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Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2012 line-up revealed

22:43 01 March 2012

AfroCubism - Eliades Ochoa and Bassekou Kouyate

AfroCubism - Eliades Ochoa and Bassekou Kouyate

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From a crazy tree-top hotel to an invasion of beasts from the-land-that-time-forgot, to music from classical masters – this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival offers an array of cultural delights.

The full line-up for the festival that runs from May 11 to 26 was launched at Norwich Theatre Royal yesterday.

Now one of the most significant arts festivals in the UK, this year’s programme includes more than 100 events, ranging from the classical to the quirky and the completely bizarre.

Festival artistic director William Galinsky said: “The festival is about people all over Norwich and Norfolk and from anywhere else coming here to have a great time, and to experience the best of arts and culture from across the globe.

“It is about having great fun and seeing some great concerts, shows and art, and having life-changing experiences. It is about taking part and getting your hands dirty. It is about everything from meeting dinosaurs to seeing ordinary people telling their real-life stories, to hearing some fantastic young musicians playing some great music.

“I am hoping there is something for everyone, or rather seven or eight things for everyone! I hope people will find some old favourites in the programme and that they will also find things they want to try that they have never experienced before.”

The festival will kick-off in Norwich with a UK premiere in which a mythical world will come alive – Invasion by Close Act, based in The Netherlands, will see giant beasts move through the city’s streets and prehistoric birds fly overhead.

Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo, from Australia, will also visit Norwich, King’s Lynn and Swanton Morley, giving families the chance to meet some of its fabulous beasts, while Holt Hall will be the venue for AirHotel, a unique tree-top-B&B and theatrical experience where room service is provided by tree-climbing staff and wake-up calls are provided by the dawn chorus.

Among the visual art, the work of Bill Viola, one of the world’s leading video artists, will be “hidden” in spaces across Norwich.

The Nigel Kennedy Quintet is part of the contemporary music line-up, which also includes rock’n’roll guitar legend Duane Eddy, the jazz/ska super group Jerry Dammer’s Spatial AKA Orchestra, and AfroCubism, from Cuba and Mali. This year’s Voice Project, Singing the City – From Dawn to Dusk – will be a musical mystery tour through Norwich’s medieval heritage finishing at Norwich Cathedral at sunset. From the classical music scene, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra will be joined by cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, while The Opera Group will be taking people to a secret woodland setting for performances of Bow Down, an ancient murder ballad. The Festival Chorus and the London Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Elgar’s Sea Pictures – a work which had its world premiere at the festival in 1899. Exciting new voices such as Spira mirabilis, the Escher Quartet and the Aurora Orchestra are also part of the classical music line-up.

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and three of Afghanistan’s leading poets are among the writers featuring at the festival.

The Spiegeltent, a regular festival favourite, is back at Chapelfield Gardens, in Norwich, and will this year be here for the whole festival, bringing together the best music, cabaret, comedy and theatre in its most diverse programme to date.

Chapelfield Gardens will also host The Garden Party, a free weekend of entertainment, and the Festival Feast.

Motor Show, from the people who brought Electric Hotel to Norwich in 2010, will be using a city centre car park for a large-scale outdoor dance performance, and the previously-announced 100% Norfolk will star a cast of 100 ordinary Norfolk folk who will take part in a gameshow giving an insight into Norfolk life,

Tickets for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival go on sale tomorrow at 10am. For the full line-up of events and to book tickets visit www.nnfestival.org.uk. Tickets can also be booked by calling 01603 766400 or in person at Norwich Theatre Royal. The festival also includes a range of free events.

‘Dinosaur’ video – www.edp24.co.uk

COMMENT – Page 28

emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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