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

Thomas Gould who will fulfill his ambition to direct Bach's Goldberg Variations with the Britten Sin

Thomas Gould who will fulfill his ambition to direct Bach's Goldberg Variations with the Britten Sinfonia - Credit: Archant

Concerts of Bach's Goldberg Variations and by Norfolk Symphony Orchestra, plus comedy, music and a ghost story, SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this weekend.


Britten Sinfonia: Goldberg Variations

Norwich Theatre Royal, March 21, 7.30pm, £26-£6.50, 01603 630000,

Dimitri Sitkovetsy's string arrangement of Bach's keyboard standard The Goldberg Variations is the centrepiece of Britten Sinfonia's March visit. Having the opportunity to direct it is the long-held aim of associate leader and violinist Thomas Gould. As well as the title piece, the performance also features the Concerto Grosso Opus 1 No 11 In C Minor by Locatelli, who was a near contemporary of Bach. Completing the programme will be two new pieces. The first is called My Curves Are Not Mad by the composer Tom Coult which will feature elements of works by both Bach and Locatelli within it.


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Northanger Abbey

St George's Theatre, Great Yarmouth, March 20, 7.30pm, £10 (£8 cons), £5 under-16s, 01493 331484,

Box Tale Soup's version of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey features a cast of just two human performers and seven hand made puppets. Despite this it remains faithful to the original work, taking the vast majority of the dialogue verbatim from the novel. This, combined with the use of puppetry, has made the production a favourite of Austen lovers and sceptics alike. Young, naïve and unlikely heroine Catherine Morland is introduced into society and the delights of the Gothic novel, falling in love with the dashing, witty (if mildly sarcastic) Henry Tilney and allowing her overactive imagination to get the better of her.


Richard Herring

Norwich Playhouse, March 21, 8pm, £15, 01603 598598,

After covering weighty issues like death, love, religion and spam javelins, Richard Herring is in a frivolous mood with his latest show Lord of the Dance Settee. It is all about daftness, whether the term 'cool comedian' is an oxymoron, bouncing joyously on the sofa and how his whole career is a failed attempt to top a piece of visual slapstick comedy he came up with at 16. Can he revisit the joke thirty years on or will it smash his old bones?


Love & Fame

King's Lynn Corn Exchange, March 22, 3.30pm, £16, free tickets under the Young Concert Goers scheme for under-18s, 01553 764864,

Norfolk Symphony Orchestra perform Rossini's Semiramide Overture then will be joined by soloist Reinis Zarins, the Latvian pianist whose playing has been described as electrifying, for Chopin's Piano Concerto No 1. Premiered in 1830 with Chopin as the soloist, this work is best known for its lyrical middle movement. The final work on the programme is Shostakovich's 10th Symphony, a massive and exhilarating yet intimate and revealing work that holds a secret coded account of his rescue from official disgrace and ostracism.


Rag N Bone Man

Waterfront Studio, King Street, Norwich, March 19, 7.30pm, £8.50, 01603 508050,

His unique blend of blues, rock, soul and hip hop, see Rory Graham, aka Rag 'N' Bone Man, marked him out as one of the most original talents to emerge in a long time and he arrives on a back of no end of predictions of great things this year. He has been a prolific underground name for a couple of years, honing a ferocious live reputation through guitar wielding solo performances, as the resident vocalist of rap's Rum Committee, and more recently his track Wolves. You may have heard it on the trailer for the BBC's Poldark.


The Ghost Train

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, March 19-28, 7.30pm, 2.30pm Mar 28, £12 (£8 cons), 01603 620917,

The Ghost Train pulls into the Maddermarket Theatre promising suspense, mystery and murder in a production of Arnold Ridley's classic comedy thriller, directed by Stash Kirkbride. On a winter's night 1945, a group of passengers is stranded at a remote railway station. As good humour fades and tempers rise towards the station master's warnings to leave at once, a distant locomotive is heard thundering towards the helpless heroes. To coincide with the play, the Maddermarket is also showing the classic film version of The Ghost Train starring Arthur Askey (March 21, 1.10pm, £5, £4 cons).

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