Packed programme of events for sixth year of the Hostry Festival

Launching the 2016 Hostry Festival at Norwich Cathedral. Artistic director Stash Kirkbride(centre) i

Launching the 2016 Hostry Festival at Norwich Cathedral. Artistic director Stash Kirkbride(centre) is joined by(l to r) Total Ensemble artistic director Rebecca Chapman, Norfolk Community Foundation chief executive Graham Tuttle, festival executive producer Peter Barrow and the Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Jane Hedges. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A show inspired by Shakespeare's King Lear is the headline show at this year's Hostry Festival at Norwich Cathedral.

The autumn arts extravaganza is now in its sixth year, and a packed programme of events has been revealed for the 2016 festival which will run from October 15 to 30.

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the festival's main house play has one of the Bard's most famous characters at its heart.

Called King Lear In New York, the show has been written by writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg.

Stash Kirkbride, the festival's artistic director, said he was really excited about the show which he said would be festival's most high profile event to date.

About the show, he said: 'It's inspired by King Lear and it's about an actor who is offered the chance to play King Lear off Broadway or take a part in a movie in Hollywood. It's a domestic, humourous, moving and touching drama.'

He said lots of the events that the festival has become well known for over the years will be returning - including the Norfolk Arts Awards, the Paint Out Norwich open air art competition and a new performance from Total Ensemble Theatre Company - and that there were also a number of new events for 2016.

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Among these will be: a celebration of the Hostry Festival and Mustard TV project Never Too Late; outgoing Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Peter Wilson exploring TS Eliot's Four Quartets; a Women in the Arts debate with BBC Radio Norfolk; and an array of different music events.

Summing up the whole 2016 programme, Mr Kirkbride said: 'It's 15 events that give our regular audiences a chance to enjoy the arts across the board, and for new people the chance to come and see what the festival has to offer. It's celebrating Norfolk talent. It is all homegrown and, from volunteers to through to audience members, we hope everyone enjoys what is on offer.'

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Jane Hedges, said: 'The Dean and Chapter are delighted that the Hostry Festival is once again centred around the cathedral and its precincts, and that it draws people from far and wide to come to enjoy the rich variety of life portrayed in the arts.'

The Hostry Festival - produced by the PBSK Partnership - will run from October 15 to 30.

The principal supporter for the festival this year is the Norfolk Community Foundation.

For more details about festival events and to book tickets, visit

Hostry Festival brochures will be available from various venues across Norwich and Norfolk from Thursday.

Anybody who would like to be a volunteer for the festival can find out more at the festival's launch night at Norwich Cathedral's Hostry on Thursday, September 1.

Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at