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What’s on this month in Norfolk?

If you're anything like me you'll actually kind of hate the end of the summer holidays and the return of boring old routine. So you'll be needing something to look forward to. Here's how to cheer yourself up in September...

Shazia Mirza – 1 September

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Best hair in comedy

Hilarious, headline-grabbing comedian, the ‘disappointing daughter’ of strict Muslim parents delivers no-holds-barred searing routines tearing into topics from Brexit to burqas via butt-plugs. Her new show Coconut, is headed to Norwich Arts Centre on Wed 1 Sept. Postponed from June due to…y’know.

Eavesdrop on Muddy’s insider gossip with Shazia right here.

Luke Wright – 4 September


Not gonna lie I absolutely love Luke Wright and his storming poetry. Fierce, political, riotously funny, often knocking about on the same bill as John Cooper Clarke. For the full gut punch, see him perform. Against the backdrop of pandemic politics, ageing parents, and an endless droning culture war, Wright throws a squat party in his ‘poor old heart’, featuring a cast of murderous swans, sozzled devils, and the people we most want to protect. If you can hear his ‘Reading for Pleasure’ without getting something in your eye, you have no pulse.

His new show Come! Come On! Meet Me! comes to The Marina Theatre, Lowestoft on Saturday 4 September. Tickets here.

Hollie McNish – 10 September

Hollie McNish tucking into a pen

Earthy, wise and irreverent, Hollie McNish’s prose/poetry is like a conversation with the warmest and most honest of mates. Kae Tempest describes her poetry as ‘welcoming, galvanising and beautiful’ and Emma Watson ‘devours her books in a single sitting’. Let’s hope she chews properly. Ted Hughes Award winner Hollie McNish is a voice you don’t want to miss. With over ten million YouTube views for her poetry readings, she’s also the first poet to record at Abbey Road Studios. Bet she posed on the zebra crossing and all.

Covering grief, grandparents and Kellogg’s anti-masturbation pants her latest book, Slug, is a joy. There will be ‘strong language’. Crumbs! Oh, and the warm up act happens to be Luke Wright. Poetry nights don’t get better than this.

8pm on 10 September, The Corn Hall, Diss, Norfolk

Adults £10, Students £6. Tickets here.

Edible England! – 10-19 September

Established in 1994, Heritage Open Days is England’s largest community heritage festival. Throughout September, the programme is packed with fantastic stuff for curious minds, history lovers and foodies – because the theme for 2021 is Edible England!

From woodland foraging to factory floor, forgotten recipes to regional delicacies, the HODs festival community is exploring the past, present, and future of our culinary heritage and culture.

Little Cressingham Wind and Water Mill

There are open days, gallery and museum events, picnics with vintage dance, sound scapes, heritage walks, dungeons, castles, lighthouses, private houses, great halls, a Victorian explosives store and, my favourite, a tour of Great Yarmouth’s almshouses for ‘decayed fishermen’. Think I used to go out with one of those. Want a quick link to all the good stuff going on in Norfolk? Here you are.

Feastival – 18 & 19 September

Norfolk deliciousness

Chow down on Norfolk’s rich farming and food heritage and celebrate some of the best food and drink the region has to offer at Feastival, part of the Heritage Open Days Festival‘s Edible England celebration. With plenty of indie and artisan stalls, there’ll be lots to sink your teeth into. Enjoy tasters, grab a bargain and stock your pantry with local produce, ready for a cosy autumn in the kitchen. Talks, food related activities and street food stalls too! September 18 and 19 at the Forum in Norwich.

Two Rivers Book Festival – 4 – 11 September

Love books? The Two Rivers book festival celebrates bookshop owners, librarians and professors as well as local authors, poets and artists – the people who actually promote, protect, create and distribute books in this brilliantly literary part of the world. There are talks and dramatised readings for children plus a haunted heritage walk as dusk falls. There’s fantastic festival reading list to find in your library or buy from your favourite indie bookseller.

Household essentials

Plus East Anglian writer Ruthie Collins will be hosting podcast interviews about literature inspiring engagement with nature. Ruthie’s wonderful poem, Dreaming of Albion, Sailing With Maud, commissioned by Norfolk County Council, is due to be installed in Great Yarmouth as part of a new wherry garden and she already has Yarmouth Sublime set in stone at Yarmouth’s train station. To go with the podcast there’ll be self-guided walks near the mouth of the Waveney too. Bookworms Assemble! All the programme and location details here.

Paul Zerdin – 24 September

Paul Zerdin’s got talent

Get your laughing gear ready for the man who’s made ventriloquism cool. Winner of America’s Got Talent with more than 3 million hits on YouTube, plus guest appearances on Comedy Rocks and the Royal Variety Performance, Paul Zerdin is, without doubt, one of the most talented ventriloquist comedians in the world. And he’s knocking about round our way. Catch him in Hands Free at the Norwich Playhouse on 24 September. Tickets £20 available here.

We caught up with him to discuss dressing up as Maggie Thatcher and what a fellow performer received baked in a cake…find out more here.

Nor-Con – 25 & 26 September

Feeling Brave?

Le geek c’est chic! Get your inner nerd on because NOR-CON is back at the Norfolk Showground. A must for all comic, film and TV fans. Exhibits, celebrity appearances, stage talks and demonstrations, photo ops with Lightning McQueen and the Batmobile, manga and anime drawing workshops, Jedi training, Norwich Pops orchestra plus a mega tonne of merch from every corner of the galaxy!

Oh super! Heroes!

Guests include actors from Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Doctor Strange and Justice League and gaming sensation Sea of Thieves. Cosplay competitions for all ages too. You don’t have to dress up but…hey, come on Wonder Woman. You know you want to.

Tickets: Adults £13 (day ticket), Children (6 – 13 years) £9 (day ticket), Children 5 and under free. Weekend passes and family tickets also available – see website for details 

Saturday 25 (10.30am-5pm) and Sunday 26 September (10.30am-4pm)

Deepdale Festival 23 – 26 September

Love live music and a bit of camping? Deepdale Festival is the place to be. Keep the festival vibes going as the season turns with live music, spoken word, drum workshops and street entertainment.

Katie Doherty & The Navigators

Artists include Martin Simpson, 3 Daft Monkeys, Katherine Priddy, Little Red Kings, Katie Doherty & The Navigators (I LOVE their beautiful song Heartbeat Ballroom!), Kirsty Merryn & Ben Walker, Man The Lifeboats, The Drystones and The Goat Roper Rodeo Band amongst many others. Plus there will be festival shopping from the fab Dalegate Market stores, pop up shops and the Festival Village stalls around the Orchard.

Weekend tickets are £45 for adults and £22.50 for children, with day tickets also available for £15 for adults and £7.50 for children.

Rock, Paper, Scissors – until 26 Sept

Liz McGowan, Isis, Razor shells on board, 2021

Catch Contemporary and Country’s (C&C) exhibition Rock, Paper, Scissors at Houghton Hall Stables before it ends on 26 September. Going against the dominance of conceptual work which has populated museums and galleries for decades, Rock, Paper, Scissors brings technical ability to the fore, celebrating creatives producing art and objects with their making in mind.

Debby Besford, Britannia Café Great Yarmouth, 2021

Carved stone bowls, single sheet paper cuts, clever collages, poured paintings, hand built porcelain vessels, hand woven baskets, welded and sand-cast sculptures, hand blown glass, tactile turned wooden bowls and hand-hewn wooden platters all acknowledging their material origins.

Carolyn Brookes-Davies, Pearl Sand Pot with metal rim, small 2020

The 40+ artists and makers who take part in C&C projects live and work in non-metropolitan, rural locations in the east of England. They have a strong connection with or include the natural world in their subject matter. It’s a brilliant way to discover, support local artists and makers and find yourself some affordable, original art since everything exhibited is for sale or available via C&C’s online shop.

Norfolk Open Studios – Sat 25 September to Sun 10 October

New autumn dates see the welcome return of Norfolk Open Studios, one of the largest, most successful open studios schemes in the country. Run by Norfolk and Norwich Festival in partnership with artists at all stages of their careers, it gives visitors the opportunity to see new art, meet artists, and – with many of the works on display being for sale – to buy original artworks directly from their creators.

Studios are FREE to visit and you don’t need to book in advance.

For details, including studio opening dates, artist events and workshops see the online brochure here or look out for the printed version in venues around Norfolk.

Holt Sunday Market – Sunday 5 September

Christmas shopping. There, I said it. If you want to support local businesses this year, get on with it now. Otherwise we leave it too late and suddenly last minute panic buys are launching smirking billionaires into space. And worse still, they come back. Good intentions ain’t enough, so head to Holt Sunday market. Going back to once a month after a fantastic weekly summer season, you’ll find brilliant regional makers, street food traders and loads of shops open too. It’s a triumph of indie spirit and community. Christmas just came early.

Six – 20 – 25 September

Six of the best

If you nabbed tickets for this sell-out show – nice work! And if not…check the theatre for returns! Nominated for five Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, the sell-out international smash hit SIX is the phenomenon everyone is losing their head over! An 80-minute celebration of 21st century girl power. These Queens may have green sleeves but their lipstick is rebellious red. It’s time they told their story. Think you know the rhyme, think again… Divorced. Beheaded. LIVE! Theatre info here. Or find the show on tour around the UK.

North Norfolk Food & Drink Festival – 4 & 5 Sept

Now in its twelfth year, the spectacular Walled Garden at Holkham Hall is the setting for showcasing the incredible local food and drink producers who grow, rear, produce, supply and sell food in North Norfolk.

Fantastic Candi’s Chutney – a Muddy Award winner don’cha know!

Historically filled with vegetables and flowers grown for the Hall, protected from the elements within huge brick and flint walls, it’s the perfect place to celebrate the abundance of Norfolk. You’ll find fresh meat and game, vegetables, cakes, artisan beer, bread, tarts, juices, cakes and bakes, chocolates and much more. Delicious food for eating on site and plenty of entertainment from cookery theatre to children’s activities and face painting. Card only payments on site. Entry is free but there’s a small cash parking fee – check details here. Polite hot dogs on leads welcome.


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