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

Meow Meow. Picture: Karl Giant Meow Meow. Picture: Karl Giant

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
9:48 AM

Purrfect cabaret singing sensation Meow Meow visits to Holt Festival, there is an operatic take on Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Lucy Hopkins arrives with her acclaimed one-woman show Le Foulard and there is an exhibition of the paintings of Garry Raymond-Pereira. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this week.

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CABARET

Meow Meow

Auden Theatre, Holt, July 22, 9.30pm, £25 (£5 cons), 01263 711284, www.holtfestival.org

International cabaret singing sensation and purrfect post, post post-modern showgirl Meow Meow descends upon Holt Festival following her critically acclaimed shows in the West End, at the South Bank Centre and Sydney Opera House. The crowd-surfing queen of song dazzles with her unique brand of kamikaze cabaret that has hypnotised, inspired and terrified audiences worldwide. From Brecht, to Radiohead, to original gems, be mesmerised by her hypnotic voice and slightly terrified by her boundless (and boundary-less) talent. Expect sexiness, sequins, satire and possibly even the splits.

OPERA

Persuasion

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, July 22-23, 7.30pm, £20-£8.50, 01284 769505, www.theatreroyal.org

On a UK tour Chamber Opera Chicago stage their new musical adaptation of one of Jane Austen’s most admired novels – the story of a woman who has loved and lost and gets a second chance. Persuasion focuses on the regret and loneliness of the heroine, Anne Elliot, who has rejected a proposal of marriage from the one man she truly loved. Anne had allowed herself to be persuaded by her snobbish family’s convictions that Captain Wentworth was unworthy, but after a separation of eight years, the tables have turned. Can he forgive her for being persuaded to break off their engagement rather than following her heart? With music from Jane Austen’s manuscripts and from the era, world-champion Irish dancers, Regency costumes, and beautiful projected scenery, this authentic rendering of one of the most powerful love stories ever written.

THEATRE

Lucy Hopkins – Le Foulard (Art Show)

Auden Theatre, Holt, July 24, 9.30pm, £14 (£5 cons), 01263 711284, www.holtfestival.org

Theatre need not be a complicated affair. Let a captivating performer have a space and a story to tell to an audience, and theatre might ensue. Add a simple prop, some lights, and a song or two into the equation, and your potential for theatre grows exponentially. Performer Lucy Hopkins devised her one-woman show Le Foulard using that basic formula, and the result is theatre at its most inspired, and inspiring. Starring a medley of characters, overwhelmed by a love of a show-stopping song and performed using only a scarf, this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is an Art Show, made with love by an idiot.

COMEDY

Corn Hall Comedy Club

Diss Corn Hall, July 25, 8pm, £9 adv/£10 door, 01379 652241, www.disscornhall.co.uk

The Diss comedy night returns for a summer date with a reputation as the placer to spot future big names. Comics who’ve previously performed are regularly popping up on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Edinburgh Comedy Festival Live. This month they have charming northerner Craig Murray who is currently one of the hottest rising talents on the circuit. With a charismatic, mock-confrontational style, he is currently recognisable to many as the face of a series of comedy adverts for Plusnet. Following a widely-acclaimed Fringe run and a sold out London transfer, Liam Williams has just finished his debut national tour. Meanwhile compere for the night Tania Edwards is a comic and writer for shows such as Stand Up for the Week, Twit of the Year, Mock the Week and The Unbelievable Truth.

MUSIC

Pete Fij & Terry Bickers

The Bicycle Shop, St Benedict’s Street, Norwich, July 22, 7.30pm, £8, 01603 625777, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

Imagine Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel and The Velvet Underground jamming together at four in the morning. Quietly so not to wake the neighbours. Former Creation Records artists Pete Fij (Adorable/Polak) and Terry Bickers (House of Love/Levitation) have teamed up to record a debut album rich in tuneful melancholia. Broken Heart Surgery is a downbeat letter to lost love, underscored with gallows humour. Bickers is in the canon of great indie guitarists, while Fij is the most under-rated lyricist since Jarvis Cocker put pen to paper.

EXHIBITION

Garry Raymond-Pereira

Mandell’s Gallery, Elm Hill, Norwich, until August 4, Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, free admission, 01603 626892, www.mandellsgallery.co.uk

Garry Raymond-Pereira is a Norwich based painter. His land and seascapes are at once realistic representations of scenery instantly full of atmosphere, powerful and often moody. He has for a long time been inspired by waves and dunes along the Norfolk and Suffolk coast line, an area he has a strong connection with. This exhibition features recent works including 30 miniatures of East Anglia. Garry’s process usually begins with a location that offers him a dialogue. It has been, for a long time now, the crashing waves of Norfolk or his spiritual home in bleak mountainous areas of Scotland, Wales or out of season Lake District. The planning, sketching and research of the subject is important, he has never wanted to make interpretations of photos.

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