Norwich - City of Stories

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Indulge your arty side this weekend

16 May 2016

NNF16 Moh Kouyate credit Hugues Anhes CROP

With all the exciting and exhilarating events taking place across the city this weekend, there’s absolutely no excuse to stay inside in front of the TV; if your eyes are going to be glued to anything, make it something intriguing, exciting and stimulating…

You may have noticed us mention (oh, only once or twice…) the second oldest international arts festival in England: the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. The 2016 programme kicked off last Friday; ‘weird’ and ‘wonderful’ are definitely two apt words to describe some of the shenanigans taking place as part of this year’s line-up. Prepare yourselves for 17 days of exciting, unforgettable events including exhibitions, performances and immersive theatre, many of which you’re unlikely to experience anywhere else, with plenty to tickle your fancy this weekend.

Vocal Intervention, as part of [Live] Art Club: The Voice Project, presents a whole weekend packed full of “vocal adventures celebrating the creativity and inventiveness of the human voice”. Every type of vocal adventurer you could imagine will come together during this series of events to surprise and entertain you; try Helen Chadwick’s solo show Mouthful / Human Music, exploring the way music affects us and shaking up traditional musical material - where else will you experience song improvisations dubbed over classical Greek poetry? Alternatively watch Ross Sutherland combine looped video with music to explore the relationship between image and voice - just a few examples of the many events taking place this weekend!

NNF WhiteNights Credit Jouni Ihalainen

[Live] Art Club are also taking over Norwich Arts Centre during the festival to host the Egg Festival Café, a chaotic café environment serving up breakfasts, Basil Fawlty-style; if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to experience first-hand the pandemonium and hilarity of Fawlty Towers, this is your chance to do so - right here in Norwich!

Moh! Kouyaté, Africa's hottest young guitar player, plays an energetic show this Friday 20 May; with musical inspirations which vary from Jimi Hendrix to Bembeya Jazz, it's a performance that's sure to make you want to dance - and all in the vibrant setting of the Spiegeltent in Chapelfield Gardens. Also taking place here is White Nightssophisticated circus cabaret with a stunning line up of performers.

An original commission by the festival - and in fact a world premiere - is the fantastic Fierce Light exhibition at East GalleryNUA. Commemorating 400 years of the Battle of the Somme and featuring specially commissioned poetry from international writers, plus poems by Simon Armitage. Catch it until Saturday 28 May, and it’s free entry too!

Try something completely different outside of the city with Walk With Me; wander through woodland at Felbrigg Hall and immerse yourself, with the help of sound and visual effects, to create your own story. Alternatively enjoy Shakespeare with a twist; The Tempest is on at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome until Saturday and has had fantastic reviews - a must-see!

The festival also has plenty of free events taking place in the great outdoors; join the Garden Party in Chapelfield Gardens all day Saturday & Sunday, have a go on the quirky Public Jukebox as it tours the city or watch artists, designers, architects, carpenters and other people of Norwich create unique designs from everyday objects in the DENNIS Design Centre.

Moh! Kouyaté image: Hugues Anhes; White Nights image: credit Jouni Ihalainen