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

08:36 11 November 2014

Turn of the Screw performed by Glyndebourne Opera. Image: Alastair Muir

Turn of the Screw performed by Glyndebourne Opera. Image: Alastair Muir


Glyndebourne on Tour bring three operas Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie returns solo, Crude Apache celebrate their anniversary with a special Macbeth, Maggi Hambling exhibits works inspired by the North Sea and a touring production of Julius Caesar starts its tour. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this week.


Glyndebourne Tour 2014

Norwich Theatre Royal, November 11-15, 7.15pm, 2pm Nov 13, £25-£6.50, 01603 630000,

Operas don’t come much darker than Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and few characters could be deemed more sinister than the shadowy Peter Quint. Rising young tenor Anthony Gregory has stepped into the role of the ghostly former valet in the production, one of three Glyndebourne operas in Norwich. Starting the week will be La Finta Giardiniera (November 11 and 13), an opera which mixes Mozart’s beautiful music with a story that combines drama and comedy, and explores the idea that love can turn anyone crazy. The production is directed by Frederic Wake-Walker, who was brought up in North Norfolk, and will be conducted by former Glyndebourne chorus master Christopher Moulds. Also being performed is a new production of Verdi’s intense and lyrically beautiful opera La Traviata (November 12 and 15) directed by David Afkham.


Justin Currie

Epic Studios, Magdalen Street, Norwich, November 11, 8pm, £20, 01603 727727,

An 11-day session of enforced solitude on the Isle of Skye with little more than a pen, guitar and ghetto blaster was the genesis for the former (or occasional) Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie’s third solo album Lower Reaches. The album, which was released last year, is a cogent, compelling clutch of songs and has proved to be a huge success for the Glaswegian singer-songwriter, who returns to the region. The solo date comes after the much anticipated dates by the reformed Del Amitri — one of Glasgow’s all-time favourite bands — earlier this year including a date at Cambridge Corn Exchange.


The Pity of War

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, November 11-12, 1.10pm, £6 (£5 cons), 01603 620917,

Lunchtime staged readings of poems and biographical fragments about the friendship of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. Their friendship was cut short after only 15 months, but it was a period which produced some of the most powerful war poems ever written and which have helped to change the attitudes of succeeding generations. This is not a play, but a dramatic anthology. The actors will read the poems and the letter quotations, but the performance will be staged and dressed for the theatre. The performance in the Maddermarket rehearsal studio will last 30 minutes. A donation from the proceeds will be made to the British Legion Poppy.



Dragon Hall, King Street, Norwich, until November 15, 7.30pm, £9 (£6 cons), 01603 663922,

Norwich’s theatre company Crude Apache are going back to the future with their latest production of Macbeth, the very first show they performed. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, the renowned community theatre company is performing Shakespeare’s murderous tragedy in the atmospheric surroundings of Norwich Dragon Hall with its timbered walls, dramatic roof spaces and dark corners. Back in 1994 ‘the Scottish Play’ was the first show the company ever performed, in the Rotunda in Norwich Castle and many of the original cast are still involved with the company to this day. Jo Edye who played Macduff in the 1994 version has directed this new production, set in the Dark Ages of the 11th Century.


Maggi Hambling: North Sea Waves

Stables Gallery, Diss Corn Hall, until November 29, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm, free admission, 01379 652241,

Celebrated East Anglian artist Maggi Hambling has established herself over the last four decades as one of Britain’s most significant and controversial painters and sculptors – a restless creative spirit who is known for painting George Melly for the National Portrait Gallery and creating Scallop, the monumental sculpture celebrating Benjamin Britten on Aldeburgh beach. Since 2002 she has studied the North Sea off her native Suffolk coast. The resulting paintings have been the subject of several major museum exhibitions, most recently at the Hermitage in St Petersburg. Here she is showing her small North Sea canvases, possessing an almost jewel-like quality.


Julius Caesar

Seagull Theatre, Pakefield, Lowestoft, November 13, 7.30pm, £9 (£7 cons), 01502 589726,

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!” Following the success of their much-praised Richard III, RoughCast take their production of Shakespeare’s classic political thriller on tour. With their trademark crystal-clear, fast-paced story-telling and sharply delineated characters, they bring this tale of assassination, intrigue and divided loyalties vividly to life. Tour continues to Garboldisham Village Hall (Nov 14); Fisher Theatre, Bungay (Nov 15); Diss Corn Hall (Nov 20); The Cut Halesworth (Nov 20); Laxfield Village Hall (Nov 28) and St Edmund’s Hall, Hoxne (Nov 29).

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