Launch party celebrates city arts festival’s 2105 programme

PUBLISHED: 16:34 09 September 2015 | UPDATED: 16:34 09 September 2015

Hostry Festival 2015 launch. Picture: Mark Ivan Benfield

Hostry Festival 2015 launch. Picture: Mark Ivan Benfield

Mark Ivan Benfield

With shows being rehearsed and an array of events being planned, preparation is well under way for this year’s Hansells Hostry Festival.

The autumn arts extravaganza is returning to Norwich for its fifth year in October, and a special launch party was held at Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry on Monday night to celebrate the cultural delights that are in store for audiences.

Festival volunteers, sponsors and participants attended the event which gave people a special preview of some of the 2015 programme.

Stash Kirkbride, the festival’s artistic director, said: “It was great to see well over 100 people at our launch night - a mix of festival regulars and new people as well.

“It was wonderful to see so many people there and it was a great start to the festival.

“The event was about seeing how this year’s festival is coming to life, and it is looking really exciting - we cannot wait to kick off the festival on September 19 with the Norfolk Arts Awards at the Maddermarket Theatre.”

The Norfolk Arts Award ceremony is acting as a curtain raiser to the main festival which will run from October 19 to 31.

Mr Kirkbride said one of the highlights this year would be the main house play which is a production of Mahler’s Conversion.

Other events include a new performance piece by inclusive theatre company Total Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Anglia performing Mendelssohn, Mozart and Korngold, and the Paint Out Norwich art competition.

Soprano Lisa Cassidy will be playing Lady Macbeth in a new opera about the Shakespearean character, and there will be a night of jazz with vocalist Laura White.

The Norfolk Arts Awards taking place on September 19, and the main festival will run from October 19 to 31.

For more details about events, visit

The EDP is a media partner for the Hansells Hostry Festival.

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