Six of the Best: Cultural highlights not to miss this weekend

Get Up and Tie Your Fingers

Get Up and Tie Your Fingers - Credit: Archant

Get Up and Tie Your Fingers, which dramatises the daily lives of the herring lassies, arrives in King's Lynn as part of a east coast cultural tour, Norwich Baroque perform at Wymondham Abbey with celebrated cellist Richard Tunnicliffe, Mark Grist, poet, battle rhymer and former English teacher bring his latest show and the stage production of classic sitcom Rising Damp. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this weekend.


Get Up and Tie Your Fingers

Guildhall Theatre, King's Lynn, May 30-31, 2pm/7.30pm, £10 (£8 cons), 01553 764864,

In the 19th century young Scottish men sailed to Greenland to hunt whales, while young women travelled along the east coast to gut herring. Ann Coburn's play Get Up and Tie Your Fingers dramatises the daily lives of the herring lassies, whose lives were dominated by work, overshadowed by the moods of the sea, but released in the telling of stories and the singing of songs. The play arrives in King's Lynn this weekend as part of an ambitious artistic enterprise called Follow the Herring involving performance, song and the visual arts. It is being performed at 12 venues along the east coast — it will be back in Great Yarmouth in July. The play centres on the 1881 Eyemouth Fishing Disaster which was - and still is - the worst fishing disaster Britain has ever seen. With the loss of almost 20 ships and 189 men, entire families and communities were destroyed as the herring lassies could only stand onshore and watch.


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Norwich Baroque & Richard Tunnicliffe

Wymondham Abbey, May 31, 7.30pm, £16 (£14 ons), £3 under-18s, 01603 628319,

Norwich Baroque perform in the magnificent Wymondham Abbey again as part of the Wymondham Music Festival to celebrate the music of the Bach family – not just J S, but C P E and Johann Bernhard too. They are joined by celebrated cellist Richard Tunnicliffe who is principal cellist with The Avison Ensemble, and a key member of Fretwork. Programme includes the C P E Bach cello concerto in A major and J S Bach's 3rd Brandenburg concerto.


Corn Hall Comedy Club

Diss Corn Hall, May 30, 8pm, £9, 01379 652241,

The latest popular monthly Diss comedy night brings three more top stand-ups to the Corn Hall stage. Alan Francis is an award-winning writer and actor, as well as stand-up, seen in Psychoville with the League of Gentlemen and Mid Morning Matters with Norfolk favourite Alan Partridge. Alex Smith's laser-sharp observations and cleverly crafted comedy songs have quickly singled him out as one the most exciting new acts on the circuit. Compère for the night will be Danny Ward who's unique observational humour is delivered in an up-beat, well honed and easy-going style.


Mark Grist

Norwich Playhouse, May 30, 8pm, £12 (£10 cons), 01603 598598,

Mark Grist, poet, battle rhymer and former English teacher from Peterborough, hit the headlines a couple of years ago when a film of him defeating a teenage grime artist in a rap battle staged in Norwich racked up a whopping 3.7 million views on YouTube. Before that he performed and toured as half of Dead Poets with MC Mixy, a double act fusing spoken word with hip hop. In his new one man show, Rogue Teacher, he takes a journey from over enthusiastic English teacher to world-wide rap battle sensation, as he leaves teaching to pursue his life long dream of being a full time artist. One thing's for sure – you'll never look at English teachers in the same way again.



Waterfront, King Street, Norwich, May 31, 6.30pm, £13, 01603 508050,

Gritty and groovesome electro-rock from Awolnation, the LA band/solo project led by Aaron Bruno from Under The Influence Of Giants. The concept began as a creative outlet for the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist allowing him to blend genres as he wanted in a style reminiscent of Beck, blending live instrumentation, electronic elements, and slick production into an electro-pop hybrid that draws from the whole of pop music. Support comes from Eliza And The Bear and Odjbox.


Rising Damp

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, until May 31, 7.30pm, 2.30pm, May 31, £25-£8.50, 01284 769505,

This stage production of the classic TV sitcom, which actually had theatrical roots being based on a play called The Banana Box, comes from the Comedy Theatre Company, who have previously staged versions of Victoria Wood's Dinnerladies and Birds of a Feather. An un-named northern university town is home to Rigsby, landlord of a seedy, run-down boarding house. His unlucky tenants include Ruth Jones, Alan, a medical student and Philip, who is studying town and country planning. Between them, Alan and Philip are the focus and foil of the majority of Rigsby's many prejudices, and standing in the eyes of Miss Jones.

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