Curtain comes down on Norwich’s Hostry Festival for another year

Total Ensemble rehearse Dignity (The Right to Move) in a workshop with members of the public as part of the Hostry Festival.

Total Ensemble rehearse Dignity (The Right to Move) in a workshop with members of the public as part of the Hostry Festival. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

The curtain has come down on this year's Hostry Festival and been hailed as a 'great success' by the festival's director.

Total Ensemble rehearse Dignity (The Right to Move) in a workshop with members of the public as part

Total Ensemble rehearse Dignity (The Right to Move) in a workshop with members of the public as part of the Hostry Festival. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

The final concert of the Norwich House Festival Concert Festival was the final event of this year's Hostry Festival, held at Subud House in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral last night.

Total Ensemble rehearse Dignity (The Right to Move) in a workshop with members of the public as part

Total Ensemble rehearse Dignity (The Right to Move) in a workshop with members of the public as part of the Hostry Festival. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

It brought 11 days of theatre, music, dance and arts to a close and in a fitting way for Hostry Festival director Stash Kirkbride, with musicians Chris Ellis and Rosie Toll providing the entertainment.

'We've been able to fulfil my ambition to stretch from 12 events to 22 and it worked,' said Mr Kirkbride. 'This year we used the Narthex at the (Roman Catholic) cathedral and that was a huge success for some top drawer classical music.

'The cathedral has immediately said they want to work with us again next year, and Jarrold have said they want to work with us on a children's event for their book department, and an event with schools.

'So this year was about expansion, next year will be about sustainability and about many projects becoming totally self-funding.'

Mr Kirkbride praised the work of the non-profit festival's volunteer production team, saying around 80pc of the events have been at least three-quarters full.

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He added: 'It's been a great success. I'm very proud of it and I hope everyone that has come along has enjoyed it.'

Among the final performers were Total Ensemble Theatre Company, which champions inclusive theatre for people of all ages and has many members with additional needs.

It had been performing a series of shows at Norwich Cathedral's Hostry, and held a final workshop on Saturday morning before an afternoon performance.

The group spent months rehearsing three of the four parts of Dignity (The Right to Move), and the 23-strong cast was joined by about 10 members of the public to create the final section in a five-hour workshop. The four sections were then performed together.

Mr Kirkbride praised the work of Total Ensemble artistic director Rebecca Chapman and her performers, saying: 'They were only formed two-and-a-half years ago and what they have achieved in that time is fantastic, with incredible support from the Chivers Trust and Booja-Booja chocolates out at Brooke.

'That has allowed Rebecca to push forward at an incredible rate and what we saw on Saturday was a room bursting at the seams with young performers, many of whom have additional needs, and that is the magic of Total Ensemble.'

- Re-live many of the events at the Hostry Festival by clicking this link.