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Festival announces new stage and first glimpse at 2020 shows

PUBLISHED: 13:40 07 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:40 07 November 2019

Gravity and Other Myths will perform on the new Main Stage at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2020   Picture: John Fisher

Gravity and Other Myths will perform on the new Main Stage at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2020 Picture: John Fisher

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The Norfolk & Norwich Festival has announced a brand new fetsival stage and the first eight shows for 2020 ahead of the full prigramme launch in February.

Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran, is a new play about entitlement, consumption and digital technology, that invites audiences to use Instagram throughout the production   Picture: Pete DibdinRich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran, is a new play about entitlement, consumption and digital technology, that invites audiences to use Instagram throughout the production Picture: Pete Dibdin

With the full programme for 2020 set to be announced in February, Norfolk & Norwich Festival has today announced some of the first shows to go on sale for next year's Festival alongside a brand-new stage for the 2020 event and a new pop-up box office at The Guildhall between November 7-23.

The 2020 Festival will once again take place over 17 days, this year from May 8-24, with artists from around the world and the region presenting a huge variety of work and events throughout the city and around the county. Among the shows announced are a world-renowned singer, a live art programme on the streets of the city, award-winning circus, an outlandish pop music cabaret duo, a critically acclaimed play, and three classical music events including concerts from the Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, Norfolk & Norwich Chamber Music and Festival regulars Britten Sinfonia.

For the first time ever the Festival will run two stages in Chapelfield Gardens. Alongside the iconic Adnams Spiegeltent, much-loved Festival Bar and Garden Party, for 2020 there will be a brand-new Main Stage - a 500-seat pop-up venue hosting music, circus, cabaret and performance.

Due to popular demand, 2019 Adnams Spiegeltent headliners Gravity & Other Myths will return to present its boldest and most ambitious contemporary circus work yet, Out of Chaos, as the very first work on the new Main Stage. The award-winning internationally renowned company present hard-edged, explosive acrobatics where birth, death and primordial physics collide with intimate verbal confessions to create an insight into what it feels like to be on stage.

Live art collaboration duo Hunt & Darton will bring Radio Local to the Festival   Pictures: Christa HolkaLive art collaboration duo Hunt & Darton will bring Radio Local to the Festival Pictures: Christa Holka

Live art collaboration and deadpan duo Hunt & Darton will bring Radio Local to the Festival, a brand new, free, hyper local station, broadcasting live, straight from the city centre for 24 hours straight. Taking over the airwaves of Norfolk's Future Radio the show celebrates everything about what it means to be local, built with, by and for residents. Radio Local will also be working with communities in Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn and Diss ahead of arriving in Norwich. Hunt & Darton's previous work includes its award-winning pop-up installation, the Hunt & Darton Café, which has been presented at Tate Britain, Edinburgh Fringe and Latitude Festivals, and three cities in China with the British Council.

For the second time, the Festival will welcome Frisky & Mannish to the Adnams Spiegeltent, 10 years since they burst onto the scene with their wildly popular brand of musical infotainment. Adelaide and Brighton prizewinners, BBC Radio 1 regulars and stars of BBC2, BBC3 and ITV, the musical comedy double act best known for their pop music parodies will invite audiences at the Adnams Spiegeltent into their PopLab for four nights of musical hilarity. World-renowned Irish/French singer Camille O'Sullivan will take to the Festival Main Stage for one night only on May 17 to sing Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds' music in Camille O'Sullivan Sings Cave, exploring the light and dark of the group's music. In her dangerous yet fragile theatrical style, Camille will embark on a personal discovery of a man of many guises; violent, beautiful, logical, crazy, devout, troubled and religious in her critically acclaimed show.

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Double Scotsman Edinburgh Fringe First winner Javaad Alipoor will present Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran, a darkly comedic, urgent new play about entitlement, consumption and digital technology, that invites audiences to use Instagram throughout the production, following the action on stage and digitally at the same time. Performed by Javaad Alipoor and Peyvand Sadeghian in The Garage for three nights, it asks how did we get here, and what might come next.

Britten Sinfonia will return to St Andrew�s Hall to perform with Alison Balsom   Picture: Britten SinfoniaBritten Sinfonia will return to St Andrew�s Hall to perform with Alison Balsom Picture: Britten Sinfonia

In 2020 Norwich Philharmonic will present a rare chance to hear Mahler's massive 3rd Symphony, thought to encapsulate everything the composer had learned about life. Performed by the orchestra and conducted by Matthew Andrews, with outstanding mezzo soprano Sara Fulgoni as soloist and the children's voices of Norwich Cathedral Choir at St Andrew's Hall.

During the middle weekend of the Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Chamber Music will present a selection of Beethoven Piano Sonatas with pianist Richard Goode. Hailed for making music of tremendous emotional power, depth and expressiveness, and acknowledged as one of today's leading interpreters of Classical and Romantic music, Goode's recording of the Beethoven sonata cycle earned a Grammy nomination. His first public performance of the sonatas brought him to international attention and he makes his appearance in Norwich for just one night at John Innes Centre on May 16.

Britten Sinfonia will return to St Andrew's Hall following its sell-out performance of Beethoven's Symphonies between 2017-2019. For 2020 Britten Sinfonia and Alison Balsom join forces for a programme of music exploring more than 300 years of composition.

With arrangements of Purcell by some of the greatest composers of the present day, including Maxwell Davies and John Woolrich, ancient and contemporary influences are intertwined.

Camille O'Sullivan will be exploring the light and dark of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ music  Picture: contributedCamille O'Sullivan will be exploring the light and dark of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ music Picture: contributed

Daniel Brine, festival director said: "2020 is the first of three Festivals building toward our 250th anniversary in 2022. Over the next three years we'll be reflecting, celebrating and exploring what Norfolk & Norwich Festival is to our audiences, artists and communities. We'll look into our rich history, but also ring out the changes. We begin 2020's Festival with a fresh new brand; we launch an exciting new venue for the Festival; and bring our ticketing service in-house so we can have a much closer relationship with our audiences.

"These first shows provide a flavour of what's to come next May, with a blend of exciting new commissions, international headliners, and work by and for local people. We're really excited about what's in store for 2020."

Norfolk & Norwich Festival takes place in Norwich and around Norfolk for 17 days each May. The programme is multi-artform, contemporary, international and audience-centred, collaborating with artists from down the road and around the world. Full information on all Norfolk & Norwich Festival events can be found at nnfestival.org.uk.

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