Major names coming to Norwich as big top to be erected in Cathedral Close

Norwich Theatre's Interlude is back for 2021 in a new location, pictured in 2020 in Chapelfield Gardens. 

Norwich Theatre's Interlude is back for 2021 in a new location, pictured in 2020 in Chapelfield Gardens. - Credit: Max Hilton

A big top theatre, which proved a massive success during last year's lockdown, is to return to Norwich - but this time in the historic setting of Cathedral Close.

Interlude was created by Norwich Theatre, which runs the Theatre Royal, Playhouse and Stage Two, in partnership with Lost in Translation Circus and it launched last summer in Chapelfield Gardens.

Massi Rossetti, left, of Lost in Translation Circus, and Stephen Crocker, of Norwich Theatre, togeth

Massi Rossetti, left, of Lost in Translation Circus, and Stephen Crocker, of Norwich Theatre, together in the big top tent in Chapelfield Gardens in summer 2020. Picture - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

It was the first outdoor theatre season of its kind after the lockdown lifting and thousands of people attended. 

It is now set to return for the summer at a new location in the historic Norwich Cathedral Close, which will provide a stunning backdrop to another electrifying season. 

Interlude in the Close runs from July 14 to August 31, welcoming new partners Norwich Cathedral and Norwich School, and it will once again take place inside a big top tent.  

The Green in the Cathedral Close in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Green in the Cathedral Close in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

It features shows and creative experiences for all ages and kicking off the programme will be musical The Wind in the Willows (July 14 to 18).

The show, written by Academy award-winner Julian Fellowes, was last performed at the London Palladium in 2018 and has been adapted for an outdoor stage. 

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest. - Credit: Contributed

Other highlights include CBeebies favourites Sarah & Duck (August 10 to 14) and shows A Midsummer Night's Dream (July 22 and 23) and The Importance of Being Earnest (August 7). 

There is a jam-packed programme of comedy and the big names announced so far include Russell Kane (July 21), Rhod Gilbert (July 26 and 27) and Henning Wehn (July 30 and 31).

Russell Kane will perform at Interlude.

Russell Kane will perform at Interlude. - Credit: Contributed

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The programme will also support the National History Museum's Dippy on Tour, with its much-loved Diplodocus coming to Norwich Cathedral from July 13 to October 30.

On the day Dippy arrives, there will be a Circus Spectacular and an animal theme will run throughout Interlude in the Close.  

The season will culminate with a week of circus performances from Norwich's own Lost in Translation Circus, alongside other international companies. There will also be a programme of activities for school-age children and community groups. 

The Lost in Translation cast of Circus Carol in rehearsal. From left, Danielle Summers, Matthew Gree

Norwich Theatre's Lost in Translation Circus rehearse Christmas show A Circus Carol. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Stephen Crocker, chief executive and creative director of Norwich Theatre, said: “Interlude was originally conceived as a hugely creative, boldly ambitious and proudly resilient response to bringing back live performance to Norwich in a safe way and that remains at the heart of Interlude in the Close.  

"We were bowled over by how much both performers and audiences alike loved the original concept.

Rhod Gilbert will perform at Interlude.

Rhod Gilbert will perform at Interlude. - Credit: Contributed

"For me, Interlude embodies how working in true partnership under-pinned by equality of objectives and shared values, can make extraordinary things happen whatever the challenges might be.”

The season will bridge the gap until Norwich Theatre's indoor venues fully reopen in autumn 2021.

Shows on sale on Friday, May 14 at 12pm at norwichtheatre.org (further programming will be announced soon):

The Wind in the Willows
July 14 to 18, 2pm and 7pm
 

The Wind in the Willows is a beautiful and enchanting musical production written by Academy Award-winning Julian Fellowes, with music by the award-winning Stiles & Drewe, presented by the Turbine Theatre, London. 

Daniel Sloss
July 19, 6pm 

The all-new, 11th solo show by Scotland’s international comedy star, hot on the heels of his ground-breaking, global smash-hit Daniel Sloss: X.

Gary Delaney
July 19, 8.30pm

Get ready to dive into a rabbit hole of the best jokes in the world - star of Live at the Apollo and sell-out sensation Gary Delaney is back. 

La Voix will perform at Interlude. 

La Voix will perform at Interlude. - Credit: Contributed

La Voix
July 20, 7.30pm

Global Superstar La Voix’s show has become a phenomenon in many towns and cities around the world. 2021 sees La Voix’s most glamorous show yet again taking the UK by storm.

Russell Kane
July 21, 6pm and 8.30pm

Multi-award winning comedian, presenter, actor, author and scriptwriter Russell Kane is back in Norwich. Best known for the BBC Sounds podcast, Russell’s recent TV appearances include The Apprentice You’re Fired, The One Show, Antiques Roadtrip, Stupid Man, Smart Phone and Live At The Electric. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
July 22 and 23, 7.30pm

Following the success of its hit international two-actor Macbeth, Out of Chaos are back to reimagine another Shakespeare masterpiece in their own fast, furious and fantastically funny style.

Ben Garrod: So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs?
July 24 and 25, 11am

Don’t miss the hit stage show starring dinosaur aficionado Dr Ben Garrod. Get ready to go on an exciting pre-historic adventure as Ben explores the biggest, deadliest and weirdest predators that ever roamed the planet. 

Rhod Gilbert: The Book of John
July 26 and 27, 7.30pm

Following a seven-year break from stand-up, the multi-award-winning comedian returned to the stage in 2019 with his acclaimed new live show. After a further hiatus (for obvious reasons), Rhod is itching to get back on the road and extra dates have been added due to phenomenal demand. 

Rhys James
July 28, 8pm

Rescheduled from Norwich Theatre Playhouse.

Henning Wehn will perform at Interlude. 

Henning Wehn will perform at Interlude. - Credit: Contributed

Henning Wehn: Das Neuen Materialen Nachten
July 30 and 31, 7.30pm

Join the German Comedy Ambassador for Teutonic jolliness at its best. Expect some old favourites and an unbiased look at everyone's favourite topic of conversation: a certain virus. 

Tom Stade
August 2 and 3, 7.30pm

Rescheduled from Norwich Theatre Playhouse.

Showstopper!
August 4 and 5, 7.30pm

Rescheduled from Norwich Theatre Playhouse.

The Importance of Being Earnest
August 7, 3.30pm and 7.30pm

Slapstick Picnic would like to cordially invite you to its inaugural summer tea party, where marvellous feats of performance and culinary capers await.

Sarah & Duck will be live on stage in Norwich. 

Sarah & Duck will be live on stage in Norwich. - Credit: Contributed

Sarah & Duck
August 10 to 13, 11am and 1.30pm, August 14, 11am

Join Sarah and Duck and your favourite friends including The Ribbon Sisters, The Shallots, Flamingo & John and Umbrella, as they plan a birthday party for Scarf Lady.  

Richard Herring
13 August 13, 6pm and 8.30pm

Rescheduled from Norwich Theatre Playhouse.

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