15 must-see events at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2019

PUBLISHED: 16:57 16 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:01 24 April 2019

Scenes from the Norfolk and Norwich Festival Garden Party. Picture: Ian Burt

Scenes from the Norfolk and Norwich Festival Garden Party. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

From a daring high-wire walk across the city centre to a Grammy award-winning artist, there is something for everyone as the Norfolk & Norwich Festival returns for 2019.

The festival launch will feature a high-wire walk from Chris Bullzini Credit: Joe ClarkeThe festival launch will feature a high-wire walk from Chris Bullzini Credit: Joe Clarke

Festival Launch

May 10, 9pm

Norwich City Centre


Head to the Festival launch for a once-in-a-lifetime, ambitious high-wire walk from Chris Bullzini, spanning the centre of Norwich. Breath-taking beauty and daring adventure walk in harmony for this magical performance, accompanied by a remarkable live soundscape.



May 16 to 18

Chapelfield Gardens


Experience reality in reverse. Look straight ahead and walk backwards on this unique tour of Norwich. By turning us in the opposite direction, Johannes Bellinkx forces us to become aware of how we navigate the world. With a hypnotic soundtrack and fusion of fiction and reality, Reverse is a unique physical and mental experience.

Bells and Spells Credit: Richard HaughtonBells and Spells Credit: Richard Haughton

Bells and Spells

May 17, 7.30pm

Norwich Theatre Royal

£10 to £26

Bells and Spells follows Aurelia Thierrée's peculiar journey as an incurable kleptomaniac who is at the mercy of the objects that she steals. Using ethereal imagery, unpredictable props and enchanting dance, this performance blends the wonderful with the strange. Improbable mechanisms, strange encounters, crazy music boxes and a thousand other surprises in a continuous and unpredictable play.

Blak Whyte GrayBlak Whyte Gray

Blak Whyte Gray

May 14, 7.30pm

Norwich Theatre Royal

£10 to £26

Fierce and affecting, this galvanising hip-hop dance triple bill reflects themes of identity, oppression and transcendence. A personal response by Boy Blue's founders to their experiences and observations of the world, Blak Whyte Gray is set to the resonating sounds of a multi-layered score. The powerful choreography and staging make for an image-rich production with political bite.

A Simple Space Credit: Andy PhillipsonA Simple Space Credit: Andy Phillipson

A Simple Space

May 15 to 26, 7.30pm

The Adnams Spiegeltent

£7.50 to £22

Seven acrobats push their physical limits without reserve; this performance is simultaneously raw, frantic and delicate. Supported by driving live percussion and presented so intimately that you can feel the heat, hear every breath and be immersed in every moment.

Norwich Playhouse Credit: Denise BradleyNorwich Playhouse Credit: Denise Bradley

News News News

May 11, 6pm

Norwich Playhouse


News News News is a television news show made by children for adults, recorded in front of a studio audience and broadcast live online. Working with artists Andy Field and Beckie Darlington, children from Norwich Primary Academy will present bulletins from the city, offering a unique perspective on what's going on right here, right now



May 18, 10pm

The Adnams Spiegeltent


Liniker E Os Caramelows Credit: Leila PenteadoLiniker E Os Caramelows Credit: Leila Penteado

Rising South African musician, singer and songwriter Nakhane is a unique voice in modern pop, fusing African indigenous music and sultry synth with highly personal, candid lyrics that look at queerness, spirituality and desolation.

Liniker E Os Caramelows

May 20, 10pm

The Adnams Spiegeltent


Las Maravillas de Mali  Credit: Richard HolsteinLas Maravillas de Mali Credit: Richard Holstein

Liniker e os Caramelows combine soul with the tropical heritage of MPB (popular Brazilian music), a hint of samba and a touch of jazz. Transgender singer Liniker has a spark that she shares with you, creating a universal show both beautiful and full of energy.

Las Maravillas de Mali

May 12, 7.30pm

Chilly Gonzales Credit: Alexandre IsardChilly Gonzales Credit: Alexandre Isard

Norwich Theatre Royal

£10 to £36

Legendary Malian/Cuban band who defined the term 'world music' come together on stage in the UK for the very first time. Formed in the 1960s, they effortlessly mix Malian sounds and Cuban rhythms. Their song 'Rendez-vous chez Fatimata' became one of the greatest hits of the revolutionary era and brought all of Africa dancing to its feet.

Chilly Gonzales

Eliza and Martin CarthyEliza and Martin Carthy

May 15, 7.30pm

Norwich Theatre Royal

£10 to £36

A true entertainer, Grammy Award-winning Chilly Gonzales is highly regarded for his genre-defying approach to the piano, his showmanship and collaborations with global stars. For this performance 'Gonzo' takes to the stage for an intimate hour of pieces from the Solo Piano album cycle, after which he is joined by other musicians to perform hits and hidden surprises from the rest of his repertoire.

Simon Hofele Credit: Sebastian Heck-WilderSimon Hofele Credit: Sebastian Heck-Wilder

Eliza & Martin Carthy

May 11, 8pm

Norwich Cathedral

£10 to £22

Celebration is an ambitious new project, commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival, from Martin and Eliza Carthy. They have spent the last few months compiling and curating a collection of musical and poetical works from the East of England. Their side of the country contains myths, legends, poems and ballads from the furthest North of Northumberland to Suffolk, where you can also find East Anglian step dancing, here performed by dancer and choreographer Ewan Wardop with a live band.

Globes - Will Teather in the studio Credit: Martin MarshGlobes - Will Teather in the studio Credit: Martin Marsh

BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists (Octagon Chapel, £13 to £15) The Festival's partnership with BBC Radio 3's New Generation Artists Scheme continues, giving audiences the chance to hear some of the most promising new talent from around the world. This year's line-up includes:

Simon Hofele and Simone Rubino - May 12, 4pm

Misha Mullov-Abbado Group - May 12, 8pm

Quatuor Arod - May 15, 1pm

Mariam Batsashvili - May 22, 1pm

Scenes from the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2018. Picture: Ian BurtScenes from the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2018. Picture: Ian Burt


May 11 to September 1

Across Norwich City Centre


Explore a series of radical and beautiful artworks depicting some of Norwich's most curious and memorable landmarks in a 2019 Festival commission. Discover Will Teather's panoramic spheres spread across the city's cultural quarter, on a journey that will take you through everywhere from curiosity shops to a Victorian pharmacy. There will also be an artist talk at 2pm on May 22 and a workshop at 3pm which are both free with museum admission. To book the workshop call 01603 493625.

City of Literature

May 24 to 26

Various venues and prices

In a turbulent world where news is fake and facts are fiction, books, words and ideas have never been more vital. As portals to new worlds and ways of seeing, they have a special magic that guides, distracts, angers and illuminates us.

Produced by the National Centre for Writing, this weekend celebrates Norwich as a UNESCO designated home to writers, thinkers, storytellers and readers.

The Norfolk & Norwich Festival runs from May 10 to 26 and you can see the full programme and book tickets at

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