Choir invites audience to drift into the arms of sleep during overnight musical spectacle

NNF17: The Voice Project The Arms of Sleep. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival

NNF17: The Voice Project The Arms of Sleep. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival - Credit: Norfolk and Norwich Festival

While most performers want their audience members to stay awake during their productions, one Norwich choir will be providing people with beds and encouraging them to fall into the arms of sleep next month.

The Voice Project is putting on what is being described as a 'choral sleepover' for up to 40 people a night at the Assembly House in Norwich between May 22 and 26.

The 10-hour overnight event - called The Arms Of Sleep - is part of this year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

It will see audience members arrive by 9.30pm, be given a bed, and then take part in a unique dream-like experience where they will be be invited to fall asleep surrounded by music and stories.

The Voice Project co-director Sian Croose said: 'We aim to create an atmosphere where the audience can spend the night surrounded by sound and shadows, balancing and drifting between sleep and wakefulness.'

The Voice Project rehearsing for its vocal spectacle Between Stars at Norwich Cathedral.
Photo: Iai

The Voice Project rehearsing for its vocal spectacle Between Stars at Norwich Cathedral. Photo: Iain Lowery. - Credit: Iain Lowery


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The ethereal music for The Arms of Sleep has been written by Jonathan Baker, Orlando Gough, Jon Hopkins and Helen Chadwick, and most of it has been specially composed for the event.

There will also be films and visuals from Great Yarmouth-born artist Sal Pittman.

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The unusual event is the second part of the Voice Project's Arms of Sleep trilogy.

It follows on from the choir's Beyond Stars performance at Norwich Cathedral in January this year, and the trilogy will conclude with the choir's winter project in early 2018.

Sian Croose and Jonathan Baker, co-directors of The Voice Project. Picture: Joe Newman.

Sian Croose and Jonathan Baker, co-directors of The Voice Project. Picture: Joe Newman. - Credit: Archant

The Voice Project - which has twice won an EDP People's Choice Award at the Norfolk Arts Awards - is also set to take The Arms of Sleep to Brighton Festival next year.

The Arms of Sleep by the Voice Project Choir will take place at the Assembly House, in Theatre Street, Norwich from Monday, May 22 until Friday, May 26.

It will start at 9.30pm and last until approximately 7.30am.

Tickets cost £40 (£30 concessions).

The Assembly House in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

The Assembly House in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Audience members should bring a simple overnight bag with toothpaste, toothbrush and nightwear. Water and refreshments will be available during the event, and breakfast will be included.

For more information and to book tickets, call 01603 766400 or visit www.nnfestival.org.uk

For more about The Voice Project, visit www.voiceproject.co.uk

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