Photo gallery: Norwich and Norfolk’s first week of festival fun

17:46 16 May 2014

The People

The People's Tower being built which is a cardboard replica of St Peter Mancroft Church for the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2014. The tower is pushed and pulled over. Picture: Denise Bradley

copyright: Archant 2014

With everything from a giant cardboard church being built outside the Forum to a great Russian spectacle taking to the stage at the UEA Sportspark, festival time is well and truly in full swing in our city and county.

NNF14 - Curious Directive's show Pioneer at Norwich Playhouse.NNF14 - Curious Directive's show Pioneer at Norwich Playhouse.

The first week of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival has brought an array of art, theatre, music, literature events and more to audiences - and there’s still lots more to come!

The festival fun kicked off in style at Norwich Train Station where festival travel partner Abellio Greater Anglia hosted a special fanfare of weird and wonderful instruments to herald the opening of this year’s annual arts extravaganza.

Led by Holly Bodmer – who is performing her show Blow at the festival’s [Live] Art Club – the motley crew of impromptu musicians enthusiastically played their trumpets, recorders, kazoos and whistles before using them to blow out the candles on a celebratory cake.

The opening night saw an eclectic mix of music to entertain audiences - from the Philharmonia Orchestra to New York jazz, funk fusion band Snarky Puppy - and the wide range of musical treats has continued throughout the week.

Getting in the swing of things at the Adnams Spiegeltent, Sally Christopher and Chris Whitfield. Photo: Steve AdamsGetting in the swing of things at the Adnams Spiegeltent, Sally Christopher and Chris Whitfield. Photo: Steve Adams

The People’s Tower - the first part of the free outdoor programme sponsored by Lafarge Tarmac - saw great crowds of “community builders” of all ages construct a 20 metre high cardboard replica of St Peter Mancroft Church and then topple it over outside the Forum.

Among the theatre highlights, Norwich-based company Curious Directive premiered their new show Pioneer - about the first mission to Mars - at Norwich Playhouse, and part of the UEA Sportspark has been transformed into a stage for the great spectacle Opus No 7 by Russian director Dmitry Krymov which features larger than life puppets, duelling pianos and blizzards of newsprint.

The [Live] Art Club at Norwich Arts Centre has also been entertaining audiences into the early hours each night with a packed programme of entertainment by emerging artists.

The City of Literature strand of the festival, presented in association with Writers’ Centre Norwich, has seen Ray Davies from The Kinks talk about his biography, meanwhile writers have also been duelling with words in the Literary Death Match which was the first event in this year’s Adnams Spiegeltent programme.

Three free visual arts exhibitions have also been dotted around the city for people to enjoy.

The Last Travelogue of Albert Sitzfleish is in Cathedral Close, Kathy Hinde’s installation Tipping Point is in the Undercroft behind Norwich Market, and Tim Davies’ exhibition Within is at The Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts.

• Click on the gallery on the top right of this story to see photos from the first week of the festival.

• Share your festival highlights below and email your festival photos to

• The festival runs until Sunday, May 25. For more festival stories and reviews click here.

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