Since the 1980s, UFO hunters and conspiracy theorists from all over the world have come to Suffolk in search of answers. Why? Because in 1980, on the night after Christmas, several people in a small forest on the Suffolk coast witnessed one of the most infamous UFO events Britain has ever known.
At around 3am a strange glowing object, described as metallic in appearance and triangular in shape, about two metres high, lit up Rendlesham Forest. The hovering craft was witnessed by five USAF officers at nearby RAF Woodbridge before it flew off into the trees. It was seen an hour later, throwing off glowing particles before breaking into five separate white objects and flying off. Other objects were seen in the sky for over an hour. The next day three depressions were found in the ground where the craft landed and radiation levels were higher than usual.
All this was recorded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt in an official report that was backed up by several other servicemen and made available to the public in 1983. However, senior officers rubbished these claims, which immediately led to claims of conspiracies and cover-ups. The argument has gone back and forth for decades and you can read more about it here.
And if you want to pay a visit to Rendlesham Forest to see for yourself, you can plan your visit with The Suffolk Coast.
The Marina Theatre has a long-standing relationship with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s home to the orchestra for their summer-long Lowestoft residency, and they’ve been returning every summer since 2006!
While in the area, the RPO engage in a number of local engagement activities to get locals and visitors alike excited about classical music, they also traditionally perform concerts across the summer.
Find out more about upcoming RPO shows and activities during their Lowestoft residency at the Marina Theatre.
Be like the Royal Philharmonic, and spend the summer in Suffolk. Visit Suffolk has lots of top tips to make a great stay.
When people think of Swallows and Amazons, thoughts automatically turn to the Lake District.
But not all of the children’s adventures took place in the north – Ransome also brought his stories to the East. The Callums spent two books playing around on the Norfolk Broads, and two other books are set around the River Orwell in Suffolk.
Taking place annually, Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios has established itself as one of the largest and most successful open studios schemes in the country. 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.
For Open Studios 2016 over 250 artists opened the doors of their studios to visitors interested in exploring the Norfolk art scene. With no need to book, visitors explored to their heart’s content.
The year was 1892. Flamboyant playwright Oscar Wilde had already made a name for himself in London, Paris and the US, but he decided to shun the bright lights of the cities for a time and chose to travel to the North Norfolk coast for a time of rest and recuperation.
He arrived in Cromer and chose to stay at the Hotel de Paris, and in a cottage at nearby Felbrigg. While staying at the Hotel de Paris (which is still open today), popular opinion is that he was working on A Woman of No Importance – which had its theatre debut in 1893.
The words of Wilde are set into concrete rings on the promenade, alongside other literary luminaries with connections to the town such as Gaskell and Swinburne.
In May 2016, the Moving Gallery came to the Ipswich Waterfront!
A unique collaboration between DanceEast and photography students from UCS, the Moving Gallery was a choreographed gallery of specially-commissioned photographs representing the Festival theme ”Of Time and Place”. Ipswich’s first Moving Gallery journeyed from Jerwood DanceHouse along the Waterfront to UCS Plaza.
For more information about the festival, visit PhotoEast.
Taking place annually, Pulse is a part curated, part open application ten-day festival focusing on new and innovative approaches to theatre, offering bright and inspiring snapshots of contemporary theatre.
2016’s festival included new work from internationally-celebrated Gecko Theatre, and the Suitcase Prize, where performers were challenged to bring an entire show to the festival on public transport in one suitcase. The festival opened with Mmm Hmmm, a new piece of a cappella song theatre. Mmm Hmmm is a playful, poignant musical journey shaped by three exceptional female voices jumping between sound worlds and lyrical styles.
Using intricate vocal techniques and rich harmony, Mmm Hmmm holds a magnifying glass up to snapshots of everyday life. One moment a fragile apology, the next a perilous trip to the First Great Western buffet car…Verity Standen’s original a cappella songs evoke the awkward, heartrending and hilarious moments that characterise what it means to be human.
To find out more, and book tickets for the next Pulse Festival, visit the New Wolsey Theatre.
2016 saw the launch of the first ever PhotoEast Festival. Set to take place over five days every year, the festival boasts a huge programme of free events, including a jam-packed lineup of talks and workshops. The PhotoEast talks are all free, but booking is recommended.
At the inaugural festival, visitors attended talks from professional photographers on a variety of subjects, including what makes an iconic news photo (from Guardian Picture Editor Fiona Shields), and how to photograph urban landscapes (from photographer George Georgiou).
After the success of beautiful video portrait Margarete at Norfolk & Norwich Festival in 2015, Polish artists Janek Turkowski & Iwona Nowacka returned in 2016 with a World Premiere commission. It’s Happening in Norwich was an intimate video-storytelling performance presented in a medieval merchant’s house on Elm Hill.
Every place has its own biography, it carries a story that wants to be told. It’s Happening in Norwich explored the collection of amateur films made by Charles Scott from the 1930s to the 1970s. For over 40 years Scott chronicled the city with the two film reels he could afford a year. In the performance, Turkowski and Nowacka created a homely environment as they recounted the stories of Scott’s films and their own experiences carrying on his work in a performance about observing everyday life.
Writers’ Centre Norwich at Dragon Hall opened its doors in May 2016 for the City of Literature Weekend as part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
The weekend invited audiences to join some of the most original thinkers, activists and writers of our time, and explore ideas ranging from the cutting edge of neuroscience to unimaginable stories of human perseverance. The series of events promised to leave audiences with a deeper understanding of pressing political, economic and social questions and an idea of how change might be possible.
Throughout the weekend a live drawing performance, capturing key ideas, took place in the Great Hall. On the Saturday, this was performed by Dr. Ian Williams, whose weekly cartoon in The Guardian, Sick Notes, captures the trials and tribulations of working in the NHS.