Seven of the Best: Cultural highlights not to miss this week

Cast of fEast Theatre’s Winter 53

Cast of fEast Theatre’s Winter 53 - Credit: Archant

Winter 53, the third play in Rob John's Norfolk trilogy, begins touring, Jacqui Dankworth sings Shakespeare and there is comedy, music, art and Northern Ballet's Swan Lake. SIMON PARKIN picks seven cultural highlights not to miss this week.


Winter 53

Sheringham Little Theatre, April 16, 7.30pm, £12.50, £10 under-16, 01263 822347, Harbour Rooms, April 21, 7.30pm, £12.50, £10 under-18s, 01328 830209

Following the success of The Canada Boys and Parachute, fEast Theatre's latest touring production is the third play in Rob John's Norfolk trilogy. Set in the fictional coastal village of Boxham in the months leading up to the catastrophic floods of January 1953, the play explores the complex and turbulent relationships of the Spence family who struggle to make sense of their tragic history in the face of unreliable and conflicting memories. A cast of professional actors will be joined by a chorus recruited from the communities where the play is performed. The tour continues to Hindolveston Village Hall (April 22), The Garage, Norwich (April 23), Atrium Theatre, North Walsham (April 28), Westacre Theatre (April 29), Aylsham Town Hall (April 30). Full details at


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Jacqui Dankworth: Shakespeare and All That Jazz

Norwich Playhouse, April 16, 7.30pm, £20 (£18 cons), 01603 598598,

Marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, jazz singer Jacqui Dankworth revisits the musical settings of Shakespeare's poetry inspired by and taken from the seminal album Shakespeare And All That Jazz, composed by her late father Sir John Dankworth. The music is based on works such as Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day, O Mistress Mine, the story of Macbeth and a comical setting of Shakespeare's complete works. The music, the genius of Shakespeare's poetry combined with Jacqui's emotional and virtuosic voice. As well as a singer she is also a seasoned actress having worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company.


Handel: Theodora

Wymondham Abbey, April 16, 7.15pm, £15, £5 under-16s, 01603 628319,

Accompanied by one of the country's most renowned interpreters of Handel's music, The Brook Street Band chamber orchestra, Wymondham Choral Society will be performing Handel's dramatic oratorio Theodora in the wonderful setting of Wymondham Abbey. Since its formation in 1996 by baroque cellist Tatty Theo, the award-winning Brook Street Band has established itself as one of the country's foremost interpreters of Handel's music. This work is loved and admired as among Handel's best. Featuring outstanding soloists and conducted by Claire Dixon, the concert is in support of the East Anglia's Children's Hospice (EACH) at Quidenham. Tickets available in advance from George Reeve in Wymondham or on the door.


Reggie 'n' Bollie

St Andrews Hall, Norwich, April 17, 2.30pm, £20,

2015 X-Factor Runners Up Reggie 'N' Bollie head up this variety show which also includes fellow former X Factor R&B harmony group Rough Copy, soul singer Andy Abraham, Gabz, local dance group Michala Jane School of Dance, plus DJ /compere/rapper Michael Andre. The excitable pair Reggie 'N' Bollie (formerly Menn on Poinnt) hail from Ghana and consist of Reggie Zippy and Ishmael Hamid, aka 'Bollie'. They came together as a duo ahead of their TV fame after releasing Hiplife style music. Gabz, aka Gabrielle Gardiner, is singer-songwriter, rapper and musician who reached the final of the seventh series of Britain's Got Talent in 2013. The afternoon performance will be overseen by Michael Andre, who featured with his brothers in the ITV 2 reality show Peter Andre – My Life.


Swan Lake

Norwich Theatre Royal, April 19-23, 7.30pm, 2.30pm April 21/23, £37.50-£8, 01603 630000,

It is arguably the most famous piece of any ballet's repertoire adored by those who enjoy traditional dance. But Swan Lake is also a perfect candidate for a new interpretation with its themes of romance and emotion proving to be a draw for choreographers. And Northern Ballet's David Nixon is no exception. The artistic director has merged the traditional and contemporary seamlessly in his production which is set in New England during La Belle Epoque, the period when being carefree and enjoying leisure time was so important and the rumbles of the First World War seemed so far away. It begins with leading character Anthony and his brother playing around a lake but Anthony's brother disappears missing feared drowned.


KL Comedy Club

King's Lynn Corn Exchange, April 21, 8.45pm, £9.50, 01553 764864,

The latest monthly King's Lynn comedy night features another diverse line-up of four stand-up talents. Hertfordshire comic Paddy Lennox (pictured) is a regular on the comedy circuit and has played The Comedy Store, Jongleurs, The Glee Club, as well as setting up his own club in Essex. He is also an actor who has worked at The Globe Theatre with Mark Rylance and slipped off this mortal coil in Holby City. Combining his childhood experiences growing up in a tough North East town, ex-steel worker Phil Dinsdale provides a unique blend of cynicism. London comic Ola's quiet, measured delivery belies the fact he doesn't go out of his way to play warm or endearing. Musical comic Duncan Oakley powers out a deft blend of stupidity and truly impressive musicianship with hilarious results.


Nature Boy

Fairhurst Gallery, Bedford Street, Norwich, until November 28, Mon-Friday 9.30am-5.30pm, Sat 10am-2pm, admission free, 01603 614214,

Oliver Bedeman's bold paintings reinterpret observed moments of rushing London life through highly charged portraits of poets, brothers and saints – most of which are born of the imagination whilst others embody those who mean most to the artist. Whilst based on dreams and theatre, the paintings are always accompanied by a realism of observation, adhering to the artist's keen practice of drawing. In 'Nature Boy', a man and a lady silently travel on the Overground seats and the viewer travels with them in this strange yet familiar carriage. The title refers to the Eden Ahbez song which tells the story of an encounter with a sad-eyed but wise traveller. All the while Oliver picks and borrows from a huge range of traditions and fantasies, from Hockney to Whitman, Ginsberg to Dylan, Wild West to Munnings.

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