Circus spectacle, music, dancing and more in the Adnams Spiegeltent

NNF17: Casus Circus - Driftwood. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2017

NNF17: Casus Circus - Driftwood. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2017 - Credit: Norfolk and Norwich Festival 201

One of Norfolk and Norwich Festival's most iconic venues has once again sprung up in the city's Chapelfield Gardens offering audiences a cocktail of circus, music and more. Arts correspondent Emma Knights finds out more about the shows and events at the Adnams Spiegeltent.

NNF17: Casus Circus - Driftwood. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival

NNF17: Casus Circus - Driftwood. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival - Credit: Norfolk and Norwich Festival 201

Stunning circus spectacle will wow the crowds watching the Adnams Spiegeltent headline act this year.

Australian company Casus Circus is presenting the show Driftwood which is described as a colourful concoction of explosive encounters, hidden looks, and humorous discoveries mixed in with an impressive array of circus feats.

NNF17: Casus Circus - Driftwood. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival

NNF17: Casus Circus - Driftwood. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival - Credit: Norfolk and Norwich Festival 201

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'It's human circus told with joy, humour and honesty with incredible acrobatic feats,' said Jesse Scott, a co-founder of the Brisbane-based company and the director of Driftwood.

Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2017. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2017. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

From an awe-inspiring headstand on a swinging trapeze to a beautiful aerial rope sequence, the troupe of performers will amaze their audiences with all kinds of contemporary circus tricks.

'It's a big review of different styles of acrobatic and aerial work. It's a constantly moving show,' said Jesse, adding that the spiegeltent itself was also a star of the performance.

'I love to be in a spiegeltent. I think it's just the atmosphere – as soon as you walk into the tent you are transported into a different world.

'The audience are also so close. It's exciting for us because we can really feed off their energy and see the audience's faces.'

NNF17: Casus Circus - Driftwood. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival

NNF17: Casus Circus - Driftwood. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival - Credit: Norfolk and Norwich Festival 201

He added: 'I think it's a beautiful space for the show. It's in the round and people can see everything. With Casus we do not hide. It's important for us to be human on stage. Sometimes acrobatics hurts and we do not hide behind make-up.'

One of Jesse's tricks in particular sounds incredibly painful.

'I have a big pole placed on me and Lachlan (McAulay) climbs up to the top of the pole and does a handstand at the top.

'It's known as a head pole,' he explained.

NNF17: Casus Circus - Driftwood. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival

NNF17: Casus Circus - Driftwood. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival - Credit: Norfolk and Norwich Festival 201

When asked why Casus Circus decided to call its latest spectacle Driftwood, he said it was inspired by both life and driftwood floating down a river.

'Driftwood is an exploration of human connection told through physicality,' he said.

'There's not a strong narrative - we like the audience to explore the show for themselves and everyone walks away with a different story in their minds.

'We starting looking a pieces of driftwood and how they floated down the river, stopping, drifting apart and their shape changing with pieces breaking off.

Norfolk and Norwich Festival logo. Image: supplied by Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

Norfolk and Norwich Festival logo. Image: supplied by Norfolk and Norwich Festival. - Credit: supplied by Norfolk and Norwich Festival

'It's a bit like humans who drift through life and kind of how the people that you encounter shape the person that you become. We wanted to tell that through our signature style of acrobatics.'

Driftwood is at the Adnams Spiegeltent until Sunday, May 28. Tickets £21. For more information, including performance times, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk or call the box office on 01603 766400.

MUSIC, DANCING AND MORE IN THE ADNAMS SPIEGELTENT

The Ragroof Tea Dance in the Adnams Spiegeltent for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Picture: DENIS

The Ragroof Tea Dance in the Adnams Spiegeltent for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

• Driftwood (Wednesday, May 17 to Sunday, May 28, 7.30pm (no show Thursday, May 18 and Tuesday, May 23), Sunday, May 28, 5pm - Circus spectacle full of explosive encounters, hidden looks and humourous discoveries.

• Ragroof Tea Dances: City of Stars (Saturday, May 20, 1.30pm) and South American Way (Sunday, May 21, 1.30pm) - Join the Ragroof Players for a fun-filled afternoon of tea, cake and dancing inspired by the Oscar-winning film LaLaLand on the Saturday and classic Latin American moves on the Sunday.

• Art and Sexuality with Eimear McBride, Sarah Hall and Megan Bradbury (Tuesday, May 23, 7.30pm) - The three writers share their experiences of articulating sexuality, gender and identity through their creative work.

• Night Magic (Monday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 23, both 10pm) - A cabaret of magical delights and circus feats inspired by spiritualism, Victorian sideshow and the golden era of vaudeville.

Norwich-based Hocus Pocus Theatre and Gossamer Thread’s Vaudeville Co. are presenting Night Magic at

Norwich-based Hocus Pocus Theatre and Gossamer Threads Vaudeville Co. are presenting Night Magic at the Adnams Spiegeltent. Photo: James Miller Photography. - Credit: James Miller Photography

• Totó la Momposina (Friday, May 19, 10pm) - Totó la Momposina will be bringing the sounds of her native Colombia to the spiegeltent.

• Nadine Shah (Saturday, May 20, 10pm) - Singer Nadine Shah will conjure evocative and visceral tales over gothic piano arrangements.

• Kansas Smitty's House Band (Wednesday, May 24, 10pm) - The East London band will be performing their mash-up of swing, blues, R&B, New Orleans second line and gospel.

• Get the Blessing (Thursday, May 25, 10pm) - Thumping tunes, infectious beats and joyous spontaneity from the contemporary jazz four-piece.

NNF17: Toto La Momposina. Photo: Kevin Clifford

NNF17: Toto La Momposina. Photo: Kevin Clifford - Credit: Kevin Clifford

• Ezra Collective (Friday, May 26, 10pm) - Music mingling afrobeat, reggae, jazz and hip-hop from the Ezra Collective.

•LaSharVu (Saturday, May 27, 10pm) - Killer harmonies from the trio who have previously performed on stage with artists ranging from Sam Smith to Mary J Blige.

For more information, including ticket prices and how to book, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk or call 01603 766400.

NNF17: Kansas Smitty's House Band. Photo: Rah Petherbridge Photography

NNF17: Kansas Smitty's House Band. Photo: Rah Petherbridge Photography - Credit: Rah Petherbridge Photography

As well as the main Adnams Spiegeltent entertainment programme, the bar in the Spiegeltent Gardens will also be open for people with and without tickets for the spiegeltent shows.

For more Norfolk and Norwich Festival stories click here

For a full list of Norfolk and Norwich Festival events click here

NNF17: LaSharVu. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival

NNF17: LaSharVu. Photo: Norfolk and Norwich Festival - Credit: Norfolk and Norwich Festival

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