Ballet Theatre UK came to the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds to perform Pinnochio in May 2016.

Follow Pinocchio, the cheeky marionette puppet with an unruly nose, on his epic quest as he overcomes obstacles, faces consequences and even ends up in the belly of a whale yet proves to all that dreams really do come true.

Pinocchio, joined with iconic characters such as Gepetto, The Blue Fairy and Jiminy Cricket, take audiences on a heartfelt journey of discovery.

Set to a stunning classical score this original production delights ballet audiences and families alike and promises to carve a new love for the score through the magic of classical dance.

See what’s on at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.

Plan a trip to explore the area with Visit Suffolk.


castle keep redevelopment


The East received some great news in May 2016, when the Norwich Castle Keep redevelopment was given the go-ahead.

In the medieval period Norwich Castle was one of the most important buildings across the whole of Europe and, architecturally, it was one of the most elaborate of the great Romanesque keeps. The project aims to re-present the historic Keep as it appeared during its heyday under the great Norman kings. As a result of the redevelopment, visitors will be able to engage fully with the building through greater access, exciting new displays and innovative learning and event programmes.

Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of King Henry I’s lavish Castle by exploring the recreated Great Hall, complete with a banqueting table and minstrels’ gallery, King’s chamber and chapel. Newly-exposed Norman archaeology and architecture will tell previously untold stories of the Castle’s fascinating past and a unique battlements experience will offer stunning views of medieval and present-day Norwich.

It’s expected that the key plans will be in place by the end of 2017, with construction beginning in 2018.

We’ve explored the keep in a previous Culture365 post.

Find out more about the vision for the project in this video.

Plan a trip to the city to see the castle keep redevelopment project as it progresses with Visit Norwich.




Fairhurst Gallery in Norwich is host to an Oliver Bedeman exhibition.

Oliver Bedeman is a figurative painter whose work focuses on imagined and often dream-like portraiture. He takes inspiration from the city through drawing, and in his studio combines this observation with a colourful interpretation of literature, music and story-telling – with figures such as Alan Ginsberg, Stephen Foster and Nature Boy recurring as silent characters.

See some of the works currently on show at Fairhurst Gallery.

There’s many superb visual art spaces in Norwich, including the Sainsbury Centre and Norwich Castle.

Plan a trip with Visit Norwich.




A brand new opera from Mark Simpson, Pleasure, came to Snape Maltings in May 2016.

Pleasure, a hedonistic gay club in the north of England, is presided over by the Baccanalian drag queen, Anna Fewmore. Val, the much-loved toilet attendant, confidante and shoulder to cry on, remains an enigma.

When Nathan, a beautiful and unpredictable young man, arrives as Pleasure and leaves a gift for Val, it marks the beginning of an emotional and violent night.

In Mark Simpson and Melanie Challenger’s first opera collaboration, Lesley Garrett as Val led the cast, and Tim Albery and Leslie Travers resumed their creative pairing for the first time at Aldeburgh since Grimes on the Beach.

Plan a trip to a future performance at Aldeburgh Music. Find inspiration with The Suffolk Coast.




In Here, a trio of inspiring performance and theatre, came to Great Yarmouth for three nights in May 2016.

On the first night, Until You Hear That Bell told the story of a young man’s quest for life-purpose, amidst family responsibilities and a passion for boxing.

The following evening, Grass came to Great Yarmouth Market Square. This dance show for young children asked the audience to explore the world beneath their feet, featuring puppetry, projection and performance to look closely at the world around them, to get mucky, and to get stuck in and play!

The trio ended with Touretteshero’s Backstage in Biscuitland. Jess Thom has Tourettes, a condition that makes her say ‘biscuit’ 16,000 times a day. Her unusual neurology gives her a unique perspective on life; one she’s unleashed on the world. Jess had recently appeared on the BBC’s Live from Television Centre, alongside the East’s very own Gecko Theatre.

Visit SeaChange Arts.

Plan a trip to Great Yarmouth, it’s full of great things to see and do, with Visit Great Yarmouth.


josephine foster


The incomparable Josephine Foster came to Norwich Arts Centre for one night only in May 2016.

Josephine Foster is a modern American folk singer-songwriter and musician from Colorado. As an adolescent she worked as a funeral and wedding singer, and aspired to become an opera singer. Several years later she abandoned the idea and began to record demos of her songs, resulting in the early recordings There are Eyes Above (2000), an album of ukulele accompanied songs strongly influenced by Tin Pan Alley, and a short album of children’s songs, Little Life (2001).

On 5th May, she performed songs from her long career, plus music from her latest album No More Lamps, which was released in February 2016.

Plan a trip to Norwich for the Arts Centre’s excellent live music programme. Visit Norwich is the perfect place to start.




In May 2016, The Cut in Halesworth was temporarily home to an exhibition of British abstract painter John McLean’s work.

The exhibition featured some of McLean’s paintings and prints. The vitality in everything John McLean makes is heartfelt and engaging.

It’s possible to see some of McLean’s work on permanent display in the East, too. In Norwich Cathedral his three, large stained glass windows are installed in the North Aisle, and can be seen year-round.

Plan a trip to Halesworth to visit The Cut, where there’s a year-round programme of great performance, art and film.

Let Visit Suffolk help plan your trip.


green film festival


In 2016, the University of East Anglia took part in the UK Green Film Festival. Taking place each year over a single week, up and down the country, the festival screens some of the very best films from around the world, exploring today’s big environmental issues.

The UEA programme featured three films, including Noah Hutton’s Deep Time (pictured) which explores the geological concept of deep time, and Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos’ Racing Extinction, which examines the world’s most dangerous black markets.

For more information about the extensive calendar of events at UEA, visit UEA Events.

Explore the rest of Norwich while you’re at it with Visit Norwich.


sculpture trails in the east


We’ve featured a great number of public sculptures across the region in Culture365, and in this post, we’re taking a closer look at a way to join them all together, with sculpture trails in the East.

The Recording Archive for Public Sculpture in Norfolk and Suffolk (RACNS) is a project that aims to make a record of all of the superb sculpture in the East. Started in 2006 with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the archive contains entries by Richard Cocke, with photographs by Sarah Cocke.

The sixteenth edition of the archive was published in 2013, but monuments are regularly re-photographed to keep the content up to date.

Trails that cross the East are downloadable from RACNS, and feature both area-specific and themed routes.

Plan a trip to tackle a few of the routes, and use Visit East Anglia to find out where to eat, where to stay, and what else to do while you’re in the area.


storm of stories


In our second post about Storm of Stories, we’re taking a closer look at family events taking place over the bank holiday weekend.

There’s a number of different opportunities for families (with children of all ages) to get involved in the festival and see something unexpected on the Suffolk coast.

Today’s highlights include a series of Shakespeare for Children workshops, looking at some of The Bard’s most famous works, through a child-friendly lens, and tomorrow features a musical performance of Orla and the Sun, a multi-sensory, interactive experience that transforms the space into a wonderland filled with singing, dance and play.

For more information, see Storm of Stories.

Plan a trip to The Suffolk Coast to create your own fantastic stories!