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Joyous Jan! What to do in Norfolk this month

Banish the New Year blues with this culture-buster list of things to do across Norfolk this month. From snowdrop walks to stand-up comedy, here's Muddy's hitlist.

THEATRE

Christmas Spectacular Circus and Water Show, The Hippodrome Circus, Great Yarmouth, 11 Dec – 9 Jan

This Norfolk tradition is back, and bigger than ever! One of the biggest circus shows in all of Europe, the Christmas spectacular includes song, dance, plenty of magic and of course acrobatics, all centred around a giant pool.

The Sound of Music, Norwich Theatre Royal, 18-22 Jan

After their run of Made in Dagenham in 2020, the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society is back with a fresh new production of The Sound of Music. Prepare for nostalgia overload with all the classic songs, along with new choreo courtesy of Chris Cuming.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Norwich Theatre Playhouse, 24-25 Jan

Take a trip to the foggy streets of 19th century London with this stylish adaptation of the classic tale of split personalities. This might be too spooky for littles, so ages 11 and up are recommended.

The Book of Mormon, Norwich Theatre Royal, 25 Jan – 5 Feb

The Mormons are coming to Norwich! This outrageous comedy musical from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone is guaranteed to inject a little life into the colder months – just don’t bring the pre-teens if they’re easily embarrassed!

Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta, The Garage Norwich, 27-29 Jan

Edith Alibec’s multi-award-winning adaptation of Aglaja Veteranyi’s autobiographical book comes to The Garage, and tells the story of a family of circus artists fleeing Communist Romania from the perspective of the youngest child.

COMEDY

Nina Conti: The Dating Show, Norwich Theatre Royal, 12 Jan

The queen of ventriloquism turns her hand (or, er, lips?) to a Blind Date-style dating show in her latest tour. Audience members are made to wear masks (par for the course then!) while Nina provides the voice-over. A one-of-a-kind show.

Ross Noble: Humournoid, King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, 26 Jan

The bonkers Geordie (who you’ll recognise from panel shows like QI and Have I Got News for You) is back again with his own brand of surrealist comedy – perfect for cackling away any cobwebs in the new year. Book quickly as this one’s likely to be a sell-out show.

MUSIC

Beyond the Barricade, Norwich Theatre Royal, 5 Jan

Can’t make it to the West End? Then let it come to you, with this 2-hour musical concert featuring the best numbers from Les Misérables as sung by past principles with a live orchestra. Spine-tingling stuff.

The Magic of Motown, King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, 21 Jan

Sequins at the ready! This brand new show for 2021 celebrates 60 years of Motown, with songs from Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Supremes and more.

Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Norwich Theatre Playhouse, 29-30 Jan

Embrace the golden age of music with the be-suited Pasadena Roof Orchestra, who perform classics from the 1920s and 30s all in dapper style. Expect favourites from the likes of  Irving Berlin, Ray Noble, Cole Porter and Duke Ellington.

Norfolk Symphony Orchestra, King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, 30 Jan

After two long years, our favourite local orchestra are reconvening for their first show of 2022. Sounds like the perfect way to relax into the new year, to us.

OUTDOORS

Deepdale Farm guided walk, Burnham Deepdale, 3 Jan

Join a member of the farm team for a 3km stroll around the grounds (including areas the general public don’t usually see!). Dogs are allowed if kept on a lead at all times, and decent buggies should cope well enough with the paths.

4×4 Safari, Holkham Hall, Wells-next-the-Sea, 20 Jan

Exploring a nature reserve on foot? Pah! Hit the expanses of Holkham National Nature Reserve in a 4×4 with an expert on this exclusive guided tour. Tickets cost ​£95 and include parking, morning coffee and cake, and lunch at The Lookout.

Family winter hibernation trail, Sheringham Park, until 31 Jan

Wrap up warm and head to Sheringham Park to see if you can spot all ten creatures hiding around the Bower Garden. There are free trail quiz and answer sheets to be downloaded on the National Trust website too, to keep littlies entertained.

Trust 10, Blickling Estate, nr Aylsham, 23 Jan

Time to work off those mince pies (or just start training for a new race year). Every fourth Sunday of the month at 9.05am, Blickling opens up their scenic 10k route for runners wanting to blow away the cobwebs or take in the scenery.

Snowdrop walks at Walsingham Abbey, 24 Jan

Weather permitting, Walsingham Abbey and grounds will reopen at the end of the month just in time for the snowdrops to bloom. Keep an eye on their website though, as they’ve been known to delay reopening if the snowdrops don’t make a timely appearance.

FOOD

New Year’s Day Brunch Feast, The Ffolkes, King’s Lynn, 1 Jan

Need to recover from the night before? Book your slot at The Ffolkes for an amazing unlimited brunch feast from 8am until 2.30pm. You’ll get all the sausages, bacon, fruit, granola, pancakes and pastries you could ask for, for £15 a head.

Mysabar, Norwich, until 2 Jan

This cosy heated tent is home to a rotating roster of local foodie traders, an 18-tap bar (as well as a range of cocktails and natural wines) and local DJs keeping the tunes coming until 11pm. If you haven’t visited yet, get in quick.

PANTO

Dick Whittington and his Cat, Norwich Theatre Royal, 11 Dec – 9 Jan

Plenty of small-screen talent in this year’s production, including TV actress Siân Reeves, Dengineers presenter and YouTube star Joe Tracini, celebrated actor Graham Cole (you’ll know him from The Bill) and CBeebies presenter Gyasi Sheppy, who takes on the lead role of a starry-eyed Dick Whittington.

My First Panto: Cinderella Rocks, The Garage Norwich, 26 Nov – 16 Jan

Littlies aged 7 and under will love this fun modern-day take on Cinderella, in which lead character Ella wants to take over the world of music. After all, who needs a prince when you have rock and roll?

Mother Goose, Gorleston Pavilion, 8 Dec – 2 Jan

Talk about an eggstravaganza (sorry)! This year’s Gorleston panto sees Joseph Ballard as heroine Milly, who’s on a mission to save Priscilla the Goose and resist the spirits of temptation along the way. Magic, comedy, dance numbers… what more could you want?

Aladdin, Great Yarmouth Town Hall, 22nd Dec – 2 Jan

The perfect family outing for ‘Twixmas (that’s the fiddly bit between Christmas and New Year), this panto has plenty of laugh-out-loud comedy with musical numbers and a little magic sprinkled throughout. Best of all, there’s no Will Smith in blue body paint.

Aladdin, The Princess Theatre, Hunstanton, 4 Dec – 1 Jan

Another take on the Disney fave, Hunstanton’s production promises dazzling scenery and costumes, amazing special effects and plenty of spot-on jokes. Flying carpet optional.

MUSEUMS

Castle 900: Illuminating the Christmas court of King Henry I, Norwich Castle, until 5 Jan

This Christmas, the West Wall of Norwich Castle becomes an illuminated projection screen telling the story of the visit of King Henry I and his new queen Adeliza to Norwich Castle at Christmas in 1121. There’s even a special medieval soundtrack you can listen along to while you gaze on the illuminations (above).

The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists, Time & Tide, Great Yarmouth, until 23 Jan

Nostalgia alert! Browse hundreds of vintage Ladybird books and original watercolour illustrations from 1940 to 1975 to find out what made these picture books such a childhood staple for many.

The Thetford Treasure, Ancient House, Thetford, until 29 Jan

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If you’re a magpie like moi, come and take a peek at a selection of the so-called Thetford Treasure, a horde of items buried on Gallows Hill back in 390 AD and only discovered in 1979 by metal detectorists Arthur and Greta Brooks.

Princess Catherine exhibition, Ancient House, Thetford, until 26 Feb

A fascinating exhibition about Princess Catherine Duleep Singh, a member of the royal family that had ruled the Sikh Empire of Punjab in northern India before it became part of the British Empire in 1849. Not only was she a campaigner for women’s rights, she also helped Jewish people escape from Nazi Germany – this new exhibition marks the 150th anniversary of her birth, so it’s the perfect time to learn more.

Gardens: Sowing Seeds, Growing Stories, Lynn Museum, King’s Lynn, until 12 June

This headline exhibition is perfect for you if you love nothing more than a potter about the green spaces of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, as it explores the history and archeology of local parks, allotment gardens and private gardens.

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