French melodrama and open air painting competition are among Norwich festival’s cultural mix

Hostry Festival 2017 - The Eagle Has Two Heads. Photo: Matt Dartford.

Hostry Festival 2017 - The Eagle Has Two Heads. Photo: Matt Dartford. - Credit: Matt Dartford

From a classic French melodrama to the return of an open air painting competition around our fine city, there is lots for people to look forward to at this year's Hostry Festival.

Hostry Festival 2017 - Total Ensemble Theatre Company. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography.

Hostry Festival 2017 - Total Ensemble Theatre Company. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography. - Credit: Simon Finlay Photgraphy

The annual autumn arts extravaganza at Norwich Cathedral's Hostry is in its seventh year, and in 2017 will run from October 15 to 29.

Stash Kirkbride, the festival's artistic director, said he was excited to announce the festival's main theatre show this year would be The Eagle Has Two Heads, a love story by French playwright Jean Cocteau in which an Austrian queen's would-be assassin falls hopelessly in love with her.

He described it as a 'highly-charged, unique and beautiful play' and said audiences were in for a treat.

'We had a hard act to follow with Melvyn Bragg's adaptation of King Lear In New York especially for the festival last year, but I am more than proud already of everyone involved in bringing a production of this ambitious standard together,' he said.

Hostry Festival 2017 - Total Ensemble Theatre Company. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography.

Hostry Festival 2017 - Total Ensemble Theatre Company. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography. - Credit: Simon Finlay Photgraphy

'Performed for the first time in arena style seating, with live musicians on stage, our 2017 production is set to leave audiences with lasting memories.'

About the 2017 festival as a whole, he said: 'It's building on our four core projects, the main play, the Norfolk Arts Awards, Paint Out Norwich and Total Ensemble Theatre Company. We have five days of Paint Out Norwich events this year including the annual two-day open air competition for artists, and Total Ensemble will be giving a flavour of their 2018 full-scale production, Boy In The Lighthouse, and also repeating their Norfolk and Norwich Festival commission It's a Wonderful Moon, George!'

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Mr Kirkbride said other highlights included Academy Award-winning actress Hayley Mills in conversation, the return of the Never Too Late project with Mustard TV which sees older people given the chance to fulfil longheld ambitions, and a concert featuring singer Hayley Moyses and friends.

More about the festival's events, including dates and ticket prices, will be available in the coming weeks at www.hostryfestival.org

Hostry Festival co-founders Stash Kirkbride and Peter Barrow. Photo: Rachel Wright.

Hostry Festival co-founders Stash Kirkbride and Peter Barrow. Photo: Rachel Wright. - Credit: Rachel Wright

Tickets for Hostry Festival events will go on sale on July 17.

Artist Robert Nelnes at work painting Whitefriars Bridge during Paint Out Norwich 2016. Picture: DEN

Artist Robert Nelnes at work painting Whitefriars Bridge during Paint Out Norwich 2016. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Artist Robbie Murdoch at work at Cow Tower during Paint Out Norwich 2016. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Artist Robbie Murdoch at work at Cow Tower during Paint Out Norwich 2016. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

The 2016 Norfolk Arts Awards at the Hostry at Norwich Cathedral. The awards winners. Photo Simon Fin

The 2016 Norfolk Arts Awards at the Hostry at Norwich Cathedral. The awards winners. Photo Simon Finlay Photography. - Credit: Simon Finlay Photography

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