This year’s Young Norfolk Arts Festival is set to be “bigger and better”

PUBLISHED: 20:15 22 February 2014 | UPDATED: 20:22 22 February 2014

Young Norfolk Arts Festival committee chairman Steffan Griffiths at the 2013 festival launch at the Castle Museum. Photo: Steve Adams

Young Norfolk Arts Festival committee chairman Steffan Griffiths at the 2013 festival launch at the Castle Museum. Photo: Steve Adams

The Young Norfolk Arts Festival is returning for its second year with a “bigger and better” programme, according to festival chairman Steffan Griffiths.

In an interview with Young Norfolk Daily Press reporters, Mr Griffiths revealed his ambitions for this year’s festival, a celebration of young Norfolk creative talent.

A highlight of the nine day festival in June and July will be a musical picnic featuring a combination of jazz and easy listening music at Elsing Hall, near Dereham.

Mr Griffiths, who is also head master of Norwich School, said: “I take great pride in seeing young people on stage, it helps them to develop confidence and pursue their passions.

“There is something for everyone at the festival. It’s inclusive for the whole county from King’s Lynn to Cromer, to Great Yarmouth.”

The festival is the brainchild of Mr Griffiths, who has previously acted with the National Theatre, both on the South Bank and in European tours.

He was originally inspired by the creative energy on show at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival which takes place each year in May.

“I was keen to offer students the same creative opportunity – but after the summer exams are over,” he said.

“I spoke with several people about creating this platform for young people to fully access the arts, pulling together a loose federation of organisations who all shared my enthusiasm for the project.”

Mr Griffiths considers his role as chairman to be split into two.

“There’s the internal role of ensuring the school’s provision and the provision of other young people performing in the festival is appropriate. There’s also the external role in working with partner organisations to ensure opportunities are available over a wide spread of art forms,” he said.

Highlights from last year included the Gala Night at Norwich Theatre Royal which was watched by more than 1000 people, as well as a performance of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Norwich Cathedral’s cloister and a concert which saw Sistema in Norwich musicians perform alongside a Liverpool orchestra via a live online link-up.

“The aim is to encourage young people already interested in the arts to develop their passions and explore them further, whilst simultaneously turning heads and encouraging people who may never have been interested before to get involved in the arts,” Mr Griffiths said.

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