Young singer-songwriters create new show for Norfolk and Norwich Festival

Rehearsing with director Pol Heyvaert, young singer singwriters from Norfolk who have created the sh

Rehearsing with director Pol Heyvaert, young singer singwriters from Norfolk who have created the show Wild Life for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A team of young singer-songwriters are preparing to take to the Norwich Playhouse stage with a show inspired by their music. Arts correspondent Emma Knights finds out more.

Rehearsing with director Pol Heyvaert, young singer singwriters from Norfolk who have created the sh

Rehearsing with director Pol Heyvaert, young singer singwriters from Norfolk who have created the show Wild Life for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Music and songs are at the heart of a new show created by young singer-songwriters for this year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

Called Wild Life, it features 10 talented artists who have been working with Pol Heyvaert, of Belgian arts centre CAMPO, to develop the show.

Festival-goers were given a sneak preview of the work at The Garage during last year's arts extravaganza and on Thursday the full production will open at Norwich Playhouse.

Mr Heyvaert said: 'It started from the songs. It's 10 songs, 10 performances, but things happen in between...It's a big portrait of 10 people - sometimes it's beautiful and honest and sometimes it is disturbing and fake and sometimes it's in between.'

Rehearsing with director Pol Heyvaert, young singer singwriters from Norfolk who have created the sh

Rehearsing with director Pol Heyvaert, young singer singwriters from Norfolk who have created the show Wild Life for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY


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Performer Kim Noble, musical director Jakob Ampe, and assistant director Anne Stoffels are also working on the show, but Mr Heyvaert stressed that the key inspirations and the music all came from the young people themselves.

'The idea is that they are in charge of the show and at the end of the show people can buy their album,' he said.

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'It's an album that I would love to have on my playlist.'

He added: 'The music is really amazing.

NNF16. Wild Life. Photo: JMA Photography.

NNF16. Wild Life. Photo: JMA Photography. - Credit: Archant

'It's their songs, we did not change a word of the lyrics, most of the songs could be played on the radio.'

Among the young people involved are 16-year-old Megan Blair, from Aylsham, nineteen-year-old Ellouise Moss, from Norwich, and 16-year-old Kate Maguire Buck from Loddon.

Megan has dreams of being a West End actress when she's older, Ellouise plans to enjoy making music while following a career in business, and Kate would love to be in a band or a solo artist.

While they all have different goals they are equally passionate about music and it's importance in their lives.

Megan said: 'It's a way to express ourselves and it's a break between everything else going on. You can escape in your music.'

Their own musical heroes range from Nirvana to jazz to singer-songwriters like Lauren Aquilina and Gabrielle Aplin, and when asked what was in store for audiences watching Wild Life, Megan, said: 'People ask me this all the time and I don't know what to say! It's so many things. It's very abstract, but it's just so much fun, obviously there's lots of music, there's voiceovers, there's stories, it's just really great.'

Ellouise added: 'I found out the way to describe the show last week - it's a postmodern Belgian High School Musical....It's a mould of everyone's personalities whch is very weird because we are all very, very different.'

And Kate said: 'I like how some things [in the show] are really personal and how some things are completely made up and so far away from our actual lives!'

Also starring in Wild Life alongside Megan, Ellouise and Kate are: Lucy Grubb, 18, from Rackheath; Hannah Websdale, 17, from Norwich; Sophie Mahon, 23, from Haughtley and Stowmarket; Noah Horne-Morris, 19, from North Walsham and Norwich; Anna Carter, 23, from Norwich; Poppy Rae Read, 16, from Norwich; and Aphra Mcsherry-Birley, 16, from Lowestoft.

Wild Life is a Norfolk & Norwich Festival and CAMPO co-commission and co-production.

The show is at Norwich Playhouse from Thursday, May 19 until Sunday, May 29.

Tickets £12. Under 25s £6. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk or call the box office on 01603 766400.

Do you have a festival story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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