Get ready for the New Year dash for culture...

Cultural highlights pix 26/12/13

Cultural highlights pix 26/12/13 - Credit: Archant

Christmas is almost over; soon New Year will be a memory too. Fear not though, there are plenty of cultural highlights lying in wait in 2014. SIMON PARKIN picks some highlights.

Cultural highlights pix 26/12/13

Cultural highlights pix 26/12/13 - Credit: Archant


Albert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking

Norwich Playhouse, February 3-7

Join Albert, the genius behind the übercoolest moustache in science, for a fun lecture. He is joined by his wives and mum on piano, and by guest rapper MC Squared, as he quantum leaps us through two world wars, the wurst sausage joke ever, and even some actual proper boffin-checked science. Suitable for bright sparks over 7.

Dotty The Dragon

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Norwich Playhouse, February 20-22

Dotty is a baby fire dragon. She lives at the top of a mountain with her grumpy dad, Mr Dragon. In the village below, everyone fears for their lives because dragons eat children. But not poor misunderstood Dotty. Blunderbus Theatre's enchanting fairytale is an adventure with an irresistible blend of live music, fabulous puppets, high energy storytelling and a very happy ending.

Horrible Histories

Norwich Theatre Royal, February 26-March 1

Can you beat battling Boudicca? Will Parliament survive gunpowder Guy? Can King Charles keep his head? Would you stand and deliver to dastardly Dick Turpin? Hugely popular with youngsters of a certain age (and their parents), Horrible Histories return with a show entitled Barmy Britain with brand new 3D effects.

The Sooty Show

The Apex Bury St Edmunds, February 19/St George's Theatre, Great Yarmouth, April 18

Izzy Wizzy Lets get busy! The ever green and always popular with generation after generation, Sooty Show has two stops in this region on their 2014 tour. Sweep, Soo and Sooty's TV Partner Richard Cadell will be attempting to keep Sooty from getting up to mischief. But, as ever, they will he have his hands full, especially as its the little bear's birthday party and things aren't going to plan.

Peppa Pig's Big Splash

King's Lynn Corn Exchange, March 12-13

Fresh from the success of the previous stage shows, Peppa's latest new show Peppa Pig's Big Splash sees the popular little pig and her friends back for an another all-singing, all-dancing adventure full of songs, games and muddy puddles. The nursery roof is leaking and Peppa and her friends need to fix it.

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer

Diss Corn Hall, March 20

Direct from sell-out seasons in New York and Sydney, this multi award-winning piece of theatrical magic is a heartwarming, one-man micro-epic about enduring love and the end of the world, something akin to a theatrical Wall-E. Seas have risen, billions have died. Solitary explorer Alvin Sputnik is our only hope. He must venture to the bottom of the ocean to find his wife's lost soul and save humanity.


Manipulate Festival

Norwich Puppet Theatre, February 4-8

Norwich Puppet Theatre again hosts one of the most vibrant festivals of its kind. 2014's programme is a sumptuous mix of visual and puppet theatre and animation by groundbreaking international companies from Russia, France, The Netherlands and Germany, feature films from America and Sweden and animated shorts from around the world. Expect beauty, expect the surreal and expect the unexpected.

Propeller 2014

Norwich Theatre Royal, March 25-29

Edward Hall's internationally award-winning, all-male company return with this contrasting pair of Shakespeare comedies. Shakespeare's smartest and most farcical play, The Comedy of Errors, with two sets of estranged twins, separated at birth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream is the Bard's most magical play.

Palm Wine & Stout

Granary Theatre, Wells, March 26

A moving and magical journey full of family secrets from the acclaimed Eastern Angles. Palm Wine & Stout is his semi-autobiographical story of a young BRitish-Nigian and his spiritual journey back to the family's African village. Funny and poignant, its written by award-winning playwright Segun Lee-French.

As You Like It

Maddermarket Theatre, March 27-April 5

What do Shakespeare's Globe and Norwich's Maddermarket have in common? Both opened with a performance of As You Like It. To celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, the play returns, set in 1967, the summer of love. It is part of a mini Shakespeare festival including a day of strolling players in Norwich city centre on April 13.


Norwich Theatre Royal, April 2-12

Andrew Lloyd Webber's extraordinary record breaking, smash-hit musical returns. Adapted from TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, this wonderful blend of fantasy, drama and romance is set on the night that the Jellicle Cats meet for a ball in a sparkling fusion of music, dance and verse. With an amazing musical score that includes the timeless Memory, spectacular sets, and breathtaking choreography, it is still a magical musical like no other.

Dial M For Murder

Norwich Theatre Royal, April 29-May 3

Frederick Knott's intense and darkly gripping thriller, famously filmed by Alfred Hitchcock, arrives in Norwich as part of a UK tour, starring Christopher Timothy as Inspector Hubbard. Tony is convinced his wife is having an affair. We watch as he plans what must surely be the perfect murder. until it falters in the most unexpected way. Claustrophobic and frightening, Lucy Bailey's new production reclaims this brilliant and erotic tale of betrayal, passion and ultimately, murder.


Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, May 15/Norwich Playhouse, May 28-29

Tim Whitnall's Olivier Award-winning play leads us through John Eric Bartholomew's whole career, from variety gigs up north to the goggle-box and beyond. The story is told from Morecambe's perspective, and is never less than sentimental about the great man. Olivier-nominated Bob Golding catches the spirit of Eric in his brown paper bag and doesn't let go. It is a moving, often hilarious tale about one of Britain's best-loved entertainers.

Singin' in the Rain

Norwich Theatre Royal, June 4-14

This spectacular show is packed full of the charm, romance, comedy and tinseltown glamour of one the world's best loved movies and features all the songs from the glorious MGM score including Good Morning, Make 'em Laugh, Moses Supposes and the classic Singin' in the Rain. Jonathan Church's production was acclaimed in the West End and uses half a mile of flexible pipe work, a 10 tonne water tank housed in the orchestra pit and a water system that creates 12,000 litres of rain per performance.

Rock / Pop

John Newman

UEA, February 11

Thanks to his guest appearances on two chart hits by Rudimental, John Newman is already a household voice if not quite yet a household name. His solo material marries retro blue-eyed soul (strings, saxes, dry backbeats and his croon) with contemporary pop production. This date has already sold-out suggesting another big year.


UEA, February 15

Manchester art-pop quartet The 1975 released their debut album in September, co-produced by Arctic Monkeys collaborator Mike Crossey, cementing their status as the breakthrough band of the year. Hot on the heels of their recent Norwich debut they quickly return.

Joan As Police Woman

Norwich Arts Centre, March 15

Joan Wasser — aka JAP, boasts an impressive CV. The Boston-reared singer and classically trained violinist has toured regularly with both Rufus and Martha Wainwright's bands, played with The Bad Seeds, Antony And The Johnsons and Sheryl Crow, and was a long-term squeeze of Jeff Buckley's. She will be performing tracks from her fourth album, The Classic.

The Feeling

Waterfront, Norwich, March 15

The enormously successful, soft-rocking, London-based five-piece - originally formed as a covers band doing the Alpine ski circuit - demonstrate their penchant for pastiches of Supertramp and ELO, and sun-kissed, 70s-inspired, FM balladry from their latest album Join With Us.

Maximo Park

UEA, March 17

The North East electro-rockers are set to release their fifth album, Too Much Information, in February, and make a eagerly anticipated return to the UEA as part of their UK tour. The album will have a special limited deluxe version which sees the band cover selected songs from a variety of artists including The Fall, Leonard Cohen and Mazzy Star. We may get to hear a selection.


UEA, March 26

It's been a long time since Metronomy was just Joe Mount's bedroom pop project in sleepy Totnes, Devon. Three albums later, and with a shiny, rounded live line-up, they will here be performing songs from their new album Love Letters, due out the same month. Thee peerless wonky-pop exponents already have hits galore.

Lloyd Cole

UEA, March 30/The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, March 31

Lloyd Cole, though he'd never be so gauche as to suggest it himself, has enjoyed something of a renaissance in 2013. He released his new 'career best' album, Standards, in the summer. He also found himself with star billing on Later With Jools Holland and he has been playing to sell-out houses across Europe. These two shows will see him performing solo and acoustic.

Deaf Havana

UEA, April 1

It has been quite a year for Deaf Havana, with their album, Old Souls, debuting at nine in the UK charts on the back of some glowing reviews, and sold out tours taking in London's prestigious Roundhouse. Here the West Norfolk band kick-off their latest UK tour with their biggest date yet in their home county.

Jack Savoretti

Open, Norwich, April 2

This husky-voiced, guitar-and-harmonica-toting troubadour has earned favourable comparisons to the likes of Damien Rice and Ray LaMontagne and has recently toured Europe with Jake Bugg. His releasing of new material or writing for others is relentless and belies his easy-going but emotionally fraught acoustic pop that has picked him up plenty of prominent supporters though he's yet to break into the mainstream.


Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

January 31

Chris Pine follows in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck as he steps into the role of Tom Clancy's famous CIA analyst Jack Ryan. This reboot of the action-thriller franchise sees him he attempt to reveal a Russian terrorist plot. Kenneth Branagh directs.

The Invisible Woman

February 7

Back in the director's chair, Ralph Fiennes casts himself as Charles Dickens in this story, scripted by Abi Morgan, of the novelist's relationship with his younger mistress, Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones).


February 14

Being John Malkovich and Where The Wild Things Are director Spike Jonze's latest is an idiosyncratic love story set in the near future with Joaquin Phoenix begin an unconventional romance with 'Samantha', the voice of his computer's new operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

The Monuments Men

February 14

George Clooney's latest directorial effort sees him team up with Ocean's Eleven co-star Matt Damon once again for the real life story of the battle to rescue art stolen by the Nazis during the Second Word War. . The cast also includes Bill Murray, John Goodman and Hugh Bonneville.

Grand Budapest Hotel

March 7

It's only a year since Moonrise Kingdom, but Wes Anderson returns with his latest that recounts the adventures of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his trusted friend.


March 28

One of two biblical epics arriving in cinemas next year, the other being Ridley Scott's Exodus. Darren Aronofsky directs this big budget spectacle — complete with apocalyptic visions — that features a cast including Russell Crowe (as the titular Ark builder).

X-Men: Days of Future Past

May 22

The beloved characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.


May 30

Angelina Jolie is Sleeping Beauty's iconic villain in this Disney twist on the classic Sleeping Beauty fairytale, told from the point of view of the self-proclaimed Mistress Of All Evil.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again

July 18

No need to wait a year for the final instalment of Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy as it gets a summer release. The Company of Thorin has reached Smaug's lair; but, can Bilbo and the Dwarves reclaim Erebor and the treasure?

Fifty Shades Of Grey


EL James' bonkbuster comes to the big screen. Sam Taylor-Johnson's film features Jamie Dornan as kinky billionaire Christian Grey, with Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele.


November 28

Colin Firth voices the genial little bear from darkest Peru. Hugh Bonneville stars as Mr Brown, with Sally Hawkins playing Mrs Brown and Nicole Kidman playing a villain.

Boy George

Waterfront, Norwich, April 4

Following the huge success of his recent sold out tour and album This Is What I Do and hot on the heels of his single King Of Everything, Boy George, is set to release his second single, My God, in January and follows it up with a UK tour that brings him to Norwich for the first time in years.

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