15 fun things to do with your family in Norfolk this half term
- Credit: Archant
Schools are out once again and families looking for some perfect half term fun are spoilt for choice. SIMON PARKIN highlights some of the shows taking place this week.
• Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Norwich Theatre Royal, October 28-November 1, 7.30pm, 2.30pm Oct 29-31, 1.30pm and 4.30pm Nov 1, Wed-Fri 2.30pm £22-£6.50, Tues-Fri 7.30pm £27.50-£6.50, Sat £27.50-£6.50, 01603 630000, theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk This latest production of the enduringly popular family musical, the first collaboration between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, stars X Factor finalist Lloyd Daniels as Joseph, Over The Rainbow winner Danielle Hope as Narrator, and Dancing On Ice finalist Matt Lapinskas as the Pharaoh. It is a retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours. Sold into slavery by his brothers who are jealous that he's their father's favourite. He's taken to Egypt where, after rebuffing the advances of his master's wife, he ends up in prison. But his fortunes change when the Pharoah, learning of his special ability to interpret dreams, asks him to decipher his dream involving seven fat cows, seven skinny cows, seven healthy ears of corn and seven dead ears of corn. Predicting seven plentiful years of crops followed by seven years of famine, Joseph is put in charge of making preparations for the lean years and becomes the second most powerful man in Egypt. Since the musical's debut, an estimated 15 million tickets have been sold and last year it was announced that a film version is in development, and it includes the numerous memorable songs Jacob and Sons, Close Every Door and, of course, Any Dream Will Do. Danielle Hope, who made her professional debut as Dorothy in and then Eponine in Les Mis in London's West End, said: 'This show is so great – you can enjoy it if you're six or if you're 90. It's pure magic and it might inspire children to pursue music or acting.'
• Captain Flinn & The Pirate Dinosaurs
Norwich Playhouse, October 24-26, 11am/1pm, £11, 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk
After a rollicking, award-winning run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and picking up the Primary Times Children's Choice Award, this live show based on the award winning book by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto sails into Norwich. When Flinn discovers a pirate hiding in the school supply cupboard, it's all aboard, me hearties, for a pirate adventure. Captain Stubble needs Flinn's help to find his stolen ship, but there are some mean pirate dinosaurs on the loose, and Flinn and his friends soon sail into trouble. Will fearless Flinn be able to captain the ship and defeat the pirate dinosaurs? Ages 3+
• Sid's Deep Sea Discovery Show
St George's Theatre, Great Yarmouth, October 26, 2.30pm, £12, £9 children, 01493 331484, stgeorgestheatre.com/Princess Theatre, Hunstanton, October 27, 2pm, £12.50, £9 children, £36 family, 01485 532252, princesshunstanton.co.uk
CBeebies favourite Sid will be live on stage in both Great Yarmouth and Hunstanton with his latest fantastic fun-filled live adventure. Following on from the success of Sid's Show this time we venture into a fish tank to discover what a mermaid is doing with Sid's TV remote, who has her pearls and whether Sid can make friends with a dangerous shark! It's an interactive show crammed with games, songs, poems and magic. Ages 2+
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• Comedy Club 4 Kids
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, October 26, 3.30pm, £8.50, £5 under-12s, 01473 295900, www.wolseytheatre.co.uk
Like the name says this is a comedy club for children. They get top comedians from the UK and world circuit doing what they do best…but without the rude bits! The result is cracking entertainment for everyone over six. Attempting to get laughs here will be Tim FitzHigham, Duncan Oakley, Luke Toulson. Also an under-18s session (7pm, £5).
• Foolhardy Circus: Splosh
Fisher Theatre, Bungay, October 28, 2pm, £5, 01986 897130, fishertheatre.org
Thrills, spills and chaos as the Foolhardy clowns and circus artistes juggle, tumble and clown their way to a comic watery finale in this latest show. There will be breath-taking acrobatics, tremendously dangerous stunts (diving into the bucket from a very tall ladder), juggling to take your breath away (Wilson and Lucas on shoulders whilst playing an accordion and juggling knives) and the Foolhardy clowns.
• Dance In A Blue Moon
The Garage, Chapel Field North, Norwich, October 28, 11am/2pm, £10, £5 under-25s, £22.50 family, 016903 630000, www.thegarage.org.uk
It's the moon's birthday and he is having a party! Wriggle Dance Theatre's show follows the journey to the moon through strange and distant lands and meet some curious characters. Incorporating dance, live music and audience interactivity. Ages 3-6.
• The Elves and the Shoemaker
The Atrium, North Walsham, October 28, 2pm, more details on 01692 400080, www.theatrium.org.uk/Sedgeford Village Hall, Jarvie Close, Sedgeford, October 29, 7.30pm, £6, £4 children, 01485570097
Three lost children wander through a dark forest at dusk in search of their missing father. As the night creeps closer, they stop for a rest to share some of the weird and wonderful stories they have heard along the way. But will the children ever find their way home again? And just who is the evil creature that haunts the forest, turning anything that moves into ice? This new show comes from Cornish theatre company Silly Boys, takes in puppetry, live music and a huge dose of silliness! Ages 4+
• Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain
Cambridge Arts Theatre, St Edward's Passage, Cambridge, October 28-November 1, £17.50, £12.50 children, 01223 503333, cambridgeartstheatre.com
Can you beat battling Boudicca? What if a Viking moved in next door? Would you lose your heart or head to horrible Henry? Would you stand and deliver to dastardly Dick Turpin? All these questions — and many more — will be answered in this latest Horrible Histories show. Escape the clutches of Burke and Hare and prepare to do battle in the frightful First World War in 3D.
• The Sooty Show
Pavilion Theatre, Cromer Pier, October 28, 11am, £12, £10 children, £38 family, 01263 512495, www.cromer-pier.com
Izzy Wizzy, look who's back! Long-standing furry favourite Sooty returns in another fabulous new show. As ever he will be joined by Sweep, Soo and Richard Cadell who will be attempting to keep Sooty from getting up to mischief. Good luck with that. It's Sooty's Birthday party and things aren't going to plan. Join in the fun and games and there's also a chance to meet Richard and Sooty after the show.
• The Pied Piper
Watlington Village Hall, Church Road, Watlington, October 28, 2.30pm, £4 (£3 cons), £12 family in advance, 01553 810732, www.creativeartseast.co.uk
When the Pied Piper plays his flute, the rats run, the greedy mayor rubs his hands and the children dance. The traditional tale of the Pied Piper is a perennial favourite among children and Norwich Puppet Theatre's humorous and irresistible one person show combines a skilful mix of puppetry, foot-tapping music and storytelling.
• Princess and the Pea
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, October 28, 2pm/4pm, £10.50-£8.50, 01284 769505, www.theatreroyal.org
Fantastical new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic from writer Mike Kenny and the inventive team at Leeds-based Tutti Frutti, with music by Oliver Birch. Mike frames his story in a humorous device of three narrator-curators from the Museum of Forgotten Things, telling the story of The Princess And The Pea, and the collection of forgotten things, such as Goldilock's porridge spoon and Cinderella's glittering footwear. Not for the faint hearted, fake Princesses or those who have trouble sleeping at night! Ages 3+
• Shoe Kangaroo and the Big Bad Boot
Norwich Puppet Theatre, October 28, 11am/2.30pm, £9 (£7.50 cons), £7 children, £27 family, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk
Did you ever lose a shoe? That tumbled into a bird that flew. Over the sea to an island new. Where creatures strange and mysterious grew? Wymondham-based Garlic Theatre, whose shows featuring puppetry, animation and music have made them firm favourites, take us on a fantastical journey to the island of lost shoes with clowning, mime and beautifully crafted puppets. A strapping tale filled with shoes that promises to be a delightful show with plenty of 'sole'. A baby-friendly performance is at 11am. Ages 4+
Norwich Puppet Theatre, October 30-31, 11am/2.30pm, £9 (£7.50 cons), £7 children, £27 family, 01603 629921, www.puppettheatre.co.uk
Based on the original notes from Collodi, Pinocchio is a show about puppets so it is fitting that this version by Siesta Teatro is performed brought to life by Luis Z Boy using traditional wooden marionettes and animated carpentry tools. Tricked by a cat Pinocchio is transformed into a circus donkey, thrown into the sea and eaten by a shark! Ages 4+
• Knightmare Live
Norwich Playhouse, October 30, 7.30pm, £13.50, 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk
Welcome watchers of illusion to the castle of confusion. The immortal words of Treguard, the Dungeon Master, ring out again after the success of the first critically acclaimed stage adaption of the cult TV classic. Here on Level 2, he once again opens the doors to the world of adventure – but do you dare enter? It offers you the chance to don the immortal helmet of justice. Guided by two top comedians, an audience member attempts to defeat Lord Fear's mighty dungeon in the greater game of chance. Riddles, magical characters and hideous monsters abound. Heaven for both nostalgic parents and kids aged 12+
• Ha Ha Hood! and The Prince Of Leaves King's Lynn Corn Exchange, October 24, 7.30pm, £21, 01553 764864, www.kingslynncornexchange.co.uk Ten years after a messy divorce Robin and Marian are forced back together to fight the Sheriff once more. Little John and Friar Tuck, now considerably older and rougher around the edges, join the merry pair to try and save the citizens of Nottingham. This is Robin Hood, but not as you know it. In the hands of the Ha Ha! team it has been turned into a brand new and all-out outrageous comic romp. Su Pollard and comedy duo Cannon and Ball lead the cast in this the latest laugh-out-loud production from team who previously brought us Ha Ha Holmes!, Ha Ha Hitler! and Ha Ha Hamlet!. Once again the show has been created by street performer turned theatre writer Ben Langley, who hails from Diss, and who for this Norfolk return also takes on the mantle of playing Robin. Ben has worked in London's Covent Garden as a street performer for the last 18 years, winning the Bristol Harbour Festival Street Performer of the Year award, co-founder of the Ha Ha Boys comedy team, writing and touring the Ha Ha series of theatre shows since 2007. 'For me, what I saw in Ha Ha! was a British version of The Reduced Shakespeare Company,' he said, 'which, rather than taking the micky out of us, was embracing us and was very pro-British and was a tribute to all of the great comedy artists and routines that have made Britain funny over the last 50 to 100 years.' Maid Marian, Nottinghamshire's feistiest female, who has in the past been brought to life by the likes of screen goddesses Audrey Hepburn, Cate Blanchett and Uma Thurman is now portrayed by Su Pollard, who serves up a world-weary Marian who is definitely more matron than maid! Tommy Cannon takes on the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and Little John while Bobby Ball, currently starring in TV's Not Going Out with Lee Mack, doubles up as Friar Tuck and Guy of Gisborne. This irreverent and funny romp featuring adventure and chaos involving merry men (in tights) is suitable for ages 12+