Six of the Best: Norfolk cultural highlights not to miss this weekend

Gary Delaney brings Purist to Norwich Playhouse

Gary Delaney brings Purist to Norwich Playhouse - Credit: Archant

Super-sharp one-liner slinger Gary Delaney graduates to two comedy nights at Norwich Playhouse, bittersweet comedy Quartet is revived and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees Faustus visit. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this weekend.



Westacre Theatre, River Road, Westacre, March 21-22, 7.30pm, £16, 01760 755800,

This bittersweet comedy, written by the Oscar-winning playwright Ronald Harwood, who also created the likes of The Dresser and The Pianist, follows the story of three retired opera singers languishing in a home for retired musicians who are preparing to perform their annual concert to celebrate the birthday of composer Giuseppe Verdi. However their tranquil world is shattered when legendary diva Jean Horton arrives, bringing old rivalries and past secrets to the surface. This Westacre production, under the direction of artistic director Andy Naylor, returns by popular demand after its sold-out run in November.


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Gary Delaney: Purist

Norwich Playhouse, March 21-22, 8pm, £15, 01603 598598,

Super-sharp one-liner slinger Gary Delaney was last in Norwich on the bill at the Red Card club, but he has come on leaps and bounds and here he returns for two solo nights at the Playhouse. The double Sony Award winner and Chortle Award nominee had a sell out run at the Edinburgh Fringe with Purist, and wowed critics and audiences alike with his massive quantity of stand out gags. He thinks that most shows don't contain enough jokes, and is trying single handedly to redress the balance.


Twelfth Night

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, until March 22, £20-£8.50, 01284 769505,

Two worlds collide in Filter's explosive new rock'n'roll take on Shakespeare's lyrical Twelfth Night. Olivia's melancholic, puritanical household clashes head on with Sir Toby's insatiable appetite for drunken debauchery. Orsino's relentless pursuit of Olivia and Malvolio's extraordinary transformation typify the madness of love in Illyria: land of make-believe and illusion. This story of romance, satire and mistaken identity is crafted into one of the most exciting and accessible Shakespeare productions of recent years. Experience the madness of love in this heady world where riotous gig meets the Bard.



Diss Corn Hall, March 22, 8pm, £12 (£10 cons), 01379 652241,

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees, Faustus comprises three of the folk music scene leading lights of their generation: Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Whapweazel), Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar's Feast). They have a plethora of experience between them, brought together here in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone. Originally formed from the embers of Dr Faustus, the trio play frill-free English traditional music and song in a distinctive way — inventive, musically adept, with emotion and rich harmonies, and with a kicking rhythm and bite.


The Cabinet of Leopold Thorn

Angles Theatre, Wisbech, March 22, 7.30pm, £11 (£9 cons), 01945 474447,

Colchester based writer/performer Darren Gooding ventures once more into the world of beguiling and mercurial magician Leopold Thorn. Patience Thorn is rewarded with tall tales of a girl made from clockwork, a princess who floats away from her wedding, an unspeakable horror and an impossible illusion. But they're all just flights of fancy aren't they? This play with magic is a story of ambition, loss, scandal and deception within the obsessive, clandestine and occasionally downright ridiculous world of 19th century stage illusion.


Norfolk Symphony Orchestra

King's Lynn Corn Exchange, March 23, 3.30pm, £15, £7.50 children, 01553 764864,

The Norfolk Symphony Orchestra are joined by Tim Jackson, principal horn from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tony Halstead, one-time principal horn from the London Symphony Orchestra, to perform Schumann's Konzertstuck. The concert also includes Schumann's Rhenish Symphony and Ruy Blas by Mendelssohn.

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