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Culture Vulture – Top Picks

We're here to deliver you through the next few months with all the best art, music, theatre and films that Norfolk has to offer!

I’ve switched my inner seasonal mode to Hyggelig and will be embracing the colder days with thoughts of cosy fires, warm theatres and lots of lovely Rioja. Diaries at the ready …….. let’s get some cerebral outings sorted, shall we?
orange background dancers
Award winning hip-hop theatre – ‘201’s’ return to the Norwich Playhouse stage on Friday 5 October with SKIN: a boy’s intimate journey of gender transition to discover a body that feels like home. Fusing urban and contemporary styles with an original score, choreographer Andrea Walker directs a cast of 7 dancers in a fast paced, emotionally driven story of family, identity and belonging.
High ball culture – enjoy chamber music and opera in the Marble Hall at Holkham. They have six concerts before the end of the year including the Sacconi Quartet, Aquinas Piano Trio, Luis Gomes & Carole Presland and Diva Opera ‘Home for Christmas.’

Be transported back to the magic and excitement of the 1940’s Dance Halls on Saturday 20 October c/o the Royal Assembly Rooms in Great Yarmouth.  A 22 piece Super Swing Big Band will be playing all the best loved hits!


black lady with feather head dress and stars

Fancy a bit of clubbing on a school night? Rachael Young and her badass band of super-humans embrace Afrofuturism and the cult of Grace Jones in NIGHTCLUBBING  at the Playhouse on Tuesday 23 October. This explosive new performance brings live music and intergalactic visions to start a revolution.


Tuesday 13 and Friday 16 November – Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA  comes to the Theatre Royal Norwich.


Likened to a folksy Portishead, the Nightjars will be performing at NWT Cley Marshes on Sat 17 November – I’m intrigued!

people swinging on ropes
Tons of brilliant stuff at the Theatre Royal Norwich this season, starting with the beautiful Rambert on Thursday 27 Sept.  TV Mistresses star – Sharon Small leads the stage production of Still Alice, a powerful exploration into the world of early onset dementia between 2-6 October.
On Thursday 27 Sept,  pop along to St George Theatre in Gt Yarmouth or Cinema City Norwich and be transported to the West End with a live National Theatre broadcast of Sir Ian McKellen in King Lear.
A new production of Oscar Wilde’s THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST will be broadcast live from the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End on Tuesday 9 October at Cinema City Norwich.
The Pavilion Theatre, Gorleston brings you a musical celebration of the centenary of women winning the vote with The Little Cabaret of Suffragette on Friday 12 October.

Ocean’s Eleven meets the Marx Brothers in  The Comedy About A Bank Robbery at the Theatre Royal Norwich, Tuesday 16 – 20 October.


rob newman man in bow tie glasses in field

Remember Rob Newman? The better looking half of Newman and Baddiel! Well he’s coming to the Norwich Playhouse to piece together a philosophy for our troubled times by sifting through 3000 years of thought: from Pythagoras to Artificial Intelligence by way of Pavlov’s dogs, Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees and Frankie Howord’s trousers. Robert Newman’s Total Eclipse of Descartes – Thursday 18 October. (Ps. he’s still looking rather lovely)


19 – 27 October, see the real women behind the monster in Mary Shelley at the Maddermarket Theatre Norwich.


man on knees raining

The National Theatre brings Macbeth to the Norwich boards between 30 October – 3 November. This new production propels Shakespeare’s classic title into a post-apocalyptic world of anarchy and uncertainty.
The Russian Ballet perform Swan Lake at the Kings Lynn Corn Exchange on 1 November.
Stacks of great stuff to fill the long winter nights at the Sheringham Little Theatre from Jazz Sundays to classic cinema to local theatre productions. Feast Theatre performs ‘Into Thin Air’ in October, NT Live in November with Alan Bennett’s – Allelujah! and Christmas Panto this year – Beauty and the Beast.
Vanessa Redgrave
The Norwich Film Festival is back for the 8th Year between 6-18 November and will be bringing over 125 incredible Films to Norwich this November. Featuring a mixture of Award Winning Short and Feature Films including some Q&A’s with well known celebrities including Vanessa Redgrave. Numerous talks and panels from OSCAR and BAFTA Winning individuals in the Film Business. Worth taking a scroll and booking ahead.
black man in denim jacket with black women in black leather jacket afros
Cinema City Norwich has some great screen arts and films this season, including Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman – the incredible true story of an American hero. It’s the early 1970’s, and Ron Stallworth is the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a name for himself, Stallworth bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. Teaming up with seasoned colleague Flip Zimmerman, the young detective goes undercover to take down the extremist hate group from the inside.

It’s already been made into a film several times and a musical, but it seems there’s life in A Star Is Born yet, with this latest version (out 5 Oct) directed by and starring Bradley Cooper. He plays a washed-up country singer who takes a shy newbie with a giant voice, played by Lady Gaga (unrecognizable when not wearing a dress made of meat or a lobster as a hat), under his wing.


Another story we’ve all heard before gets a refresh in the guise of First Man (out 12 Oct). La La Landdirector Damien Chazelle’s biopic of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, has Ryan Gosling (be still my beating heart) playing the legendary astronaut and Claire Foy, last seen as The Queen in The Crown, as his wife, Janet.


Did someone say “wife”? Glenn Close plays one not to be messed with in – wait for it – The Wife. A career-best performance no less, according to one reviewer, Close is the supportive spouse of a pompous writer in this black comedy (out 28 Sep). He becomes even more unbearable when he wins the Nobel prize… but is she quite as supportive as she seems? Widows, meanwhile, does away with husbands altogether – the menfolk are criminals who die during a botched robbery, so their partners join forces and take over the firm. Sound familiar? It’s a remake of Lynda LaPlante’s hammy, ‘80s TV show. With Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki starring, it looks like a lot of fun (out 6 Nov).


Fancy something a bit silly? Juliet, Naked (out 2 Nov) is a rom-com based on a Nick Hornby novel. Ethan Hawke plays a reclusive US ‘90s rock star called Tucker Crowe who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a bored British woman, played by Rose Byrne, whose boring boyfriend (Chris O’Dowd) is an obsessed fanboy of… Tucker Crowe. It’s a somewhat unlikely love triangle but the leads are eminently watchable.


5 people jumping off a roof

And finally, the big Christmas release we’ve all been waiting for …’supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ it’s Mary Poppins Returns on 19th December! Set in Depression-era London of the 1930’s, Michael and Jane Banks are now grown up. After Michael suffers a personal loss, Mary Poppins re-enters the lives of the Banks family and, along with the street lamplighter Jack, uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Bring on the Butterkist.

art gallery glass windows
Great Yarmouth is probably more well known for its ‘kiss me quick’ hats than fine art! But it’s home to the Skippings Gallery and well worth a visit. Housed in a beautiful Grade II listed Georgian house on King Street you’ll find a range of international and local art. The Mark Burrell and Dave Gooch exhibition looks fun and is showing from 17 – 30 September. If you have culture overload, you can always pop to the promenade for some fresh donuts!
Fancy seeing some Hockney or Lucian Freud etchings? Check out The Artist’s Garden at the Corn Hall in Diss. The exhibition runs until 13 October as is completely free.
Head to North Norfolk and Holkham Hall for the Lomax Antiques Fair from 19 – 21 October. From furniture to jewellery and ceramics to paintings, you might just pick up an Antiques Road Show bargain!
If you haven’t been yet, don’t miss Brian Clarke: The Art of Light at The Sainsbury Centre – closes on 17 October. Clarke is celebrated as the greatest stained glass artist in the world today and his stained glass screens are considered to represent the most significant artistic and technical breakthrough in the history of this thousand year old medium.
Also, from 17 November, discover Ken Kiff – a forgotten painter who inspired the likes of Tracey Emin.


red metal sculpture Sainsbury centre

Have a wander around the Sculpture Park at the UEA and check out Tatlin’s Tower by by Soviet painter and architect Vladimir Tatlin.  A symbol of utopian vision from Revolutionary Russia, the steel-framed spiral design was intended to be a 400-metre monument in St Petersburg – taller than the Eiffel Tower but was never built.


Plus Lynn Chadwick’s ‘Beasts’ and Anthony Gormley 3 X Another Time sculptures can all be seen at the Sculpture Park.


THE Talking Statues project featuring narration from Stephen Fry and Olivia Colman launches in Norwich this Autumn. Ten of the city’s historic statues have been given the gift of the gab! Pass a Talking Statue, swipe your smartphone on a nearby plaque and hey presto, get a call back from Lord Nelson (voiced by Stephen Fry), The City Hall Lions (voiced by Karl Minns of The Nimmo Twins), or Julian of Norwich  (voiced by Sarah Perry and Olivia Colman). Click HERE to find out whose talking and where!

SORT OF CULTURAL THINGS (which seemed cool and not to be overlooked!)
The Kings Lynn Poetry Festival between 28-30 September will host some of the world’s finest poets including Icelandic poet Gerður Kristný and Ellen Hinsey – an American based in Paris.
glass of beer
Surely we can count a traditional beer festival in our cultural round up? Oktoberfest comes to Eaton Park from 5-6 October and is boasting one of Europe’s biggest Bier tents! Prepare to be entertained Bavarian style with traditional folk music to ‘Oompop,’ lots of German grub and of course 30,000 litres of bier!
Grab your mum, nana, teenage daughters and head on down to Norwich Castle on Sat 13 October to celebrate International Day of the Girl! Learn about the amazing Norfolk women who feature in the castle’s collections and hear from the Costume & Textiles Department who will give talks on clothing as expressions of female empowerment.
cartoon astronaut white suit planets spaceship
Norwich Science Festival is back in October half-term – make sure you pop in your diaries 19-27 October 2018. Get ready for nine days of exhibitions, shows and an abundance of hands-on science and engineering activities for all ages.
Phew – I’ll see you on the other side!

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