Norfolk and Norwich Festival unveils its programme for May 2014

NNF14 The People's Tower

NNF14 The People's Tower - Credit: Archant

Festival time will soon be descending upon the city and county once more, and today the Norfolk and Norwich Festival has revealed its full 2014 line-up for the annual arts extravaganza.

NNF14 Monksi Mouse's Baby Disco Dance Hall

NNF14 Monksi Mouse's Baby Disco Dance Hall - Credit: submitted

This year's festival will run from Friday, May 9 to Sunday, May 25, and audiences are being promised 17-days jam packed full of music, art, theatre, circus, outdoor shows, literature, and more.

NNF14 Mahogany Opera Group: Gloria - A Pigtale. Photo: Johan Persson.

NNF14 Mahogany Opera Group: Gloria - A Pigtale. Photo: Johan Persson. - Credit: Archant

Everything from a giant cardboard recreation of St Peter Mancroft Church to a city centre Garden Party full of free theatrical treats to a special City of Literature programme to the return of the Adnams Spiegeltent feature in this year's festival.

NNF14 Opus No 7

NNF14 Opus No 7 - Credit: submitted

The festival will be spread across the county with events taking place in Norwich, King's Lynn, Diss, Holkham, Loddon, Great Yarmouth and Wymondham.

NNF14 The Neutrinos. Photo: Marquis Xavier.

NNF14 The Neutrinos. Photo: Marquis Xavier. - Credit: Marquis Xavier

Performers from six continents will gather in Norfolk to present shows for audiences of all ages, and new for this year there will also be an It's Your Festival day which will be devoted entirely to talented local performers taking to the festival stage.

NNF14 S by Circa

NNF14 S by Circa - Credit: submitted

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Festival director William Galinsky said: 'This Festival is my most inclusive and diverse yet and one I am immensely proud of - the Festival looks to bring many different communities and organisations together from all over the city and region.'

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• Outdoor/Family/Children's events

Norfolk and Norwich Festival is bringing to Norfolk an array of outdoor performances and events from across Europe, with the free events sponsored by Lafarge Tarmac.

The People's Tower will bring people of all ages together to create a huge replica of St Peter Mancroft's tower out of cardboard blocks on May 10 under the supervision of French artist Olivier Grosstête.

A fun-filled weekend of free family entertainment opens with Diss Family Day on Friday, May 16, and is followed by a Garden Party in Norwich's Chapelfield Gardens and outside The Forum on Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18. Throughout the three days umpteen performers will entertain with acrobatics, comedy, storytelling and spectacle.

This year's free outdoor Festival Finale in Norwich is called Safe House, and is a spectacle in which a mysterious house appears and takes the audience on a surreal journey through the lives of the people who have lived within it. Throughout the show aerialists scale the walls and pound the streets while the house dramatically transforms into a variety of stunning visual backdrops.

Meanwhile some of the children's events, for which tickets must be bought, include Unicorn Theatre's magical staging of David McKee's Not Now, Bernard, and Monski Mouse's Baby Disco Dance Hall for the under fives which is making a returns to the Adnams Spiegeltent.

• Theatre/Performance

Norfolk theatre ensemble Curious Directive, which last year presented a show in an ambulance, is this time premiering their new show Pioneer, a multimedia exploration of the first manned mission to Mars.

The UEA Sportspark will once again be transformed into a theatre space, this time for one of only four UK appearances of Opus No 7 by Russia's most influential director Dmitry Krymov.

David Leddy's boisterous play Long Live The Little Knife will be popping up in Diss, Norwich, Loddon, Great Yarmouth and Wymondham.

Festival favourites Circa follow their 2013 performances of How Like An Angel and Beyond, with the UK premiere of their newest, award-winning circus show S which sees seven acrobats bend, fly, and contort to the music of the Kronos Quartet.

Dance is represented by Michael Clark Company's latest show animal/vegetable/mineral while international hip-hop festival Breakin' Convention comes to King's Lynn Corn Exchange.

[Live] Art Club at Norwich Arts Centre is the late night festival club showcasing acts from around the east and beyond.

• Music

This year's musical feast includes everything from big names of the classical world, Royal Academy of Music stars for the future, world music of the highest calibre and talented musicians from closer to home.

The Philharmonia Orchestra, with guest violinist Tasmin Little, provides a thrilling fanfare on the opening night at St Andrews Hall. Norwich Cathedral hosts one early music ensemble The Sixteen and a candlelit concert by the Norwich Cathedral Choir. Norwich's Voice Project choir is taking its new commission, Souvenir, out of the city to the Palladian splendour of Holkham Hall.

Pianist Louis Lortie will be performing in Wymondham Abbey and Mahogany Opera Group will present contemporary comic 'cabaret opera' Gloria – A Pigtale at Norwich Playhouse.

A celebration of the music of Sir John Tavener reintroduces Norwich's Octagon Chapel as a festival venue.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra are to be joined by a stunning line-up of soloists to perform Elgar's Enigma Variations and other pieces in a programme that reflects the legacy of The Great War.

Jazz pianist, composer and bandleader Mike Westbrook brings a rare chance to hear his settings of William Blake's poetry to the brilliant acoustic of St Peter Mancroft, also the venue for Dutch harpist Lavinia Meijer's interpretations of Glass and Einaudi.

Spanish record producer Javier Limón (Mariza, Paco de Lucia) appears with Mexican singer Magos Herrera, Scandanavian/UK jazz heroes Phronesis take their propulsive groove-driven sound to Diss Corn Hall while USA's Snarky Puppy will fill Open with high energy raw funk and soul.

Legendary producer Joe Boyd (Nick Drake, Pink Floyd, REM, John Martyn) talks about his book, Jessie Ware/Paloma Faith producer Dave Okumu and The Invisible team up with Noisettes singer Shingai Shoniwa for the world premiere of Stars Align. Toumani Diabaté from Mali is the world's most celebrated kora exponent, and a real festival coup is the very first visit to the city of South African trumpet maestro Hugh Masekela celebrating his 75th birthday year. His exuberant music acknowledges no barriers and encompasses jazz, funk, hip-hop and the urban township jive of his birthplace.

• The Adnams Spiegeltent (14 – 25 May)

The art-nouveau splendour of the Adnams Spiegeltent returns for ten days of glamour, thrills and entertainment taking the festival late into the night. Among the entertainment, sequined satirists Bourgeois and Maurice celebrate their seventh birthday while the The Ragroof Players return for two themed tea dance events. There's a special screening of Wim Wenders classic Wings of Desire and music from the fiery Molotov Jukebox, fronted in flamboyant style by actor/singer Natalia Tena (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), the multinational Family Atlantica and sultry Irish chanteuse Camille O'Sullivan.

Riot Jazz Brass Band - from Manchester via New Orleans, and the explosive Edinburgh nine-piece Orkestra del Sol provide instant party vibes.

• City of Literature

In association with Writer's Centre Norwich, the UNESCO City of Literature Festival programme combines words, ideas, discussion, debate, performance, books and celebration.

Author Kate Mosse delivers The Harriet Martineau Lecture, Kinks leader Ray Davies discusses his latest memoir, and novelists Darren Shan and Norwich's own Alexander Gordon Smith discuss their hugely popular books for young adults. Norwegian literary sensation Karl Ove Knausgaard introduces the six books in his My Struggle series of novels.

Norwich Arts Centre plays host to The Shroud featuring Siddhartha Bose and Avaes Mohammad, UEA graduate Ross Sutherland's Stand-By For Tape Back-Up and Norwich poet/playwright Molly Naylor's autobiographical If Destroyed Still True (with music from Bearsuit's Iain Ross).

AL Kennedy is one of the judges at The Adnams Spiegeltent's Literary Death Match while the same venue hosts The Salon, a showcase of local literary talent.

The Lives Of Great Women Writers is a literary festival in a day featuring renowned biographer Dame Hermione Lee, the Costa Prize winning team behind Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, Samantha Ellis and bestselling novelists Diane Setterfield and Raffaella Barker.

• Visual Art

Three visual arts projects have been commissioned for the festival.

Stephen Brandes' The Last Travelogue Of Albert Sitzfleisch will transform Cathedral Close into an open art gallery - using multiple billboards, with reports from this fictional traveller's journey through Europe, he will create a trail through Upper Cathedral Close.

Tim Davis' Within at The Gallery, Norwich University Of The Arts will include a new film reflecting the city's history, culture and architecture.

Tipping Point, which will be found in the Undercroft beneath Norwich's War Memorial, is the world premiere of a kinetic sound sculpture from Bristol based artist Kathy Hinde.

• It's Your Festival

Sponsored by Norwich BID, It's Your Festival is a chance for talented people from across the region to take to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival stage. The event on Sunday, May 25 aims to showcase the talented Norfolk performers.

People can apply to appear in a variety of festival venues, both indoor and outdoor and including the Adnams Spiegeltent, at

• Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2014 will run from May 9–25. For more details visit

To book tickets call the festival box office on 01603 766400, visit or buy tickets in person at Norwich Theatre Royal Box Office.

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