Six of the Best: Cultural highlights not to miss this weekend
09:15 04 December 2014
Mirror, mirror on the wall, there’s panto fun in King’s Lynn, two great masterpieces by Richard Strauss in his 150th anniversary year feature in Norwich Phil’s latest concert, there are enthralling sounds from the Submotion Orchestra, comedian Jason Byrne let’s the audience choose the subjects and there’s a major exhibition on the Broads. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this weekend.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, December 5-31, various times, £19-£17 (£1 off cons), £72-£54 family, 01553 764864, www.kingslynncornexchange.co.uk
Will Snow White escape her jealous clutches? Can Dame Dotty get her man? Can Herbie the Huntsman work out if he is a goodie or a baddie? Can Prince Simon of Sofaria ensure a happy ending? This year’s KL Corn Exchange production is the fifth being staged with Jordan Productions. Sue Holderness, best remembered as Marlene Boyce in Only Fools and Horses, takes up the title role of the Wicked Queen and back for the fifth year running is panto dame and director Ian Marr. Also returning for a second year, after proving a big hit with audiences last year, is KLFM’s breakfast show host Adam Newstead who will be taking to the stage as Hector The Henchman. Joining the cast are a talented group of dancers from King’s Lynn and the surrounding area after open auditions.
Smetana, Strauss, Dvořák
St Andrews Hall, Norwich, December 6, 7.30pm, £16-£10, £7 students, 01603 628319, www.norwichphil.org.uk
Two great masterpieces by Richard Strauss in his 150th anniversary year, form the thematic pivot for Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra’s second concert of their new season. Death and Transfiguration (Tod und Verklärung), written when the composer was 25, describes the death of an artist and his transfiguration ‘to the infinite reaches of heaven’. Strauss asked poet Alexander Ritter to write a poem to explain the four musical sections. The composer’s approach to death in his Four Last Songs, 60 years later was much calmer and more accepting. Here performed with soloist soprano Catherine May. The programme also includes the much-loved Vltava, or the Moldau, from Smetana’s Ma Vlast (My Homeland) and Dvořák’s Scherzo Capriccioso, which also has proud echoes of the colourful Czech heritage so important to both composers.
UEA NRLCR, Norwich, December 5, 8pm, £10, 01603 508050, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk
One of the UK’s most evocative and exciting live dance acts of the moment arrive for what promises to be an encompassing genre eluding performance as part of the much anticipated Alium album tour. Rarely does a band throw so many diverse genres into the mix and emerge critically acclaimed, but the Leeds seven-piece have crafted a sound based on soul, ambient electronica, jazz and dub layered beneath crystal clear vocals, earning them a cult following and a reputation for enrapturing live performances and boundary-pushing records.
Norwich Playhouse, December 5-6, 8pm, £17.50 (£15 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk
What can you expect from a Jason Byrne Show? It comes down to a spin of the wheel. It’s not only the content of the comedian’s upcoming shows at Norwich Playhouse that has yet to be decided – he can’t even tell you what the show is called yet. Perpetually getting asked “what’s the name of your show?”, this year he has taken the novel step of letting the audience name the show - and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing over the course of the year. The best name will win £500, there is a leader board on stage each night and by the end of the tour the show will have a name - thanks to us. In addition the subjects will be decided by a wheel of fortune. It means that every show is different.
A Medieval Christmas/A Victorian Christmas
Granary Theatre, Wells, December 4, 7.30pm, £9 (£8 cons), 01328 710193, www.granarytheatre.co.uk/St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, December 5, 7.30pm, £11 (£9 cons), 01493 331484, www.stgeorgestheatre.com
Festive celebration our ancestors would have known from Blast From The Past. A Medieval Christmas in Wells (Dec 4) features long-forgotten festive songs (plus some surprisingly familiar carols) played on authentic instruments and two of Geoffrey Chaucer’s best-loved Canterbury Tales in all their finery – one of them complete with animal masks and costumes! Meanwhile A Victorian Christmas in Great Yarmouth (Dec 5) is an evening of music, song, stories and drama from the time of Dickens and Hardy with carols as well as more obscure but no less beautiful festive songs from the 19th century, and a festive masked play based upon a traditional English folk tale.
Water Ways: Art & Nature On the Broads
Time & Tide Museum, Blackfriars Road, Great Yarmouth, until April 12, normal admission, 01493 743930, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Major exhibition exploring the landscape and natural habitats of the Broadland environment through the eyes of artists working in the region, mainly in the 19th and early 20th century. At the heart of the exhibition is work from the Norfolk Museum Service collections of some of the most renowned Broadland painters including Charles Harmony Harrison, Stephen Batchelder and Arthur Patterson, as well as works by contemporary artists reveal how this landscape continues to be a rich source of inspiration. Loans from the Museum of the Broads, Norfolk Heritage Library (including photographs by PH Emerson and John Payne Jennings) and private collections , as well as natural history and archive sound recordings add to the story of this unique landscape.