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Elaborate opening spectacle set to launch festival in style

PUBLISHED: 17:32 08 May 2018 | UPDATED: 19:08 08 May 2018

NNF18. Transe Express will be taking to the city's streets for the opening spectacle of the Norfolk and Norwich festival on Friday, May 11. Photo: Iona Petmezakis

NNF18. Transe Express will be taking to the city's streets for the opening spectacle of the Norfolk and Norwich festival on Friday, May 11. Photo: Iona Petmezakis

Iona Petmezakis

Norfolk and Norwich Festival will be kicking off in style this Friday night with a free opening spectacle to which everyone is invited.

NNF18. Transe Express will be taking to the city's streets for the opening spectacle of the Norfolk and Norwich festival on Friday, May 11. Photo: Ville de DijonNNF18. Transe Express will be taking to the city's streets for the opening spectacle of the Norfolk and Norwich festival on Friday, May 11. Photo: Ville de Dijon

Our fine city is set to be turned into a fantastical open-air opera house for the evening as carnivalesque drummers and larger than life singing dolls greet festival-goers at Cathedral Close and lead them through the city.

The performers from French company Transe Express describe themselves as inventors of imagination and they will take everyone on a weird and wonderful journey before the crowds are treated to an astonishing aerial finale.

The elaborate promenade performance is the official launch of this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival which is once again bringing 17 days packed full of music, theatre, art and more to the city and county.

Festival director Daniel Brine said: “This year the big free outdoor festival launch is back at Norfolk & Norwich Festival with a promenade of giant dolls and a dazzling aerial display by Transe Express.

NNF18 - Transe Express. Photo: HervePetitbonNNF18 - Transe Express. Photo: HervePetitbon

“I’m really looking forward to this event bringing the streets of the city to life to open the festival.

“For me, and I hope all of Norwich, it will be an amazing way to see the city on the opening day of my first festival, and to really set the tone for an exciting two weeks!”

Transe Express’ performance starts at 9pm on Friday at Cathedral Close and the whole show will last about one hour and 15 minutes and include a 20-minute aerial finale.

The procession route will not be revealed ahead of the event but the procession will cover about half a mile of the city’s streets.

NNF18 - Daniel Brine, festival team. Photo: Claire HaighNNF18 - Daniel Brine, festival team. Photo: Claire Haigh

Mr Brine explained: “We’re not releasing details of the route in advance [because], as with all major moving public performances, there are procedural safety regulations that we have to take into account.

“If you do have access requirements then you should get in touch with the festival team.”

• The Festival Launch starts from Cathedral Close at 9pm on Friday. It is a free promenade performance that will move through the city. Anybody with access queries in advance should email access@nnfestival.org.uk

• Norfolk and Norwich Festival runs from May 11 to 27. For more about the Festival Launch and other festival events, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk

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