 and they enlisted a group of friends that were on the same creative wavelength: De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Monie Love and Queen Latifah. They took the 1980s and 90s by storm and pioneered the fusion of hip hop, jazz, rare groove and house music and they continue to adapt creatively.


• On The Piste

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, September 30-October 4, 7.30pm, 2pm Oct 1/3pm Oct 4, £26-£8.50, 01284 769505,

John Godber’s raunchy snowbound comedy about two British couples in ill-advised designer romper suits and fluffy earmuffs, showing everyone else how to do it on and off the slopes. The John Godber Company at Wakefield Theatre Royal produce a mixture of new plays and revivals. This is both. Much changed from the 1990 original, this version even loses a character, Melissa. Ski instructors Tony, Isobel, Michelle and Marie take us on the piste in Chamonix. Brits abroad Dave, Bev, Chris and Alison take to the slopes and the sauna as the ski novices try to impress. Throw in a sexy sun-tanned ski instructor well known for his downhill skills and you’re guaranteed an avalanche of laugher and disasters.


• Claire Trévien: The Shipwrecked House

Norwich Arts Centre, October 1, 8pm, £8 (£6 cons), 01603 660352,

One-woman performance that blends poetry with theatre, with Anglo-Breton poet Claire Trévien navigating a shifting maritime landscape. Memory and myth from the Celtic fringe are transformed by her surreal, playful poetry – critically acclaimed, and long-listed for the 2013 Guardian First Book Award. Trévien’s is a surreal vision, steeped in myth and music, in which everything is alive and – like the sea itself – constantly shifting form. Anchors, shipwrecks, whales and islands abound in this first collection; they were therefore ready-made for performance. In her stage debut, Trévien evokes the sounds, sights and rich scents of the sea. But beneath the surface, a violent undercurrent stirs. What will she discover in the sodden debris? Will the storm break in?


• A Machine Aesthetic

The Gallery, NUA, St Georges Street, Norwich, September 30-October 25, Tues-Sat 12pm-5pm, admission free, 01603 886385,

From the first daubings of pre-historic caves, through the invention of the camera obscura and ready-made oil paint in tubes to the use of digital media, artists have been among the first to embrace and exploit new technologies. The focus of this group show, however, is at once narrower and broader, concerning itself specifically with the notion and implications of ‘mechanisation’ in its widest sense in contemporary art.

Since the late 1950/early-60s there have evolved a plethora of artistic practices that involve the manufacture of machines. Where Jean Tinguely led the way, artists as diverse as Rebecca Horn, Roxy Paine and Damien Hirst followed. Exhibiting artists include Andrew Bracey, Eric Butcher, Robert Currie, Paul Goodfellow, Emma Hart, Dan Hays, Natasha Kidd, Tim Knowles and Michael Roberts.


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