Norfolk and Norwich Festival promises to be most ambitious yet

Organisers of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival have promised one of their most ambitious line-ups ever after announcing the highlights of its planned shows for 2012.

The festival in May will bring modern acrobatics, the brightest new things on the classical music scene, and prehistoric beasts to arts venues across the region.

One of the headline acts this year will be Norfolk itself, with a show called 100pc Norfolk at the Theatre Royal on May 18 and 19 starring 100 people representing a statistical cross-section of the county's population.

They will share the bill with some of the world's leading artists including modern French circus phenomenon Compagnie XY, whose dizzying big top skills can be seen on May 25 and 26 at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome.

On May 23 at St Andrew's Hall, the 'musical revolution' of Spira mirabilis will take the stage – a group of elite young musicians from around the world who perform without a conductor to give their orchestral repertoire extra spontaneity.

For children, Erth Theatre's Dinosaur Petting Zoo will tour school playgrounds and outdoor spaces throughout the festival, giving children their first chance in a million years to find out what it's like to feed a dwarf allosaurus.

The festival's artistic director William Galinsky said: 'We are already immensely proud of the line-up for next year and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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'I want 2012 to be the year when more people than ever discover the Norfolk and Norwich Festival – whether that means visitors travelling to Norfolk to catch a rare glimpse of Compagnie XY's exquisite acrobatics, ordinary people taking leading roles in internationally acclaimed theatre or children experiencing the thrill of meeting a 'real life' dinosaur in their own playground.'

The full festival programme will be unveiled in late February.

In addition to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival schedule, two landmark events are also being programmed as part of the London 2012 Festival.

How Like An Angel, which combines contemporary circus and vocal ensemble, will hold its premiere in Norwich Cathedral before embarking on a tour of other UK cathedrals. Robert Wilson's Walking is an ambitious participatory art installation set against the backdrop of North Norfolk's vast coastal skies in late August.

?The 2012 Norfolk and Norwich Festival will run from May 11–26. Tickets will be available online from early January at www.nnfestival.org.uk, by phone on 01603 766400 or at Norwich Theatre Royal Box Office.

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