Yes you MAY! What’s on in Norfolk this month.
Mayday, mayday! Ooh, it's a bumper month in Norfolk this May. From the epic 250th edition of the Norfolk and Norwich fest to blossom fairs and West End theatre, here's all the fun you won't want to miss.
The 250th Norfolk and Norwich Festival
The Norfolk and Norwich Festival is celebrating its 250th anniversary – nope, we didn’t add an extra ‘0’ on there – between 13-29 May.
Whether your bag is music, drama, literature, art or even circus performance, there’s going to be a ridiculous amount of cool stuff to choose from.
Perhaps the most spectacular is Dominoes, a piece of “moving sculpture” which will see thousands of giant breezeblocks travelling through the city like a line of falling, well, dominoes.
Other highlights will include camp, chaotic circus act Barbu at the pop-up Adnams Speigeltent between 18-29 May, a family-friendly Garden Party in Chapelfield Gardens on 21 and 22 May and Signal at Dusk – a site-specific sound installation in Great Yarmouth on 27 and 28 May.
We also can’t resist the sound of of Astrology Bingo, “the universe’s first ever cosmic game show for astrology lovers, bingo wingers and their sceptic friends,” which will be on at the Speigeltent on 23 and 24 May.
The festival is probably the biggest event in Norfolk this year and loads of it is free to enjoy, so get a few dates in your diary, pronto.
Shop it like it’s hot!
If you love a good rummage but you also like to consider yourself an, ahem, classy lady, then you won’t want to miss The Stately Car Boot Sale on 1 May. It’s a brilliant opportunity to hunt for vintage clobber, antiques and more in the attractive grounds of Sennowe Park.
Retro queens will be further blessed when the Little Vintage Lover Fair hits Mannington Estate on 15 May. Whether your vibe is 1920s flapper or 1980s punk, there will be a fantastic range of curated vintage collections to browse – plus afternoon tea, street food and live DJs, all in the surroundins of a pretty country estate.
Girls’ day out
If you’re more in the mood for a flutter, plenty of Pimms and fabulous hats then look no further than The Jarrold Ladies Day Race Day, at Fakenham Race Course on 22 May. The best outfit takes home a prize – you have been warned.
You can’t beat a gig in a spectacular outdoor setting, so we can’t wait for Folk On The Pier between 6-8 May. Watch wonderful folk acts, headlined by The Fairport Convention, at the Pavillion Theatre on Cromer’s iconic pier.
Meanwhile, f you love a bit of throwback fun, sign yourself up for Let’s Rock Norwich in Earlham Park on 28 May. With headliners including The Human League, Billy Ocean and Sonique, it’s the UK’s biggest roaming Retro 80s festival.
For something a little more niche, but equally fun, we thoroughly recommend watching the brilliantly-named Bjorn Again in the epic surroundings of the Sandringham Estate on 28 May.
Initially conceived as a light-hearted parody of an ABBA show, it has become something of a cult watch (and will remind you just how much you really do love ABBA). So get your skates on, Dancing Queens!
The great outdoors
The Paddle Skedaddle on May 14 is a 26.5km race for SUP boards and kayaks, taking in some of the most stunning scenery in the Norfolk Broads. If you don’t feel like having a go, it’s worth going along to watch!
Norfolk Tulips will also host open days on 1 and 2 May (and have done on selected dates throughout April), giving visitors the chance to ramble in their vast fields of blooming bulbs.
All tickets to the kalaedoscopic spectacle (which is absolutely made for Instagram) are now sold out, but we’re checking back regularly to see if they relase any more. It’s all in aid of the Norfolk Hospice Tapping House, too.
Salhouse’s Black Barn Farm are having a rather lovely sounding blossom fair on 14 May, where local makers and food stalls will set up camp in the farm’s apple orchards surrounded by clouds of pastel fruit tree blossom. Dreamy.
Get your sparkles on for Dreamgirls, a West End production which will kick off at Norwich Theatre Royal from 31 May-11 June. Expect stunning, powerhouse vocals in this tale of a talented female group navigating the turbulent 1960s and ruthless exploitation.
The National Theatre’s multiple award-winning production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time also hits Norwich Theatre Royal on 3-7 May, bringing the hit novel about a neurodiverse boy solving a mystery to spectacular life.
For somethign a little quirkier, the Handlebards will be touring Norfolk with their riotous, eccentric, fast-paced (oh, and did we mention bicycle-powered) production of Twelth Night. They play Pensthorpe Natural Park on 25 May, Castle Acre Priory on 26 May, Norwich Theatre Royal 27 May, St George’s Theatre Great Yarmouth on 28 May and Diss Park on 29 May.
Curious Directive – the botanical Garden bar, eaterie and co-working space showcasing theatre inspired by science – has also returned for the summer season in an ancient Norwich courtyard.
It’s a great place to go for a drink and a bite, or you can head there to watch Spindrift – a play about quantum biology, the human imagination and so much more – between 19 May-4 June.
Get arty by the sea
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