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Interlude review: Live theatre is back with a bang in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 12:46 12 August 2020 | UPDATED: 19:09 12 August 2020

Inside the big top tent with seating in bubbles at Interlude in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich. Picture: James Randle

Inside the big top tent with seating in bubbles at Interlude in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich. Picture: James Randle

Archant

After five long months, live performances have finally returned to Norwich in the form of Interlude, with six weeks of shows in a big top tent, and it is already proving a hit.

The entrance to Interlude in Chapelfield Gardens Picture: James RandleThe entrance to Interlude in Chapelfield Gardens Picture: James Randle

The programme is a collaboration between Norwich Theatre and circus company Lost in Translation, who also provided the tent, and it takes place in Chapelfield Gardens.

They have received national attention for the innovative project, which shows just how good at adapting our city’s brilliant venues are, with others looking to replicate it if successful.

Well, so far it has been a triumph and since kicking off on Monday with Norfolk comedian Karl Minns, audiences have flooded in, two metres apart of course, to finally watch a show again.

I headed along on Tuesday night with my boyfriend to watch Karl, who is also one half of The Nimmo Twins with Owen Evans, in She Go Does It In A Tent…With Friends.

The bar, with a socially distanced queue, at Interlude Picture: James RandleThe bar, with a socially distanced queue, at Interlude Picture: James Randle

READ MORE: Live shows finally returning to Norwich as big top tent goes up

Norwich Theatre is issuing e-tickets for all shows, to reduce contact, and the check-in was seamless and when we stepped in there was a big signpost pointing to the different areas of the site.

The large bar area to the left had two separate, socially-distanced queues - one a collection point for those that had pre-ordered and another if you were buying on the day.

There was a good choice of beers and other soft drinks, along with Kettle Chips for snacks, and Perspex screens across the bar to protect staff.

Interlude is running for six weeks in Chapelfield Gardens and has been organised by Norwich Theatre and circus company Lost in Translation Picture: James RandleInterlude is running for six weeks in Chapelfield Gardens and has been organised by Norwich Theatre and circus company Lost in Translation Picture: James Randle

With our drinks in tow we headed to sit at one of the picnic tables, which were well spaced out, and there was a buzz of excitement in the air.

Around 15 minutes before the performance started, stewards asked for people to make their way slowly into the tent and once we got to the entrance we were taken to our seating bubble.

We had a set of four seats to ourselves, which felt very safe, and all the sides were up around the tent and fans were on so it was kept well ventilated.

Smiles were plastered across everyone’s faces when Mr Minns came out as his character She Go, a lovable Norwich mum who takes a comedic look at the news in Norfolk over the last 12 months.

Karl Minns kicks off Interlude in Norwich with his show She Go Does It In a Tent...With Friends Picture: James RandleKarl Minns kicks off Interlude in Norwich with his show She Go Does It In a Tent...With Friends Picture: James Randle

READ MORE: The show is back on! ‘Electric’ atmosphere as live performance returns to city at last

He had the audience in stitches as he spoke about the Sheringham sink hole becoming a tourist attraction and he even sang a Norfolk national anthem.

As Karl admits himself, most of his material comes from the EDP and I was proud to have my story of Norwich being the 45th sexiest accent in England featured, which inspired his Norfolk version of Je T’aime.

While there was no interval, the show lasted around 80 minutes and people were free to walk over to the toilet blocks without fear of being called out like often happens in comedy shows.

At the end, Karl got a standing ovation and stewards ushered the audience out row by row to leave the big top tent.

Make sure to get tickets over the next six weeks as there is something for everyone, from Jimmy Carr to circus shows, and you’ll also help support Norfolk’s arts industry.

Buy tickets at norwichtheatre.org or call the box office on 01603 630000.


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