Norfolk and Norwich Festival reveals its full line-up for May arts extravaganza
- Credit: Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2017
From a giant moon casting its glow upon lunar-inspired performances to a double decker bus taking people on a theatrical journey around the city, there are lots of colourful and quirky events to entertain audiences during this year's Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
The full line-up for the May 2017 arts extravaganza has just been announced, and artistic director William Galinsky said there was lots of festival fun for everyone.
'It's a weird and wonderful mix of brilliant art, great fun, inspirational performances and concerts, and hopefully lots of gorgeous and memorable moments for everyone,' Mr Galinsky said.
As in previous years the 17-day festival - from May 12 to 28 - will present a kaleidoscope of events spanning theatre, art, contemporary and classical music, circus and more.
One of the big centrepieces, and a highlight of the free outdoor programme, will be Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon which will see a huge inflatable moon and an out-of-this-world soundscape installed outside the Forum in Norwich. Underneath it will be performances by everyone from Total Ensemble Theatre Company to Norwich Cathedral Choir.
Some of the other festival highlights include the return of the fun and frivolity of the Adnams Spiegeltent, a 10-hour choral sleepover with The Voice Project at the Assembly House in Norwich, the virtual reality VR Playground experience which will move around the city, and the chance to hop aboard a bus for the show Rear View.
'There are a few projects that are quite quirky, a bit different, fun ideas that you could only really find at festival time,' said Mr Galinsky.
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'It is one of our primary aims, to reinvent how people respond to the city and what they think theatre or a concert is.
'Bringing people together in new and exciting ways is what the festival is all about. We think there's something for everyone this year, and we hope people will enjoy trying different things.'
He added: 'The festival is all about those unusual experiences which are different to the other 50 weeks of the year.'
This year's festival is May 12- 28. Visit www.nnfestival.org.uk
FREE OUTDOOR PROGRAMME
From the Museum of the Moon outside the Forum to the festival's traditional Garden Party weekend in Chapelfield Gardens, there will be free events for all.
Mr Galinsky picked Thrill Laboratory's VR Playground as a key highlight of the free Tarmac Outdoor Programme.
'It's essentially a swing and you wear a VR headset, and as you swing you are taken into different environments, one of the things is a ride on the back of a mechanical jellyfish!
'This is going to be the thing everyone wants to experience. It's the interface of gaming, of science, of art.'
Another highlight outside the Forum will be TheatreFragile's We Meet In Paradise, a masked performance looking at the refugee situation and stories of people who have recently moved to Norwich.
A specially-converted double decker bus for IOU's show Rear View will take audiences on a theatrical journey using Norwich's streets as the stage, meanwhile Super Sunday will see Race Horse Company bring circus spectacle to Norwich Theatre Royal, and Akram Khan Company will present the bewitching tale of Chotto Desh using dance, storytelling and animation.
Performance poet Luke Wright will premiere his latest work, Frankie Vah, at Norwich Playhouse, and Quarantine will present the seven-hour spectacle - Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring - at The Space on the outskirts of the city. Mr Galinsky said: 'It's a little bit like [previous festival show] 100pc Norfolk.
'It goes through the seasons. In Summer 50 people from all walks of life will be making a show in response to the moment, celebrating what it is to be alive.'
The Arms of Sleep, a choral sleepover in Norwich's Assembly House, is perhaps the most unique music event.
'People who know the Voice Project know they reinvent what a choral experience is. It will be an experience like no other,' said Mr Galinsky.
New for this year, Britten Sinfonia is curating the classical music programme which among other things includes six concerts at St Andrew's Hall, ranging from cellist Steven Isserlis performing Bach and Kurtag to Britten Sinfonia playing Beethoven.
'We want to really celebrate St Andrews Hall as this real jewel of a music venue,' said Mr Galinsky.
'We also have an exciting new relationship with BBC Radio 3, with three concerts at Norwich Playhouse featuring the big classical music stars of the future.'
As previously announced, avant-garde musicians Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson will join forces for American Style at Norwich Theatre Royal, and jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater is also taking to the theatre's stage.
THE ADNAMS SPIEGELTENT
As previously announced, Casus Circus' spectacle Driftwood will be the headline show in the Adnams Spiegeltent in Norwich's Chapelfield Gardens.
The Ragroof Tea Dances will be returning, there will be Victorian era vaudeville from Hocus Pocus Theatre and Gossamer Thread's Vaudeville Company's Night Magic, and there is an eclectic mix of late night music.
Mr Galinsky said: 'There's a great programme of alt, indie and world music - including Colombian music from Totó La Momposina, rock from Nadine Shah, and Angolan hip hop with Throes + The Shine.'
CITY OF LITERATURE
'We are trying to create a destination literature festival in Chapelfield Gardens over the last three days of the festival with Writers' Centre Norwich. There will be the Adnams Spiegeltent as well as a second tent called the Literature Tent,' said Mr Galinsky.
Among the writers featured will be novelist Jon McGregor, historian Alison Weir, and campaigning Mexican journalists Lydia Cacho and Anabel Hernández.
Highlights outside of the City of Literature weekend include Will Self at Norwich Playhouse and Eimear McBride, Sarah Hall and Megan Bradbury talking about Art and Sexuality in the Adnams Spiegeltent.
The Story Machine - powered by literature and oiled by theatre - will be returning, this time at Norwich's Shoe Factory Social Club.
Turner Prize-winning artist Richard Long will be holding a major show at Houghton Hall, near Fakenham, which will run until October.
'It's his biggest show in Britain since 2009 at Tate Britain. It will have new work and site responsive work to Houghton,' said Mr Galinsky.
Other highlights include Rana Begum at Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and Hans-Peter Feldmann's 'Art Exhibition' at Norwich University of the Arts' East Gallery.
As well as the festival's outdoor programme of events, there are are also two shows specifically for families.
Family Jazz All-stars at Norwich Playhouse is described as a fun-filled family show that is a tribute to jazz singers past and present, meanwhile Lords of Strut's The Family Show will entertain with a show full of mischief and mayhem at the Adnams Spiegeltent.