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

Cast of Allo Allo at the Maddermarket. David Rees as Rene, Sandra Barker as Edith and Michelle Moore

Cast of Allo Allo at the Maddermarket. David Rees as Rene, Sandra Barker as Edith and Michelle Moore as Yvette. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant

René, the hapless café owner, encounters more farcical goings-on in a stage adaptation of TV favourite Allo Allo, there is a special celebratory concert for the 10th year of the North Norfolk Music Festival, old-style string band Carolina Chocolate Drops mine the jewels of black American folk music, Alice has adventures in wonderland and there is Cromer Carnival Day. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this week.


Anniversary Concert

St Mary's Church, South Creake, August 18, 7.30pm, £15, 01328 730357,

A special celebratory concert for our 10th year with North Norfolk Music Festival which reunites violinist Laura Samuel, cellist Alasdair Tait, viola player Simon Rowland-Jones and pianist Carole Presland. On this occasion they are joined by Ben Harrison, viola, and Peter Buckoke on double bass. Two large-scale works make up the majority of their programme, the rarely heard, marvellous Sextet for Piano and Strings by Mendelssohn, requested by NNMF Friends John and Marjorie Stabler, and Schubert's Trout Quintet, which, despite its popularity, has never been performed before at NNMF.


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Carolina Chocolate Drops

Snape Maltings Concert Hall, August 19, 7.30pm, £20-£6.50, 01728 687110,

This old-style string band mine the jewels of black American folk music of around a century ago, mix them with their own, and polish them till they shine. The hugely acclaimed young NC-based roots-music trio have a Grammy under its collective belt for Genuine Negro Jig). Sawing fiddles, clattering percussion, virtuoso banjo, soulful vocals clamour for attention as calypso, early jazz nestle amongst the hoedowns and jigs. A total joy.


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Holkham Hall, August 20, 6.15pm, £13, £9 children, £40 family, 01328 713111,

Logic is abandoned in Cambridge Touring Theatre's wonderfully interactive tale of childhood and imagination as Alice meets White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter and the March Hare. This Norfolk dates is a chance to enjoy a fun-filled picnic with your family while you watch this hilarious musical show filled with catchy songs, music, dancing and a host of pranks. Youngsters are invited to go dressed in their best 'Wonderland' fashion.


Cromer Carnival Day

Town Centre, Cromer, August 20, full programme of events can be found at

Cromer's carnival celebrations are even longer to mark its 43rd anniversary. The highlight as ever is the fantastic Carnival Day itself. A highlight will again be the flyover by the Red Arrows at 11am (The Wildcats display team will also perform at 12.15pm on Aug 19). The grand parade winds its way through the town from 5pm. The Carnival Field at Runton Road as ever includes a packed programme including the grand fireworks display and funfair on August 21.


Carved, Cast and Constructed

Wymondham Arts Centre, August 19-31, Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12pm-5pm, free admission,

Norwich sculptor Ros Newman returns to Wymondham Arts Centre to curate this exhibition featuring sculpture from Norfolk and Suffolk artists including Nigel Barnett, Pip Collyer, Chedgey, Chris Dixon, Andy Jarrett, Laure Olivier Minns, John Nicholson, Zoë Rubens and Monica Wesselman. One eye and ear catching exhibit will be Andy Reeve's mixed-media audio installation Symphony in D (Major), a reflection on bravery and sacrifice in war, with music composed by violinist Jess Diggins with Jay Freeman on guitar. The guitar that forms the physical sculpture was played, and destroyed, in an exclusive performance by Norwich band The Neutrinos in Westlegate Tower during the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2012.


Allo Allo

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, August 21-30, 7.30pm, 2.30pm August 30, £12-£8, 01603 620917,

Based on the hugely popular TV comedy series, the stage version follows the adventures of René, the hapless café owner in war-torn occupied France, as he and his wife Edith, struggle to keep for themselves a priceless portrait stolen by the Nazis and kept in a sausage in their cellar. René is hiding two British airmen and is endeavouring, with the help of the Resistance, to repatriate them. However, communications with London through a wireless disguised as a cockatoo add to the many embarrassments he endures in the company of his patrons. Matters come to a head with the news that the Fuhrer is to visit the town...

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