Norfolk & Norwich Festival has today announced the full programme for its 2018 Festival (11 - 27 May). The programme, which spans performance, theatre, music, visual arts, literature, circus, outdoor and family events, includes world and UK premieres, one-off spectaculars, and a host of free events across the Festival. The Festival will showcase renowned international artists from across the globe and countries as widespread as Syria, Australia and India, alongside the best local Norfolk and UK talent presented across the county, from Norwich city centre and Great Yarmouth to Wells-next-the-Sea.

Daniel Brine, Festival Director said: “The Festival is a wonderful time to celebrate our city and county, to bring communities together to experience great art and performance, and to welcome artists and visitors from across the UK and around the world. Our programme is broad and rich and we’re proud to be presenting world premieres alongside celebrated productions not previously seen in Norfolk. This year the Festival has been put together by all of our team. My predecessor, William Galinsky, laid the foundations with major commissions and partnerships and the team, along with our principal programming partners Britten Sinfonia, Serious and Writers’ Centre Norwich has given flesh and life to the programme. I’ve joined as we put the finishing touches in place and I have quickly immersed myself in the excitement and challenge of delivering one of the UK’s most dynamic arts festivals.”

World premieres include: Mercury Music Prize winner and pioneer of Asian Underground music Talvin Singh at Norwich Cathedral; Norwich, Ely and Peterborough Cathedral Choirs combining for a concert to perform the premiere of BBC Young Composer Of The Year Alex Woolf’s new piece; a durational choral piece from The Voice Project; Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening bring the oldest Northumbrian folk songs to life again; the internationally acclaimed circus company, Barely Methodical Troupe headline the Adnams Spiegeltent with Shift; Improbable present The Paper Man, inspired by the unexplained death of Austrian football star Matthias Sindelar in 1939, who humiliated the Nazi regime by refusing to throw a match; Wayfaring, a large-scale artwork based around the ancient routes of the Icknield Way in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Wells Beach. The Isle of Brimsker, a new multi-sensory story from specialists in making theatre for audiences with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities Frozen Light; a magical cycle-powered ride-on carousel The Bewonderment Machine by A Bird in the Hand Theatre; Mirror Mirror by Mind The Gap, one of Europe’s leading learning disability theatre companies; Belly of the Whale, the first outdoor show by critically acclaimed Ockham’s Razor and steampunk inspired The Playground of Illusions by Travelling Light Circus.

Further Festival highlights include: an opening spectacular from Transe Express as carnivalesque drummers take over the streets and living dolls on stilts transform the city centre into an open-air opera house; alt-rock icon Amanda Palmer, five-time Grammy Award-winner Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Ben Folds, West African female super-group Les Amazones d’Afrique, Award-winning jazz singer Barb Jungr singing works from Bob Dylan, MOBO winners Binker & Moses; David McAlmont presenting ‘Billie Holiday at Carnegie Hall’; singers Mark Padmore and Christopher Purves in a programme of music and poetry in Songs of the Sea; London Philharmonic Orchestra in a programme of Mahler and Rachmaninov with pianist Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev; a special concert from The Trout Quintet, Europe’s leading violinist from the South Indian Classical tradition Jyotsna Seikanth together with Bollywood Brass Band, a continued partnership with BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists, presenting some of the most promising new talent from around the world; king of crime Jeffery Denver, a community takeover of the Council Chamber in city hall to debate wellbeing, environment and integration with Ben Okri, the return of the City of Literature weekend including Hilary Spurling on Anthony Powell, punk royalty Viv Albertine discussing the follow up to her best-selling memoir; a Writes Back! series covering Autism, disability and D/deafness; Caitlin Davies’ exploration of real-life stories of women prisoners Bad Girls; Processions banner-making workshops to join mass promenade marking 100 years of votes for women; Damien Hirst at Houghton Hall and Britten Sinfonia closing the Festival with Beethoven’s’ Symphony No.5.


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