Daring-do and dance joins music and art for annual spectacle
PUBLISHED: 21:58 28 February 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
Highwire artists, backwards walking tours, hip hop dance, the Britten Sinfonia and an armful of music, circus, magic and dance - it can only be the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. What will you see? The programme is out now....
Eyes will very definitely be skyward for the opening day of Norfolk’s major festival when a highwire artist will be walking across the Norwich skyline.
Chris Bullzini will step, carefully, along the wire from Jarrold to the Forum to officially open the Norfolk and Norwich Festival this summer.
His daredevil spectacular is one of 100 events including 14 premiers and 20 free events in a packed programme of theatre, music, art, literature and sound and visual performances set for May 10-26 2019.
Officially launching the programme last night, festival director Daniel Brine says the world renowned festival is an opportunity to see home-grown and international performers and artists presenting a huge variety of work in and around the city and county.
“There is something for everyone in the festival,” he says, whether they are seeking classical music, poetry, live African dance or chamber music, jazz, blues and choral works, sculpture, comedy, family fun or free events – or a walking tour where everyone has to walk backwards.
It’s the second festival for director Daniel, and the first he has been involved with from the very start. He feels the festival celebrates many different passions, offering events for people seeking performances they know they will love and those seeking something new and exciting.
“I bet you can find something that you want to come to and something that has ideas that you are interested in. Come and try something different,” he says.
That could be the free Garden Party weekend of theatre, music and magic in Norwich city centre, the garden tour in the Plantation Gardens, the Queen of British Soul Beverley Knight at Norwich Theatre Royal or more from the myriad of tours, walks, shows, performances and installations.
“I get most excited when I watch people enjoying themselves,” he adds.
The opening highwire walk across the city centre is a celebration of one of the festival’s main themes, journeys, and will be to a soundscape of voices of Norfolk people talking about their journeys.
“It really is a treat to be part of this Festival of world class arts which will continue to grow year on year, presenting the people of Norwich and across Norfolk with fun and thought provoking work,” says Daniel”
Premieres include: News New News, a show made for adults with the children of Norwich Primary Academy; The Ladder, a show from Hoipolloi to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary; Moliere Award-winner Victoria Thierrée Chaplin’s (Le Cirque Invisible) Bells and Spells, a strange journey following an incurable kleptomaniac and Ray Lee’s sonic spheres taking audiences on a magical mystery tour of the city.
There are more premieres with Genevieve Lacey’s Pleasure Garden, a listening garden at Fellbrigg Hall; Johannes Bellinkx’s Reverse - a backwards walking tour; Stopgap Dance Company’s Frock & Frippery, Curious’ Wild Longings at The Plantation Garden and Hannah Jane Walker’s use of games and poetry to investigate toughness and weakness in Highly Sensitive.
Watch out for contemporary circus company Gravity & Other Myths presenting A Simple Space in Norwich, headlining The Adnams Spiegeltent in the city centre and don’t miss the new choral work from Owain Park at Norwich Cathedral.
Queen of British soul Beverley Knight is at Norwich Theatre Royal, Norfolk-born Kit Downes returns to the county to for a solo organ concert at St Peter Mancroft while seminal hip-hop dance company Boy Blue present Blak Whyte Gray.
Thomas Adès and Britten Sinfonia return to conclude their season with a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
The 2019 performance programme line-up includes Vincent Gambini’s The Chore of Enchantment in which he tackles his ‘magician’s block’; Dante or Die’s intimate new play looking at the complexity of online legacy, User Not Found; Gandini Juggling’s Smashed; Lords of Strut causing mayhem for everyone aged six or over and theatre company ThisEgg combining live sewing, comedy and music with Made My Wardrobe.
The 2019 music programme will showcase pioneering international musicians and rising young stars, with the line up including a finalist in 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year, saxophonist Jess Gillam’s festival debut with a whistle-stop tour of music from Marcello to Nyman.
Eliza Carthy is joined by her father Martin Carthy performing songs from their first duo record while Malian/Cuban band Las Maravillas De Mali come together on stage in the UK for the very first time.
There are choral works at Norwich Cathedral from Tenebrae and classical guitar from Sean Shibe. Expect folk and jazz-influenced chamber music from Quercus while Jane Morris performs John Martyn and emerging jazz vocalist Judi Jackson brings her debut release Live in London.
Indian guitar master Debashish Bhattachary brings his daughter vocalist Anandi to present her debut album. Chilly Gonzales and Beverley Knight perform at Norwich Theatre Royal and the Festival once again presents BBC New Generation Artists with BBC Radio 3 and the chance to hear promising talent from around the world.
The Festival’s classical music programme is co-curated for the third time by Britten Sinfonia and the contemporary programme is co-curated by EFG London Jazz Festival producers Serious.
THE ADNAMS SPIELGELTENT Adnams Spielgeltent
The vibrancy and intimacy of the Adnams Spiegeltent is a festival favourite with a free day programme of community projects from dance classes for kids to baby and toddler discos and an afternoon social with Age UK.
Its characteristically upbeat evening and late night programme includes headline show A Simple Space from Gravity & Other Myths in its Norwich premiere.
Cabaret treasure Le Gateau Chocolat is back by popular demand after a sell-out 2018 show and joined by Jonny Woo for A Night at the Musicals.
There’s more too with foot-stomping Balkan-influenced music from The Turbans; rising South African musician singer and songwriter Nakhane; the Renegade Brass Band; live African dance music from Afriquoi and Hannah Williams and The Affirmations - hailed as the next Amy Winehouse.
With Norwich England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, Norfolk and Norwich Festival and the National Centre for Writing will presents a world-class literature programme, including the City of Literature Weekend over three full days.
Highlights include Man Booker Prize judge Lila Azam Zanganeh and nominee Sarah Hall talking sex, death and everything inbetween.
There’s poetry from activist and Brazilian poet Adelaide Ivanova and Sarah Perry will give this year’s Harriet Martineau Lecture.
The Festival will also celebrate 20 years of Salt publishing, one of the UK’s foremost publishers based in Cromer.
OUTDOORSLoved for its free and tickets events around Norwich and beyond, the outdoor programme begins with the highwire walk from Jarrold to the Forum.
Look out for sonic spheres, an environmental listening garden, international sculptor Richard Wiesner’s latest project 28 and the backwards walking tour of Norwich with the UK premiere of Johannes Bellinkx’s Reverse.
Join the free Garden Party across the middle weekend of the Festival in Chapelfield Gardens with brand new dance, music, acrobatics, workshops and local food and drink.
VISUAL ARTVisual art at the Festival will explore the Norfolk landscape from city to coast through exhibitions across the county.
The programme features titans of sculpture Henry Moore at Houghton Hall and Anthony Caro at Norwich University of the Arts’ East Gallery.
In Great Yarmouth, see contemporary exponent Ryan Gander with the first in a series of one-twelfth-scale public works of art at Merrivale Model Village.
Joe Moran will be at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery to present a choreographed piece amidst one of the Castle’s collections.
Norwich-based artist Will Teather will create a series of radical artworks depicting some of Norwich’s landmarks in a Festival commission. His panoramic spheres will be spread across the City’s cultural quarter with maps to locate them all.
Booking for Norfolk and Norwich Festival supporters opens at 9.30am on Friday March 1 2019. Call 01603 766400 or in person at the Norwich Theatre Royal box office. Online booking at www.nnfestival.org.uk opens at 9.30am, March 7, when public booking opens.
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