Vocal Invention was a one-off packed weekend of vocal adventures celebrating the creativity and inventiveness of the human voice held as part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival in May 2016.
Poets, singers, improvisers, composers, talkers and thinkers came together for performances, workshops, talks and surprise pop-up performances in the city. From exquisite song to experimental vocal installations, 8-part harmony and performance poetry, the weekend was a chance to see and take part in a huge range of vocal events.
On the Friday night, Helen Chadwick took to the Norwich Arts Centre stage with her latest solo show that investigated the need to be out of one’s comfort zone in order to create and lead, using over-dubbed sung improvisations on fragments of Greek poetry.
19th May 2016 saw the world premiere of Wild Life come to Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Wild Life was an extraordinary collaboration between Pol Heyvaert of Belgian arts centre CAMPO, Kim Noble and ten young singer songwriters aged 15-22 from across Norfolk.
The stories that were shared are all real, organically developed from the lives of the performers, the songs that they write, and what science tells us about how teenagers’ brains work.
Funny, beautiful, angry and honest, Wild Life explored the lives of young people and the universal experience of how music makes you feel.
Like a bit of entertainment with your breakfast? Throughout every day of Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2016, Norwich Arts Centre was host to the Egg Festival Café.
Throughout the festival, top quality breakfasts were on offer in what proved to be a spontaneous, creative and chaotic environment – (think Basil and Sybil bump into Alan Partridge in Cromer and decide to set up a business together). The breakfast bemusements were served up with a smile, a snarl and a spontaneous surprise or two.
Customers enjoyed the presence of hosts Simon Floyd and Amanda Coleman from The Common Lot (featured in an earlier 365 post), supported by a cast of artists from across the region.
After 2015’s phenomenally successful Wolf’s Child, Norfolk & Norwich Festival returned to Felbrigg Hall in 2016 for Walk With Me.
Visitors were invited to wander through woods and fields creating their own cinematic experience. With the landscape as their screen, headphones provided a soundtrack of music, words and sound effects. Moving through the grounds, moods changed, time flitted from past to present and an intriguing narrative by novelist Megan Bradbury recollected the past of Felbrigg Hall and reframed the estate as a place of stories and wonder.
Strijbos & Van Rijswijk’s walkscapes are present across the world, in locations including Paris, Istanbul, New York and Glasgow. Using GPS technology to superimpose site-specific compositions, natural sounds and narrative onto the surroundings, they invite audiences to choose their own path and tempo to create their own soundtrack.
Walk With Me ran from May-October 2016 at Felbrigg.
2016’s edition of FlipSide Festival, in partnership with Norfolk Contemporary Art Society, East Anglia Art Fund and Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, presented an exhibition of Ron King’s work at Skippings Gallery, Great Yarmouth.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1932, Ron still has a strong attachment to the country and its culture. At the age of 12 he became fascinated with the macabre photograph that he saw in a book of his father’s of the decapitated heads of the infamous bandit leader Lampião and his notorious band. It’s this image that was the basis for the exhibition at the gallery in May 2016.
Step into the Story Machine is an immersive literary event like nothing experienced before. Powered by literature and oiled by theatre, it’s a truly immersive experience where stories from world-renowned writers seduce at every turn.
Having appeared as part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival’s City of Literature programme in both 2016 and 2017, in collaboration with Writers’ Centre Norwich, the event sees the historic Dragon Hall transformed into the Story Machine. Visitors can pick and choose a path through 18 stories, including live performance, video installations and soundscapes.
Stories from Jon McGregor, Claudia Rankine and Etgar Keret were among the offering in 2016, while in 2017 the theme was ‘Under Surveillance’, using the power of words to take festival-goers behind the North Korean iron curtain, to the wild frontiers of everyman-for-himself America, and to the early years of the printing press.
Over the course of just one day in May 2016, the Norwich Theatre Royal presented a trilogy of extraordinary theatre at the Norwich Theatre Royal, as part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival. The James Plays explored three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland from 1406 to 1488.
Created by the National Theatre of Scotland, National Theatre and Edinburgh International Festival, the trilogy offered an exhilarating and vividly imagined perspective on a country tussling with its past and future.
It was a mammoth day of theatre, with the three plays starting at 11am, 3pm and 7:30pm.
In May every year, North Norfolk Stories Festival opens for four days of fun.
The festival, which began in 2015, provides over 20 free events for all ages to enjoy at cultural, heritage and wildlife sites across 11 locations in North Norfolk.
The events provide amazing variety; in 2016 visitors came across pirates, ghosts, Einstein, 1940s fashion, 1950s music and much more as venues threw open their doors and invited attendees of all ages to enjoy performances, family activities, exhibitions, music, talks, walks and more!
This festival is part of the Museums at Night initiative, so many events take place at twilight when the venues are normally shut, creating a unique opportunity and atmosphere for you to explore, learn something new and have fun.
In May 2016, one of the East’s most iconic venues was taken by storm when Norfolk & Norwich Festival commission The Tempest opened at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome.
Inspired by the magic of the Hippodrome, Norfolk & Norwich Festival Artistic Director William Galinsky, working with theatre-makers including designer Laura Hopkins, created a production full of wonder and surprises. Tony Guilfoyle, long-term Robert LePage collaborator, led the cast as Prospero in a production that brought The Tempest to life for a modern day audience.
Newmarket is largely regarded as the international home of horseracing, and the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art, which opened in October 2016, offers visitors the opportunity to explore the history of the sport, as well as learn more about a horse’s life after racing.
The National Horseracing Museum and the British Sporting Art Trust’s collections are housed in a completely renovated five acre site in the heart of Newmarket, which includes the remnants of a palace built for Charles II in 1671, alongside a number of new temporary and permanent exhibition galleries.
Outside, there are fully functional paddocks, offering practical demonstrations with retired racing horses, shedding light on what becomes of horses at the end of a racing career.