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

Brian Conley

Brian Conley - Credit: Archant

There'll be singing, laughs and much more from the irrepressible funny man Brian Conley in this all-new variety show, British folk-rock stalwarts Fairport Convention return, there's an acclaimed production of groundbreaking play A Taste of Honey and there is a visit from master of vocal gymnastics and a true comedy star Michael Winslow. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this week.


Fairport Convention

Open, Bank Plain, Norwich, June 4, 7pm, £18.50, 01603 508050,

Hailed as the originators of British folk-rock music, Fairport Convention remain one of the most entertaining bands on the live music scene. Concerts feature a mix of material from their recent albums as well as classics from the band's earlier repertoire. There will also be some brand new songs destined for Fairport's next studio album.

The band has won a coveted BBC Lifetime Achievement Award and Radio 2 listeners voted Fairport's ground-breaking album Liege & Life 'The Most Influential Folk Album of All Time'.

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Brian Conley

Norwich Playhouse, June 2, 8pm, £22.50, 01603 598598,

There'll be singing, laughs and much more from the irrepressible funny man in this all-new variety show. While you might be thinking that Brian Conley's career peaked in the days of prime-time light entertainment in the 1990s that depends on how you judge success. From his break-through role as Jolson in the Olivier Award winning musical, he been a stalwart of the West End stage starring in West End hits Me and My Girl, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jolson, Hairspray and most recently played Fagin in Oliver! However comedy has never been far from life blood and this show is a chance to indulge.


A Taste of Honey

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, June 3-7, 7.30pm, 2pm June 4/5, 2.30pm, June 7, £20-£8.50, 01284 769505,

One of the most influential plays of its generation, Shelagh Delaney was only 18 when she wrote it. It burst onto the stage in 1961 in a production that took the West End by storm, later becoming a classic of British cinema. This revival is from the acclaimed Hull Truck Theatre. Jo is desperate to break free from her vulgar, wayward, man-hunting mother, Helen. She falls in love with Jimmy, a black sailor on shore leave. Abandoned by her mother, she discovers she's pregnant and turns to friend Geoffrey, a young art student.


Michael Winslow: Noizey Man

Norwich Playhouse, June 4-5, 8pm, £16, 01603 598598,

Michael is probably best known for playing Sgt 'Motor Mouth' Jones in the hugely successful Police Academy films, and can be seen and heard in Family Guy, The Simpsons, Spaceballs, Gremlins and many more. After his well received show a couple of years ago he returns with a new show that is another whirlwind of staggering special effects, astounding sounds and extraordinary noises. The original vocal artist of the 20th century, Winslow can imitate the impossible using only his voice. Whether it's the frenzy of Jimi Hendrix playing the guitar, or a very special treat for Star Wars fans, Michael is the master of vocal gymnastics and a true comedy star.


Malca Schotten: Happisburgh Revisited

Mandells Gallery, Elm Hill, Norwich, May 24-June 14, Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, free admission, 01603 626892,

Pop up exhibition of new drawings by Malca Schotten, who is enjoying a busy 2014 having recently exhibited the continuation of her big project I'm Not Dead Yet, a series of portraits of people aged over 60. This exhibition related to another long-term project. Back in 2012, the Norwich-artist completed a series of large charcoal and pastel works, inspired by Norfolk's disappearing coastline, particularly the volatile, ever changing cliffs at Happisburgh. After the Norfolk coastline experienced a devastating tidal surge in December, Malca has been back to document the disappearing coastline again.


Summer Laughter Show

Pavilion Theatre, Gorleston, June 3-4, 7.45pm, £16 (£14 cons), £8 children, 01493 662832,

All new family comedy show for the summer season, featuring comedy from local stalwarts Olly Day and accordion wielding comedian Nigel 'Boy' Syer, plus songs and glamour from Andy Pelos and Krissi Jae. The Pavilion Theatre auditorium is transformed into cabaret style for these shows. They are always extremely popular, so advance booking is recommended.

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