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

Edinburgh Fringe award winner Bridget Christie. Photo: Steve Ullathorne

Edinburgh Fringe award winner Bridget Christie. Photo: Steve Ullathorne - Credit: Archant

Bridget Christie, who only the third woman to win the Edinburgh Fringe's top comedy award, arrives on the back of an award-strewn year, Beccles hosts a Jazz Weekend, Norfolk Winds perform a fascinating programme of compositions, comedian, Rory McGrath and composer Philip Pope visit for an evening of comedy and song, Throwing Muses and reunited with Tanya Donelly. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this weekend.


Bridge Over Troubled Lager

Norwich Playhouse, September 19, 8pm, £15 (£13 cons), 01603 598598,

After their hit dad-rock album Dark Side of the Moob, comedian, writer and beardy birdwatcher Rory McGrath and composer Philip Pope return to touring with an evening of sophisticated comedy and song. Expect wit, elegance and clever musical pastiche (but don't worry there's also silence and filth). This is the show where music and comedy meet, have a few drinks, fight, then stagger home singing hits from the 60s. Something to offend everybody. With songs about tweeting, Eurovision, the C word and Cornish shipping disasters (funnier than it sounds).


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Beccles Jazz Weekend

Waveney House Hotel, Beccles, September 19-21, 01502 471577,

Beccles Festival draws to a close on a high this year with three concerts as part of the Jazz Weekend.

Combining the best of local, national and international talent, Friday sees local trumpeter Ray Simmons and clarinet virtuoso Ray Hockett from the US present their eclectic overview of jazz, from blues to bebop. On Saturday there is a performance by East Anglia's hottest Dixieland jazz band Dixiemix. Sunday features Tina May delivering her thrilling interpretation of Edith Piaf songs, supported by her fine, all-girl band.


Dylan Thomas - Return Journey

Diss Corn Hall, September 19, 7.30pm, £12, £9 under-18s, 01379 652241,

Dylan Thomas was one of the 20th century s greatest poets. His most famous works include Under Milk Wood , Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog , Adventures in the Skin Trade and A Child s Christmas in Wales as well as numerous poems and short stories. Towards the end of his life, he toured America, performing his works before sell out audiences across the country. Dylan Thomas: Return Journey is an interpretation of those legendary lectures starring Bob Kingdom. This one man production features the poems Fern Hill , Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night , A Poem in October , And Death Shall Have No Dominion , A Story and Return J.


Norfolk Winds

St Botolph's Church, Trunch, North Walsham, September 20, 7.30pm, £9 (£7 cons),

Regular crowd-pullers Norfolk Winds with David Morgan, piano, perform a fascinating programme of music featuring some major compositions for wind instruments and piano from the romantic era and British 20th century mainstream. The main works are Glinka's Trio Pathétique for clarinet, bassoon and piano; Madeleine Dring's Trio for flute, oboe and piano; Danzi's Quintet in D, Op 54 for Piano and Winds. Shorter items include settings of British folksongs by Gordon Jacob and a short suite of arrangements of popular keyboard music by Bach and Buxtehude.


Bridget Christie

Norwich Playhouse, September 20, 8pm, £14 (£12 cons), 01603 598598,

Last year, Bridget Christie became only the third woman to win the Edinburgh Fringe's top comedy award in 33 years. Amid ever-rumbling arguments over why women are less prominent in stand-up – and the arts in general – she is a leading light and is having a moment in 2014 having already scooped numerous awards. She has also enjoyed her own Radio 4 show Bridget Christie Minds the Gap, and appeared on the News Quiz, The Unbelievable Truth, Have I Got News For You, QI, and Channel 4's Cardinal Burns. Best of all she is achieving this success without comprising. This show will feature all the best bits from that award-winning 2013 show A Bic For Her, plus an hour of new material from her Edinburgh 2014 show.


Throwing Muses & Tanya Donelly

Waterfront, King Street, Norwich, September 21, 7pm, £20, 01603 508050,

Quintessential late 1980s/90s indie star Kristin Hersh returns to the UK with the three-piece Throwing Muses, and – very excitingly – a guest appearance by original Muse Tanya Donnelly. Formed in the 80s by Kristin Hersh and her half-sister Tanya, Throwing Muses became the first American band to be signed to the 4AD label in 1986. Tanya left to join The Breeders and then Belly. She will be joining the band onstage to play some of the old material. Expect to hear 4AD classics like Bright Yellow Gun and Counting Backwards as well as newer material.

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