Friday, 27 December 2013
When Kay is snatched from his beautiful home by the beautiful, cruel Snow Queen, his friend Gerda sets out on an epic journey to rescue him. As she searches, she encounters a series of strangers to whom she tells her tale. Charmed by her story and innocence, each of them helps Gerda, so that, at last, she is able to find the Snow Queen's icy palace.
This was the perfect play to see on Boxing Day and a fantastic Christmas treat. There was a wonderful festive atmosphere at the Maddermarket Theatre as this magical Hans Christian Andersen fairytale was brought to life on the stage at this historic theatre.
Monday, 23 December 2013
The Viva Voce Singers is a small and friendly Norwich based chamber choir of around twenty five singers and winner of the BBC Radio Norfolk Choir of the Year 2011 competition. The choir has a reputation for high quality performances around Norfolk.
The programme consisted of This is the truth sent from above - Trad. English arr. Vaughan Williams, Es ist ein Ros entsprungen - Brahms, A Christmas Carol - Zoltan Kodaly, Torches - John Joubert, I sing of a maiden from Make we joye - Peter Aston, Away in a manger - William Kirkpatrick arr. David Willcocks, The Queens came late - Norma Farber, A Christmas tree at Windsor - Eric Finney, Once in Royal David's City - H.J. Gauntlett arr. David Willcocks, A round of carols - Bryan Kelly, God rest ye merry, Gentlemen - Trad English arr. David Willcocks, A naughty boy tale - Peter Dixon, Messiah (Christmas Portions) - Mark Doty, A Shepherd's Carol - Britten, A boy was born - Peter Willis, The Lamb - John Tavener, Deck the Hall - Peter Aston, O come, all ye faithful - arr, Willcocks and A Merry Christmas - Trad. West Country carol arr. Arthur Warrell.
This concert was a wonderful celebration of Christmas which I greatly enjoyed along with the large audience in attendance. O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant. The Viva Voce Singers are a fantastic Choir who filled St. Peter Mancroft Church full of Christmas joy.
Sunday, 22 December 2013
This production of The Nutcracker was based on a concept by Toer van Schayk and Wayne Eagling. There were fantastic performances from Elena Glurdjidze as Clara and Fabian Reimair as the Nutcracker. Gavin Sutherland conducted The Orchestra of English National Ballet.
On an enchanted Christmas Eve, under the heavy boughs of the candlelit tree Clara battled with the Mouse King and fell in love with a handsome stranger. As the air grew colder and snowflakes began to fall, Clara and her valiant Nutcracker took a hot air balloon ride across the frost-dusted London skyline to the glistening Land of Snow where her adventure really began.
In a world of Edwardian elegance, The Nutcracker brought to life the eternally popular Tchaikovsky score featuring the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Waltz of the Flowers. This classical production is a magical, memorable and unmissable Christmas treat. This was the third year in a row that I have seen this production at the London Coliseum and it is always a wonderful experience and performance.
Sunday, 15 December 2013
Clutter City Market is a DIY Handmade Fair for creative independent crafters, artists and collectives to sell their work. The focus is on original and unique items including clothes, illustrations, jewellery, badges, sewn items, paper goods, prints, zines and more.
Inspired by the DIY handmade culture, Clutter City aims to bring the best of local talent to your doorstep. The Craft Fair is full of stalls, workshops, live music, DJs and take-out food and drink.
The highlight of the Birds of Hell set was the cover of In The Bleak Midwinter which was warmly received by the Clutter City audience. Norwich Arts Centre is lots of fun for Clutter City and is always well worth a visit.
Friday, 13 December 2013
Girl in a Thunderbolt is Norwich singer Maria Uzor who gave us an amazing set of songs to warm us up for the main act. Tracks like War Cry, Dopamine and Runaway were very well received at the St. Benedict's Street venue.
Quasi are Ex-husband and wife Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss who were touring their latest album Mole City. They have an amazing history of being in acts as legendary as Sleater-Kinney, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Elliot Smith, John Doe, Pink Mountains, Wild Flag and Built To Spill. In addition they have played as Quasi for twenty years and released eight albums.
Quasi were brilliant and gave us a night of Visceral Trash Music. See You On Mars, Our Happiness Is Guaranteed and I Never Want to See You Again are all fantastic tracks. Quasi finished the gig with an encore of War Pigs and Let's Get It On covers. This was night when Norwich Arts Centre belonged to Portland, Oregon.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Many of the poems read on the night were from the Poems for the Pollen Path collection. The poems in this collection are Bee lines, The Beekeeper, Assembly Instructions for February Field Agent, Workers, Looking for the Victorians, In our universe of bees and Essential volatiles.
This was a wonderful evening of poetry at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library which I found very enjoyable. In our universe of bees the bees are large.
Sunday, 8 December 2013
The programme consisted of In dulci jubilo BuxWV 197 - Buxtehude, This is the truth sent from above - Traditional arr. Vaughan Williams, Jesus Christ the apple tree - Somerset folksong arr. Bullard, Let all mortal flesh keep silence - French Carol arr. Cleobury, Impromptu-Caprice - Pierne, Fum, fum, fum - Traditional Catalan arr. Llewellyn, Magnificat in G - Sumsion, Lift up your heads, O ye gates - Mathias, Of the Father's love begotten - Held and A Ceremony of Carols - Britten.
This was a wonderful Autumn Recital at St. Peter Mancroft with the highlight being Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols which as a tradition at the church, is performed each year to mark the start of Advent. There was a large audience in attendance at the last Mancroft Music Recital in the Autumn 2013 series.
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Combining a unique adaptation of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia with a production of Shakespeare's beloved comedy As You Like It, the project aimed to shed a brand new light on the works of Britain's most renowned playwright. I attended the performance of Arcadia on Tuesday 3rd December 2013.
In As You Like It, having been banished from the oppressive court, Rosalind and Orlando are forced to flee into the wild depths of the Forest of Arden. Within this strange and wild realm, the roles of gender, politics and nature are turned upside down as their love, wrapped in a game of mistaken identity, begins to blossom. One of Shakespeare's most cherished comedies, As You Like It journeys into a world of freedom and explores how beguilingly bewildering life can be.
As You Like It was directed by Tony Frost and was performed brilliantly by the UEA's Third Year Drama Students. And this our life exempt from public haunt finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones and good in everything. I had a fantastic time at the UEA Drama Studio and very much enjoyed As You Like It.
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Winner of 4 WhatsOnStage.com awards, including Best New Musical, and based on the smash-hit movie, Priscilla is the heart warming, uplifting adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they had ever dreamed of. Priscilla was full of a dazzling array of outrageous Olivier and Tony award-winning costumes and a hit parade of dance floor favourites including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Finally, Boogie Wonderland, Go West, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and I Love The Nightlife.
Jason Donovan as Tick, Richard Grieve as Bernadette and Graham Weaver as Felicia were all brilliant as we were transported to the desert and a trip to Alice Springs. This was a night of great fun Norwich Theatre Royal which I greatly enjoyed.
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Combining a unique adaptation of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia with a production of Shakespeare's beloved comedy As You Like It, the project aimed to shed a brand new light on the works of Britain's most renowned playwright. I will be attending the performance of As You Like It on Friday 6th December 2013.
Arriving upon the utopian shores of Arcadia two young princes, Pyrocles and Musidorus, disguise themselves as an Amazon and a Shepherd to gain access to the Arcadian Princesses, who have been imprisoned by their father to avoid the dangers foretold by a mysterious Oracle. Together they venture into a world of beauty and deception, where every shepherd is a politician, where the court lies in the country and where comedy cascades into tragedy. Under a tree will I take my rest for, howsoever a man be exalted, the beginning and end of the body is earth.
This performance by the UEA's Third Year Drama Students directed by Anthony Gash took us on a journey through fields and forests in search of the lost golden world. I really enjoyed my evening at the UEA Drama Studio and was able to see how this play influenced Shakespeare's As You Like It. The sword fighting was great as well!
Sunday, 1 December 2013
Chekhov described his play as a comedy with landscapes (a view over a lake), a great deal of conversation about literature, little action and a ton of love. A rather modest description for a ground-breaking stroke of genius which ultimately laid the foundations for modern drama, and whose profound influence is still felt in theatre and cinema today.
The Seagull is a slice-of-life drama set in the Russian countryside at the end of the 19th century. The cast of characters is dissatisfied with their lives. Some desire love. Some desire success. Some desire artistic genius. No one, however, ever seems to attain happiness. This production by Stephen Picton was brilliantly performed by The Norwich Players which proved to be one of the highlights of this year's productions at the Maddermarket Theatre.