Damien Hirst Exhibition, Houghton Hall, until 15 July
Maybe best avoided after a night out as you’ll be seeing spots everywhere! Only kidding, what an exciting opener for the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2018 and what better backdrop to Damien Hurst’s iconic spot paintings than the opulent Houghton Hall. This is the first public viewing of the new series of 46 paintings entitled ‘Colour Space’. Take a walk around the beautiful 18th Century house and grounds to see some of the artist’s most celebrated sculptures including the celebrated Virgin Mother, Charity, Anatomy of an Angel and two from the levitation series featuring air blowers and table tennis balls.
Added Muddy bonus – until the end of July the Houghton Hall Stable blocks is home to pop up art gallery Norfolk by Design – featuring a selection of Norfolk’s finest artists and craftspeople. Book tickets £18.00 and under 17’s are free!
Royal Opera Live, Macbeth, Cinema City, Tues 10 April
If you fancy a bit of London culture on your doorstep, check out Cinema City and their programme of live streaming. This month Verdi’s opera inspired by the classic Machiavellian antihero’s downward spiral into self destruction is sure to be a tour de force NOT to be missed.
Book tickets £10 – £17.50
Superstructures: The new Architecture 1960-1990, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich – from 24 Mar – 2 Sept
Marking 40 years since the opening of this fantastic arts centre by Lord Norman Foster, this exhibition shines a light on architecture from the 1960s to the 1990s, including how the Sainsbury Centre – and other famous buildings around the world – were made. SUPERSTRUCTURES tells the story of architecture’s fascination in the post-World War Two decades with new technology, lightweight structures, pioneering building techniques and innovative engineering solutions.
Book tickets £10.50 – £12
I spy … Circus! Norwich, Sun 1 – Sat 28 April
Easter egg hunt overload? Here’s a variation on the theme, the I Spy Circus trail. Hidden around Norwich’s Historic Churches are 10 letters, rearrange them to spell the name of Norwich’s famous Circus Proprietor and be in with a chance of winning a course of circus classes or one-off taster sessions. Maps can be downloaded HERE or collected from The Oak Circus Centre and Tourist Information Centre at the Forum. Winners will be announced at The Oak Circus Centre Community Cabaret Open Day on Sat 28 April.
The Jungle Book, Theatre Royal Norwich, Tues 10 – Sat 14 April
The number of West End productions coming to Norwich has certainly rocketed since Director Steven Crocker has taken over the helm. No longer just a summer phenomenon – Easter has it’s own family friendly production in the form of the The Jungle Book. You won’t be able to resist singing along to all the classics (much to the kids embarrassment). For those who don’t know the story, Mowgli the man cub battles for survival in this heart-warming coming-of-age story about a child raised by wolves in the jungle. With the help of his animal friends, including Bagheera the panther, Baloo the bear and Kaa the python, Mowgli outwits the cruel and powerful tiger, Shere Khan, and learns the law of the jungle. Book tickets £10 – £23
Added bonus – book the kids into a Jungle Book workshop on 12 April, where they’ll join the Jungle VIP and learn the Bare Necessities (see what I did there) of musical singing and dancing. Call (01603) 63 00 00 to book a place, £20.
How (not) to Live in Suburbia, Norwich Arts Centre, Wed 11 April
I think a few muddy readers might be able to identify with the subject matter of this performance! A few years ago in the middle of a sh**storm of life events, single mother, artist and proud Londoner Annie Siddons found herself living in suburbia by accident. How (not) to live in Suburbia is a brutal and poignant attempt to describe what happened next.
Book tickets £8 – £10.
Gin Tasting & Masterclass, Number 10 Restaurant, Holt, Thurs 12 April
Hoorah for Gin! What better disguise for a gin session than joining the Director of Bullards Gin for an evening masterclass. You’ll learn all about the history of gin (not just the mothers ruin) and then wow your friends by being able to pick the perfect mixers and garnishes.
Book tickets £25.00 each, groups of 4 or more £20.00 pp.
Jazz Open Mic, The Library, Norwich, Mon 16 April
If you fancy yourself as a bit of an Ella Fitzgerald or simply want to sit back and enjoy a night of smooth vocals, pop along to the Library Restaurant for The Norwich Jazz club’s monthly jam sessions. Grab a bite to eat – ‘Burger Hour’ at £8.00pp or Prix Fixe menu at a very reasonable £10.95 for two course meal 6-7pm. Entry – £5.
Woodland Night Adventure, Fairhaven Woodland and Gardens, Sat 14 April
Beach Clean, Holkham Hall, Sun 15 April – 10am-12noon
For those feeling spurred into action by the recent Plastic Pollution headlines – grab your friends, family, kids and dogs and pop along to Holkham Beach for a couple of hours of picking up rubbish to help keep our coastline clean, tidy and plastic free. All good deeds deserve a reward, so treat yourself to a drink in the beautiful Victoria Inn or check out our Eating Out section for lots of lovely foodie pub recommendations in the area.
Dual Jet Control Exhibition, The Fairhurst Gallery, 10 April – 6 May
The Fairhurst Gallery presents Dual Jet Control, an exhibition of drawings and paintings by renowned photographer Harry Cory Wright. The exhibition will include a selection of the artists lesser known works on paper which explore the North Norfolk salt marshes.
Cilla – The Musical, Theatre Royal Norwich, Tues 17 – Sat 21 April
For those of us old enough to remember the classic Saturday night TV shows Surprise Surprise and Blind Date, Cilla – The Musical will be a night of nostalgia. The story follows the life of the ordinary teenage girl from Liverpool, Priscilla White, and her rocky, yet incredible, rise to fame. By the age of just 25 she was recognised as International singing star Cilla Black and would go on to become one of Britain’s favourite television entertainers. A mums night out for all generations – sing-a-long to the 60’s, with a soundtrack including Cilla’s greatest hits Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie and Something Tells Me, alongside a backdrop of the legendary ‘Liverpool Sound’ including The Beatles’ Twist and Shout, and American influences like California Dreamin’ by The Mamas and The Papas and many more.
Book tickets £10 – £42.50
Blue Festival, Blickling Hall Estate, Thurs 19 April – Sat 26 May
To celebrate the return of the bluebells, Blickling Hall will be lit up blue for a whole month. There’s lots of other great bluebell themed activities through out the month, including the 4 mile circular-walk to the Great Wood where you will see the incredible ‘blue carpet’ of bluebells. Learn more about the flowers on the guided bluebell walks – 26, 27 and 28 April from 10am. The Blue Festival will culminate with an afternoon of music in the garden on Sat 26 May, 3pm – 7pm. Music from Zingaro Blue, Hot Cold Ground and Bass Tree String Band.
Book tickets £6 – £12
Soul Heaven, The Open, Norwich, Fri 20 April
Lou Lou’s Norwich Vintage Fair, St Andrews Hall, Sun 22 April
If you love your vintage this is one not to be missed. Possibly the best Vintage Fair of the year, St Andrews Hall is always bursting to the rafters with fabulously unique treasures from some of the UK’s best vintage traders. I love a period drama and even a bit of Call the Midwife (sshhh) and have often wondered what I’d look like with perfect pin curls or an amazing victory roll. So this year, I’ll be making a visit to the pop up salon for a vintage makeover – watch this space! Plus the guys from Biddy’s Tea Room will serving up cakes and bakes fresh from their kitsch kitchen.
Anthony Gormley: 3X Another Time, UEA Campus, Sun 22 April – April 2022
No need to rush for this one – the three life-sized cast iron sculptures will be hanging around until 2022. This is part of Gormley’s ongoing series Another Time (1999–2013) which has been presented in locations across the world. The artist describes the works as “still moments of lived time placed in place”. Confused or is that just me? Anyway huge kudos to the UEA whose marmite architecture attracted Gormley as a location. Already boasting a sculpture trail which includes works by Henry Moore, Ian Tyson, Liliane Lijn and John Hoskin plus the Sainsbury Centre and now a bit of Anthony Gormley, it’s definitely worth a trip.
Mother Pukka, The Forum, Norwich, Wed 25 April
Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka, podcaster, vlogger, blogger, social media star and writer has a lot to say about parenting and she’s coming to Norwich courtesy of ‘We Got This (Sometimes)’ to share her mission to make flexible working for everyone (not just parents) with her #flexappeal campaign. Throw in some honest parenting tales from her book ‘Parenting the Sh*t out of Life’ – there’s a good chance this will be an evening of laughs, solidarity and self identification.
Book tickets £16 – £19 (includes a free drink!)
FROGMAN, Theatre Royal Norwich, Tues 24 – Sat 28 April
A coming-of-age thriller exploring motherhood and the fragility of the childhood imagination. FROGMAN is billed as a world-first for theatre, combining three story-telling techniques: Virtual Reality headsets with binaural sound. Now honestly, I struggle a little with 3D glasses at the cinema, but I won’t let this put me off, the story sounds intriguing and it’s only an hour!
Summer, 1995. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Meera is 11. It’s her first sleepover with Lily and Shaun. The three friends record songs from the radio onto cassette, play games on SEGA Mega Drive and swap fragments of coral. Outside, police divers hover over the moonlit Great Barrier Reef, searching for a missing girl, Ashleigh Richardson.
Winter, 2018. Sydney, Australia. 23 years later, following the emergence of new evidence, the investigation into the disappearance of Ashleigh Richardson is reopened. Meera is a coral reef scientist. A detective interrupts her research and forces her to excavate her past.
Book tickets £12 – £14
Hidden Passages and Servant Stairs, Holkham Hall, Wed 25 April
Wow, I love a nose around people’s houses, but this is possibly the creme de la creme – an opportunity to explore the labyrinth of corridors and stairways that are hidden behind the grand state rooms at Holkham Hall. It’s advised you will need stamina and good shoes as there are 70 winding stairs to climb up and 70 more to climb down. Silver lining – you’ll track loads of steps on your Garmin and earn yourself a nice treat at the Courtyard cafe!
Book tickets £12.50 – £25
WOW – Women of the World Festival, Open and Norwich Arts Centre, Sat 28 – Sun 29 April
WOW Norwich 2018 is part of Southbank Centre’s expansion of its global WOW network of festivals, celebrating and recognising the achievements of women and girls. The festival takes a frank look at the issues that are preventing them reaching their potential and discusses possible solutions. Each WOW festival is made up of talks, debates, music, activism, comedy, workshops, mentoring, pop ups and shows. A few Muddy highlights include DollyWould by Sh!t Theatre, Poet Holly McNish and Guilty Feminist & comedian Deborah Frances-White. Just far too much to mention so take a look at the full programme of events for the weekend.Book tickets – weekend and day tickets £8 – £20
Vegan Supper Club, The Old Green Door, Norwich, Sat 28 April
Nania & Kirsty of The Old Green Door promise to inspire the taste buds with their new Vegan Supper Club. Live music and BYO (no corkage) this is definitely worth a look if you’re wanting to eat less meat but need a little veggie inspiration.
£30 for 3+ course, to book email email@example.com
fEast Theatre: SALT, Sheringham Little Theatre, Sat 28 April
Sheringham Little Theatre is a hidden gem of a venue with a wide programme of events, including film, art exhibitions, dance, drama, music and comedy. This April fEast theatre presents an adaptation of Jeremy Page’s novel Salt – a gritty and funny story spanning four decades of blood, smoke, tears, love, mud and survival set across North Norfolk’s salt marsh coast to the Fens and back again. A mix of storytelling, live music, puppetry and song with lots of Norfolk reference and imagery, the story follows Pip Langore attempts to piece together his family’s troublesome history. What happened to the man found in the mud? Will Pip untangle the past or lose himself between the creeks and the samphire?
Book tickets £12.50
The East Anglian Game & Country Fair, Euston Estate, Sat 28 – Sun 29 April
Here’s one for you ultimate stiletto wearing Muddy’s – The East Anglian Game & Country Fair is back in the grounds of the beautiful Euston Estate. Live music, food, kids activities, shopping, equestrian, falconry & dog events and of course dancing diggers – all the usual stuff you expect to see at a country fair!
Book tickets £6 – £15 for day tickets, £15-£35 for weekend add from £50 for camping/glamping pitches.
BOOK NOW FOR
The Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Various Venues across Norfolk, Fri 11 – Sun 27 May
Well worth planning ahead for this one, as tickets sell out fast, especially for events in the Speigal Tent. Lots of lovely free family events such as the opening Garden Party. For more information – Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2018.