fagin's twist


On the final weekend in April 2016, DanceEast in Ipswich was host to the world premiere of Avant Garde Dance’s Fagin’s Twist.

Fagin’s Twist is the untold story of a notorious, complex and perhaps misunderstood villain. It imagines the story of Fagin’s youth, corrupted by greed and worn down by poverty. The streets are a place of little comfort and no easy redemption, and there is no fairy tale ending.

Avant Garde Dance have a long history with DanceEast, after selling-out the venue with their previous show The Black Album. The relationship continues to go from strength to strength, and the company regularly develops new work at the Jerwood DanceHouse.

Planning a trip to see a future performance at DanceEast? Let All About Ipswich help!


dark disputes


On 29th April 2016, a wonderful evening of music was held at St Michael’s Church, Framlingham. Dark Disputes and Artful Teasing featured soloist James Gilchrist alongside a selection of other skilled musicians.

“Julian Marshall’s setting for unaccompanied voices perfectly captures the atmosphere of Blake’s words, re-contextualising their consideration of what it is to be human in a diverse range of modern musical styles.” George Jackson, conductor.

A maestro accomplished beyond his years leads this intimate eight-piece vocal ensemble in an atmospheric church acoustic. The youthful Rubythroat, a group of wonderfully skilled singers, display a fabulously nuanced approach to interpretation. They are joined in concert by the world-famous lyric tenor, James Gilchrist, who appears as a special guest and for whom the solo part was written.

Following a successful career in the pop industry, Julian turned his hand to writing classical music – and recent works have received critical acclaim (“…heading into the limelight of the Classic FM Hall of Fame.” Maddox, The Observer). This composition in fourteen parts, based on the Songs of Innocence and Experience, took the listener on a colourful journey through a variety of landscapes, moods and flavours – reflecting Blake’s amazing ability to create a multiplicity of experience, from social commentary to deeply felt awe and mystery.

Blake’s voice is more relevant today than ever, and following his commitment to social reform, all profits raised were donated to the very worthy charity Place 2 Be, whose work with vulnerable young people suffering mental health crises is invaluable.

For more information, visit Julian Marshall Projects.

Plan a trip to explore Framlingham with Visit Suffolk.


storm of stories


Every two years in Spring, the Suffolk Coast is hit by a Storm of Stories!

Storm of Stories is a unique storytelling and fairy tale festival for all ages in Leiston and Aldeburgh. Opening up a number of different venues across the two towns, the festival explores both familiar and seldom heard tales.

2016’s highlights included The Nightingale, a community opera featuring the Aldeburgh Young Musicians, students from local primary schools, and The Wonderful Beast Singers.

Throughout the weekend there are free art workshops, impromptu music and readings of favourite tales in Story Corner, all washed down with scrummy food and drink from local suppliers.

For more information, and to book tickets, visit Wonderful Beast.

Plan a trip to explore the festival with The Suffolk Coast.


joanne harris


Joanne Harris visited the University of East Anglia in April 2016 as part of the UEA Spring Literary Festival.

Joanne Harris is one of the UK’s best loved and most versatile novelists. Working for many years as a school teacher, she secured global recognition with Chocolat in 1999 (later made into an Oscar-nominated movie starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp). Two further novels created the sensuous, magical Lansquenet trilogy (Lollipop Shoes, Peaches for Monsieur le Curé). She has since written many highly acclaimed novels in diverse genres including historical fiction, fantasy based on Norse myth, and the Malbry cycle of psychological suspense (Gentlemen & Players, Blueeyedboy). Different Class, her latest novel, enters into this territory and reveals a writer operating at her darkest and most unsettling pitch.  

UEA holds two literary festivals each year. Plan a trip with Visit Norwich.

Lowestoft Museum


Lowestoft Museum is a seventeenth century Grade II Listed building set in a pretty public park, a few metres away from Oulton Broad, where white-sailed yachts pass serenely by, and young children throw bread to well fed ducks and swans.

Inside the museum is a wide range of items and artefacts that relate to the history of the area. Amongst the treasures is a large collection of 18th century Lowestoft Porcelain, local fossils dating back 700,000 years and items related to famous residents such as Benjamin Britten and George Borrow.

Find out more about the Lowestoft Museum, including opening hours here.



Photo: Sludge G (Flickr)
king's lynn festival 2016


Having celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2016, Kings Lynn Festival continues to provide high quality performances of classical music, recitals, choral and jazz plus talks, exhibitions and films year after year. The Festival features internationally renowned performers and uses beautiful historic venues around the town, including England’s largest surviving Medieval Guildhall.

2016’s festival included a number of special events to commemorate Shakespeare’s 400 birthday, plus a number of brand new classical compositions, folk music gigs and film screenings.

Find out more about the next edition’s lineup, and book tickets, at King’s Lynn Festival.

Plan a trip to the festival, and explore the rest of the county while you’re here, with Visit Norfolk.




Alberto Giacometti: A Line Through Time was an exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in April 2016.

This landmark exhibition was dedicated to the work of Alberto Giacometti, one of the giants of twentieth century art, celebrated as a sculptor, painter and draughtsman. The exhibition commemorated the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death and was an exciting opportunity to examine the artist’s influence amongst his contemporaries in Paris and his impact on British art in the post-war period.

Key themes included the artist’s sources of inspiration, the Sainsburys as patrons, his approach to materials and processes, and his influence on British artists. Over 100 works were featured in the exhibition in a variety of media including sculpture, painting, works on paper, photography, film and important archival material.

Visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.

Plan a trip to explore the rest of the city with Visit Norwich.




The Norwich Snapdragon, known affectionately as ‘Snap’, is preserved in a remarkable collection at Norwich Castle Museum.

A long-established civic ceremonial which persisted, in a modified form, until early this century included the snapdragon as the herald of the grand annual Guild Day procession held at the inauguration of the new Mayor.

The cavorting dragon was an obvious source of amusement and entertainment for the crowds watching the procession but in earlier times it had a religious significance as part of a pageant performed by the Guild and Fraternity of St George of Norwich.

The history of the snapdragon is inextricably linked to The Guild of St George. Founded in 1385 its aims were religious, charitable and social: to honour St. George and keep his feast day, to pray for its members past and present and to offer alms to the poor and needy within the Guild.

Dragons can still be found all over Norwich, though there’s rumours of a huge gathering of them at A Viking’s Guide to Deadly Dragons at Norwich Castle Museum.

Hunt for dragons yourself with a trip to Norwich. Visit Norwich is the perfect place to start your journey.


Photo: Norfolk Museums Service
Ranworth Church


The Parish Church of Saint Helen in Ranworth, Norfolk contains three special artefacts, any one of which would grace the finest churches in the land.

The first of which is the Ranworth Antiphoner. Kept safe in a bullet-proof glass case, it’s an illuminated singing book, produced at Langley Abbey and used at the church, long before the Reformation. It disappeared for three hundred years before resurfacing in the 1850s in a private collection. It was then bought and returned to Ranworth in 1912.

A huge Rood screen stretching across the entirety of the church is possibly the best example of its kind in the region. And the Cantor’s desk, situated in the middle of the nave, is almost unique in its construction.

The church itself is just 200 metres from Ranworth Broad, and visitors can moor up below the church, so visitors are just as likely to arrive wearing life jackets as they are more usual attire.

Learn more about this fantastic church here, and explore the Broads by using this link.


Photo: Craig Rodway (Flickr)
photoeast 2016


PhotoEast is an event in early summer that sees the whole of Suffolk taken over by extraordinary photographic events, from the Ipswich Waterfront to Lowestoft (and along the East Suffolk line). From temporary exhibitions and a Moving Gallery to Gallery Buses travelling around Ipswich, there’s plenty of different ways to see world-class photography throughout the county.

These Are Our Dogs (pictured here) is an exhibition dedicated to photographs and postcards of people and their dogs, and it featured in the 2016 event.

For more information, visit PhotoEast.

Explore the country throughout the festival – Visit Suffolk is the perfect place to start.