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Issue 69 Autumn 2017

Meet Nigel Back - Pete Goodrum catches up with the Chairman of the Freemen’s Committee

Christmas Tunnel of Light Returns to Norwich. Switch on 16th November.

What’s on In Norwich?

Dance, Music, Singing and Opera

What’s New | Out & About | Fashion | Motoring | Theatre | & Much More


04 | Autumn 2017

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Welcome

W

elcome to the Autumn edition of FineCity Magazine. We’ve packed our pages with everything you need to know for the coming months, with local news as we start to head towards the festive season.

Pete Goodrum talks with Nigel Back, Chairman of the Freemen’s Committee, for an in-depth interview starting on page 12. We look at what Norwich has to offer with the Christmas Lights switch on which will take place on November 16th on page 20. Starting on Page 26 we take a look at the Arts and what is coming to our fine city over the next few months at the Theatre Royal, the John Innes Centre, the Arts Centre, St Andrews Hall, The Open and the Puppet Theatre.

OWNER

Jonathan Horswell jonathan@finecity.co.uk @JonathanHorswel

Jonathan Horswell Editor

Brett Nicholas Issue 69 Autumn

Luke Keable

office@finecity.co.uk Meet Nige l Back as Pe te Goodrum catches up with the Chairma n of the Freem en’s Committ ee

We would like to thank all our fantastic contributors, who help make FineCity Magazine such a wonderful success. It’s a joy to be part of such a lovely team – and a great publication too! Keep up the good work everyone! @FineCityMag

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Pete Goodrum

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Stephen Browning

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Daniel Tink

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FineCity

Keeping your family financially safe We all talk about health and safety going mad in our world, ensuring that we’re protected against the slightest risk to our well-being, but sadly many people are still not keeping their families’ wealth safe if something awful happens. Phil Beck looks at financial protection policies.

you and will explore what package of protection cover is most suitable for you and your family.

Protecting your family’s financial well-being in the event of something happening to one of the main bread-winners is not difficult. There are a number of different solutions that will provide lump sum or income payouts, depending on the terms agreed.

For independent advice about your retirement planning, Phil on 01603 706740 or email phil. beck@almarygreen.com. Please remember that the advice here is generic and we recommend that you get individual personalised advice.

The first weapon in your protection armoury is usually life insurance. There are two types of life insurance: whole of life insurance and fixed term insurance. Not surprisingly, whole of life insurance covers the whole of your life and pays out on death, whenever that happens, whereas fixed term insurance will only pay out if you die within the agreed period that the insurance covers, with no payout if you die after the policy has ended. Premiums will vary but it is worth noting that premiums have gone down considerably in recent years so if you have an existing policy, it may be worth reviewing it to see if you can get the same cover for a better rate. Life insurance policies can be taken out for an individual on a single life basis or, for a couple, on a joint life basis. It is normal for a joint life policy to be cheaper than two single life policies in terms of premiums and these can be set up to either pay out when the first partner dies – to help with funeral costs and to provide additional income for the surviving partner, for example – or when the second partner dies – which might provide the means to pay an Inheritance Tax bill or provide for surviving dependants, for example. If you have health issues, a family history of ill-health, or lifestyle factors such as being a smoker, not surprisingly you can expect to pay higher premiums. You may also be asked to provide medical evidence such as a chest x-ray or a doctor’s repor t. If you’re a smoker, your premiums may be as much as twice as much as a non-smoker of the same age. You won’t be classed as a non-smoker until at least twelve months after stopping using tobacco products – and it’s wor th noting that nicotine patches count as a tobacco product for insurance purposes. If you smoke E-cigarettes instead of traditional tobacco you will still be treated as a smoker by most insurers, although it is always wor th checking. However, the death of a breadwinner is not the only disaster that could derail the family’s finances. An accident or illness that leaves one of the family out of work for a prolonged period may also have a devastating impact. Critical illness cover can provide support if someone becomes ill with one of a pre-agreed list of illnesses and income protection can provide help if income is interrupted for a range of reasons. For both types of cover, premiums are generally paid monthly and cover provided for as long as premiums continue to be paid. Private healthcare will normally provide shorter waiting times for treatment for non-urgent health conditions and perhaps therefore faster recovery, enabling the family member affected by ill-health to return to work sooner. In an ideal world, your protection package would include all of these elements but most families have to make decisions based on affordability versus benefits. A financial adviser will find the best available rates for 10 | Autumn 2017

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FinePeople become a governor of the school later and speaks of it with great enthusiasm. From Town Close he went to Harrow. ‘It was very different. But great fun’. If, after Town Close, Harrow was ‘different’, his next move was downright disparate. A scholarship took him to Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Several things emerge at this point in our conversation. He didn’t go there to study music; he studied English. He shoots quickly by a self effacing ‘I didn’t work too hard’ before enthusing about what was happening in the USA at the time. ‘This was 1967 to 1969. Massive events were taking place. Martin Luther King. Robert Kennedy. Nixon. Woodstock….’ We will learn soon of his return to Norwich but first he tells me of his leaving the USA. In a story worthy of a Chuck Berry lyric (I actually put this idea to him and he readily agrees) he hitched a lift with a couple who gave him a 2,500 mile ride from Reno, Nevada until their car broke down. At which point they paid for him to take a Greyhound Bus for the last leg into New York City. (I’m not sure that that isn’t a Chuck Berry lyric now I think about it!).

Nigel Back Pete Goodrum meets Nigel Back, Chairman of the Freemen’s Committee, as the Freemen of Norwich celebrate their 700th anniversary.

I

t is late afternoon and, as befits the time and our location, we are taking tea. And a very pleasant experience it is too.

Across the table from me and taking care of pouring is Nigel Back. The next hour or so will make the afternoon even more pleasant, because Mr Back is exceptionally good company. I’m tempted to set you a challenge dear readers; to see if you can spot the recurrent theme that runs through Nigel Back’s life and work. It won’t be difficult for you. Let’s start. Nigel Back’s family has long history. There is he says ‘a family tree that includes John Back, a yeoman farmer in Fulmodeston in 1520’. From there on the name crops up time and again in Norfolk businesses. There’s Daynes Chittock and Back, and there’s Pertwee and Back. And of course there’s Back’s Wine Bar - a legend of Norwich. 12 | Autumn 2017

‘I think’, says Nigel, ‘that it was in the 1850s, in the wines and spirits business, at Curat House on Gentlemen’s Walk, that the family actually made quite a bit of money’. He hesitates only briefly before adding with a smile ‘ and they spent it! That fortune was long gone before my time’. His time began in Cromer hospital, where he was born in 1949. It was to set the seal on a lifetime’s love of North Norfolk. He moved around a fair bit as a child but picks on Brundall as the location for some of his happiest childhood years. ‘It was just such great fun. Roaming around the woods, having adventures. I’m certain we were never as remote as we felt, but we were outdoors and having fun’. He went to Town Close School and very much enjoyed travelling there by train. It was there that he learned that he could sing, and so began another lifelong pleasure. He would

Is there anything else to add about his student days in 1960s Hartford, Connecticut, USA? Oh yes. ‘It was huge fun’. Back in Norwich, Norfolk, UK, he took a job as a trainee accountant with H. P. Gould. He remembers his first assignment being to clear out the massive walk in safe at the recently defunct Tom Watts. By now he was living with his grandmother in her flat in Thorpe. It was she who pointed him towards The Maddermarket Theatre as a social activity for the evenings. ‘I fell in love with it’ he says. ‘ I should have been at home studying my correspondence course in accountancy, but being at The Maddermarket was wonderful. It was such great fun’. The game was nearly up, in more ways than one, on an August evening in 1970. His boss had asked him to bring in, the next day, all the correspondence course work he’d been doing, so that his progress might be monitored. Dreading that though he was, Nigel set off for a party in Suffolk. In what was to become known as a ‘pretty dramatic way of getting out of a course work check’ Nigel Back would, that evening, sustain terrible head injuries in a car crash. His car was hit side on by another vehicle at a roundabout. ‘I have absolutely no recall of it. The injuries to the brain and the concussion meant that it’s www.finecity.co.uk


wiped from my memory. I can’t even tell you that I was in pain - because I don’t remember it’.

is uttered with such irony that I laugh out loud. ‘Yes’ he adds, ‘it was great fun’.

It’s a dark moment in our thus far bright and cheerful conversation. Nigel is full of praise for his doctor, Anthony Batty Shaw, who looked after him. ‘I had’, says Nigel. ‘to learn to concentrate again. It was not a happy time’. And then, with commendable honesty, and generosity, he adds ‘for other people’.

He spent some time teaching accountancy to Dutch students and then, wanting to go back to France, he applied for a job with American company Cargill. And that led him into Trading.

It was during this time that he did in fact do some work in Back’s Wine Bar. ‘ I was terrible at it. I couldn’t add up’. Sharing a laugh at the irony of the trainee accountant who can’t add up we move on, rapidly, to learn that he did ‘get sorted out’ and indeed qualify as an accountant ‘I was told that now the world was my oyster. So I got out a map of the world. I’d been to to the USA. Australia I wasn’t sure about. Europe beckoned. But where? I settled on France because I could speak a little French’. By October 1974 Nigel was an accountant in Paris. For the next few minutes we rush around Europe, and his career, at breathtaking speed. From Paris to Amsterdam, where he works at auditing. ‘Living in Amsterdam was probably the best standard of living I ever enjoyed as a bachelor’, he tells me. ‘I had two cars, including a Porsche. Damages from the accident had allowed me to buy a boat - which I lived on at Thorpe before taking it to Holland. Oh yes - I was a very serious individual’. The last sentence www.finecity.co.uk

‘I loved it! It was intoxicating.’ He tells me about his first ever deal. During his colleagues’ absence at lunchtime he bought 1500 tons of barley. Excuse me? 1500 tons? ‘Yes’ he says with undisguised glee. ‘It was a train load. Literally a train full of grain’. The story is made all the better for the fact that on arriving back his colleagues were horrified at what he’d done - but the deal eventually made serious money. It was with Cargill that he continued to travel, evolving into a kind of global troubleshooter, solving fraud cases in Genoa, Bombay and on to Australia.

By 1980 he was in China, for Cargill, which he found fascinating because it was a time of great change. At home for Christmas he was at a party when he met the lady he would marry. ‘I went back to Australia to tell my boss that I had to go back to the UK - because I had met the girl I was going to marry’. I had to reorder my existence’. Married in July 1982, and still with Cargill, Nigel found himself in London running a brokerage team in the financial futures market. ‘That was fun’. It led to a posting in Chicago, but disenchanted at being at an outpost he left to join Hogg Robinson. ‘I suppose I was rather a poacher turned gamekeeper. Working at Lloyds in the city was fascinating though. I enjoyed it immensely’.

This last destination was to investigate a suspected fraud concerning a property the company had bought. It was losing money because water was disappearing through its irrigation system. ‘It turned out not to be fraud but a plague of mice!’ he tells me. ‘They’d eaten everything’. He stayed on to ‘disinvest’ the property. ‘It was great fun’. 2017 Autumn | 13


FinePeople Involved, in 1986, with the new Financial Services Act, and working with the House of Lords (‘Fascinating’) he was a signatory to The Investors Compensation Scheme - ‘my little piece of history’. And then suddenly we’re back in Norfolk. ‘I started a business, in air fresheners’. His next statement is another example of his characteristic honesty and self deprecation. ‘It took me a year to make it fail’. He worked at Norwich Union, as it then was, until 1996 when ‘I’d restored my finances to some sort of level playing field’. And now? He’s part of the business he bought into in Attleborough. In the pest control sector, and very much ‘green and safe’ the company is successful. ‘The fact is I’m still fascinated by it all’ he tells me. It would be easy to draw a line here. That’s the story - the biography - of a Norfolk business man who has a famous county name and a career in business that’s been interesting to say the least; mostly up, sometimes down. A man who came back from a terrible accident, and bounced back from a business failure. But there’s more. And I’ve known it all along. Nigel Back is Chairman of the Freemen’s Committee, and a Trustee of the Town Close Estate Charity. These are offices of immense importance to our fine city. The Freemen of Norwich have been instrumental in shaping the commercial life of Norwich for the last 700 years. Winning self government for the city, setting precedents for trading that still exist today, not least in the form of our market place, they have run like a thread though the fabric of our business life and social structure. Originally the right to be a Freeman was handed down from father to son. Indeed Nigel inherited his role from his father in a line stretching back centuries. Over time though the work of the Freemen has changed and when, in the 19th century, they took control of the Town Close Estate their focus shifted to making charitable grants, typically for educational purposes. In this, their 700th anniversary year, Nigel has been heavily involved in increasing awareness of the Freemen and the work they do. There’s a new website - Freemen 700 - which I heartily recommend you visit - that tells the story and gives you information on the events and developments to mark the anniversary. ‘It’s a busy life’ says Nigel. He and his wife are involved with charity work, he’s a Liveryman 14 | Autumn 2017

of the Worshipful Company of Dyers, there’s the business to run and there’s the family. They have two daughters and a son - and a grandson. ‘He is delightful! The other Saturday he and I went on a real expedition. An adventure. We travelled by train to the seaside, we crossed Reedham Ferry ….’ he sparkles with enthusiasm. ‘It was such fun’. It doesn’t sound like there is much free time but when we touch on it I learn that he plays some tennis, and likes to watch horse racing - ‘my mother loves it; we went to Ascot this year’. As to the future, he smiles and says his ambition is ‘survival’. So, to return to my challenge for you dear readers. Surely you’ve spotted the recurrent theme that runs throughout this man’s life. It’s been there throughout this lovely conversation. It’s - fun. Even allowing for the dreadful accident and brain injuries, and taking in the failure of a business, Nigel Back has always found the fun in life. He refers to it as the benchmark for virtually every job, challenge and project he’s been involved with from childhood to today. Yes, there’s some self mocking, and an ability to not take himself too seriously, but don’t let that lead you into believing that this is a man of no consequence. Far from it. Nigel Back is a man of considerable achievement. He’s talented too. Go back through that career and you see that he’s done things of worth. And yet, unlike all too many achievers in this driven

age he’s witty, urbane, charming and very, very good company. His ability to always have found the fun in life, and work, is a rare gift. It’s tempered the hard edges of the financial world in which he’s made his mark. It’s enhanced his unquestionable contribution to charitable work. And it’s fed into the great celebration of 700 years of The Freemen of Norwich, his influence on which has been immeasurable. We shake hands at the door. He’s dressed in a summer weight suit and brown brogues. Timelessly classic. The marks of a man who doesn’t have to try too hard. And then I notice a couple of details. When he makes notes he uses a fountain pen. And his spectacles, which he uses occasionally, have unexpectedly, dashing, polka dot frames. The two things seem to sum him up - a respect and love for the past and, at the same time, an embracing of modernity - and fun. It’s still a bright and warm afternoon as I step into the street. Lifted by an hour or more’s laughter and conversation, and informed by a fascinating story I’m conscious of a spring in my step. It’s to be expected really. Because an hour or more with Nigel Back is, how can I put this? It’s been informative. Genuinely interesting. And something else. What? Oh, yes. Fun!

feature by:

Pete Goodrum

Writer, broadcaster @petegoodrum

www.finecity.co.uk


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  www.finecity.co.uk

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FinePlaces

CHIT CHAT Author Steve Browning writes exclusively for FineCity Magazine about what’s been on his mind lately. Pride Pride at the end of July this year was huge, a bit shambolic – why not? – and moving. It was great to see the coloured flag on City Hall mirrored across the sky on the castle. And the police had made a big effort with individual officers painting their faces and waving flags. Lots of girls and boys came out, in both senses and perhaps for the first time. To be able to express how you are is vital in a democracy. Shame it is just for one time each year. But,

16 | Autumn 2017

whatever your sexuality Bless you! If we can stop making any issue of such a personal thing we can perhaps concentrate on how you are, your kindness, your love, your talents, your family, your friends and your life. Why don’t people stop smoking? And other things - things like getting drunk in the streets and being horrible to their neighbours? I don’t pretend to know but Buddhists have an idea: logic is fallible. Logically,

we would not smoke or take drugs or create war or anything else harmful. There was once a stall in the Forum that promised to develop logical thinking and it claimed that all ills in your life would go away if you took their course in ‘logic’. This is wrong because we are emotional, not logical, beings. Emotion rules and it will always trounce logic. We need to develop satisfying lives emotionally. Back to the old It is lovely to once again be co-authoring a new book with top Norfolk photographer, Daniel Tink. We have to keep the exact details a bit secret but it is about Norwich and Norfolk in a way that has not been done before. Back in 2009 we did our first together ‘Discover Norwich’ which was shortlisted for the EDP/ East Anglian Awards. There quickly followed a few others. Basically, I do the writing and Daniel is in charge of the photography. One thing we did, though, from the beginning, was to have one photograph by me in each book and one writing passage from Daniel. We are doing that in the new one as well. The thing is that Daniel’s writing has come on by leaps and bounds and I doubt whether anyone can tell which is his piece in the new one. My photography, though, is not so brilliant – it’s good but there is a huge www.finecity.co.uk


difference between the gifted amateur and the accomplished professional. Take a look at his work www.danieltink.co.uk Why are soaps so popular? They are a staple of our viewing habits, aren’t they? Some people dismiss them as they are ‘not real’. I think this is wrong. They reflect our feelings and, at best, are ahead of trends. Take the most successful of recent years on UK TV – Emmerdale. The most popular couple are Aaron and Robert played superbly by two straight actors, Danny Miller and Ryan Hawley. They are far from ‘moral’, in the existing sense of the word as they both lie and cheat. But there is love there and that is enough to have legions of fans, girls, boys, old and young. Why? Because we need to believe in love. When this strange old life is over, it will be the only thing that mattered. As someone once said, on your death bed you won’t be regretful because you didn’t spend more time at work. Goodbye my old mucker Sad but oh-so-inspired by the death of one of my old muckers. I used to live in a Buddhist

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community and this chap lived there. A big chap in every sense. He was loving and kind. He died in a hospice looking awful but his last words were that we should all learn compassion. Making jellies Just to share this – when I am stressed I make a jelly. It’s a very simple creative process and it involves hot water and (for me vegetarian) jelly granules. You can add strawberries or any fruit. You can make it into a trifle if you want with sponge fingers and custard. You dissolve the jelly in boiling water and you can imagine your troubles dissolving away. Then you can eat it. What’s not to like? Brexit As I see it, we had a referendum and that’s that. It reflects how we are – isolated maybe, but that is how England has always been. Dunkirk reinforced the idea in modern times. Maybe stupid, maybe not but we have always wanted to govern ourselves. It’s how we are. What did Hitler want?

I have been thinking about this lately because I have just completed two books on the First World War (released) and a second on WW2 (out next year). I have read a couple of novels about how life would have been after a German victory – it really was ‘touch and go’ at some stages, eg, if Hitler had obliterated allied forces at Dunkirk, which, from a military point of view, would have been easy. These are some of the things that would have happened to us. 1. There would have been huge swastika flags over the Town Hall, City Hall and the Castle. 2. Some people – Jews, gay people and those disabled mentally or physically, amongst others – would be deemed not to exist. Just as in Russia today. Those with dementia would be invited to take a pill. 3. Pop music, raves and any free expression in the Arts would be suppressed. 4. School children would swear allegiance to the Third Reich. 5. The Duke of Windsor would have been a puppet king, and the present sovereign his

2017 Autumn | 17


FinePlaces decreases in degrees for an extra bit of cash. If you want a seat roughly equivalent to sitting in a comfortable chair at home watching the telly, Business Class, it will set you back a ridiculous amount – thousands rather than hundreds.You will still have jet lag when you arrive and you will be let off the plane a few minutes before those is so-called ‘cattle class’. I have done this once. Nice work if you can get it Could hardly believe my eyes the other day when I read in a newspaper that a 27 year old guy has set himself up as an ‘emoji consultant’. It’s a bit like all those other jobs that really exist but unfortunately I have never seen an advert for – like ‘Ice-cream taste adviser’ and ‘Malt Whisky taster’. Times of the year direct heir.The present Royal Family would, at best, be imprisoned. Churchill would have been shot. 6. Great Britain would have destroyed America or vice versa – latest papers released showed that he honestly thought this. Whichever way it went was OK with him. 7. We would all be vegetarian as was Hitler. 8. Weekends would be taken up with parades. Supermarket till chit chat – all you need to know if you come here from overseas (or Mars) Cashier: Hi, Sir/Madam, thanks for waiting - and how are you today? Customer: Not so bad, thanks/OK to middling/ Doing fine for the time of year. You? Cashier: Oh, I am good, thanks for asking. Customer: Not very busy today/ Very busy today/ Average day today.

Customer: No thanks, I have one. Cashier: That’s fine. Have a nice rest of your day! Customer: And you too. See you later. The genius pricing of long haul airline flights In most things, it seems to me, you buy a modest product and get the chance to upgrade to something better. Have airlines turned that model on its head? I have, for my many sins, gone several dozen times from the UK to Asia. Here, you can book a completely inadequate seat (in terms of size and leg room) for a set (large) amount of money. If you book this seat you are guaranteed cramp and a pretty awful journey. But there is hope at hand to alleviate your pain in degrees – for a price.You can have a wider seat for an additional amount, and more leg room for a bit more and a nicer cabin – so-called ‘premium economy’- for even more. It starts with a painful flight and

Autumn is coming. I think without doubt that my favourite time of year is summer when the wild roses break out in hedgerows or maybe the crisp cool of the first snowy day in winter. Autumn though can be lovely too – cold, crisp days with a translucent blue sky and the low, long-slanting sun. Norwich and the Norfolk coast are fabulous places to go for a day’s walking. Apparently, according to the EDP a lot of people become depressed as the days draw in. Much of it has to do with lack of vitamin D but, for me, the best solution is always to go to the coast and let the wind whip past my ears: never fails. Well, these are some thoughts for this edition. Happy Autumn everyone and speak again next time!

feature by:

Steve Browning

Writer www.stephenbrowningbooks.co.uk

Cashier: Yes, it’s the weather/bank holiday/ time of day. I prefer it when we’re busy. Customer: Yes, I used to work in a shop. Really boring when it is quiet – best to be busy. Cashier: I agree, makes the day go faster. Do you have a Sparks/Tesco/Sainsbury’s Card? Customer: No. Cashier: Would you like one? Customer: No thanks. Cashier:That’s £21.98 please. Do you need a bag? 18 | Autumn 2017

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Cecil Amey Q & A

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ave you ever wondered what its like to be a director of accompany spanning the whole of East Anglia? Whilst a little sad, I have and it got me thinking (I know, dangerous), why not ask someone who knows how it all works. With this idea in mind, we prepared some questions and spoke to our friend Emma Amey, the director of Cecil Amey Opticians. When did Cecil Amey arrive in Norfolk? Where was the first branch? Cecil C Amey opened his first opticians practice in Norwich in 1924. Today the company has 8 practices, employing over 55 members of staff including over 25 expert opticians and 4 members of the Amey family and we are very proud to be the largest independent opticians in East Anglia. What kind of products does the company offer? Our team of highly trained, qualified Optometrists offer comprehensive eye examinations using the very latest technology and equipment to provide you with the very best eyecare possible. We also pride ourselves on the range of brands we offer, some which are exclusive to Cecil Amey.

What are the current trends for Glasses? The current trends are moving towards a larger eye size and a swing back towards metal frames too. We notice also that pleasingly the very flat looking lenses we have seen all over Europe this year are filtering through and, rather than being reserved for high fashion, lens wear manufacturers such as Nikon are making them an affordable option for all. Is the company environmentally-aware? We have recently completed a switch to a paperless data/computerized system and although it has been a long and to be honest sometimes difficult transition we are delighted with the results and thankful to the people that made it happen. We do encourage everyone in the company to be mindful of the need to be environmentally aware and are always working on improvements. Are there any interesting projects you are currently working on here in Norfolk/Norwich?

Our practice in Attleborough has just been completed after an extensive refit only made possible by the patience of the local community and our fabulous team there! We are also hugely excited about the prospect of rolling out our successful new look to the rest of our stores in the near future. We do have several other projects in development that sadly at this point can not be discussed so watch this space !!! What does the future have in store for the company? After a lot of hard work looking to safeguard the business against current market forces and a very changed landscape in the Optical field we feel able to seriously consider ourselves a progressive company looking at a variety of ways to enhance, not only the business but to provide opportunities for our teams. We are at a real epoch and are reviewing lots of different options. However, we haven’t ruled out expansion or diversifying within the sites we all ready have.

Why choose Cecil Amey? The most important thing to us all at Cecil Amey is the health of your eyes, we pride ourselves on offering a professional and caring approach to eye care whilst striving to provide the best possible customer service. We also understand that feeling good and looking good in your new glasses, lenses or sunglasses is of great importance to you. www.finecity.co.uk

2017 Autumn | 19


FinePlaces

Tunnel of Light

Norwich’s Christmas Tunnel of Light Crowned for 2017

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littering lights, exquisite jewels and cheery live spectaculars are all part of the festive celebrations in Norwich this year, which will feature: more Christmas lights than ever before, stunning Fabergé sculptures, a 4-day Christmas Fair to launch the season’s shopping frenzy, and great family shows featuring live music keeping the atmosphere authentic. In 2016 thousands flocked to Norwich to experience the UK’s first Tunnel of Light when it was unveiled in the heart of the city centre. The 45-meters long, 4 meters high

20 | Autumn 2017

and 6 meters wide tunnel, made from 50,000 pulsating LEDs with sequenced lights that reflected the patterns and colours of the Northern Lights, proved an instant Instagram sensation. All ages marvelled at the tunnel, which became even more magical as day turned into dusk and dusk turned into night. But how do you improve on perfection? Well, you crown it, and so in 2017 the Tunnel of Light will be back once again, but this year with a new animation sequence and a glittering tiara.

At the world-class Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts a sumptuous exhibition awaits: Royal Fabergé. The world famous jeweller has an amazing local story to tell. See over 70 loans from the Royal Collection – King Edward VII’s commissions from the Sandringham Estate - as well as vintage films and photographs; there’ll be over 150 loans from private and public collectors across Britain, Russia and America. Across Norwich, more Christmas lights than any year before will come together to create further magical illusion: • Half-moon star bursts will adorn lamp posts on the newly re-developed and www.finecity.co.uk


pedestrianised Westlegate, heading up to John Lewis. • Decorative nets of twinkling lights will form a canopy over Davey Place, linking with Gentleman’s Walk and Castle Meadow as visitors and shoppers head towards one of Norwich’s most iconic buildings, Norwich Castle. • Queen Street walkway bonds The Norwich Lanes - Norwich’s hub for independent shops and eateries – through to Norwich’s Cathedral Quarter – possibly the most historic area of the city - with strings of zigzag icicle lights. • Norwich’s Cathedral Quarter also gets a seasonal make-over with star-balls lighting the www.finecity.co.uk

trees of medieval cobbled Tombland. • F inally, passengers alighting at Norwich train station and heading up Prince of Wales Road will be treated to a Christmas lighting scheme for the first time. The Christmas lights switch on will take place on 16 November, and after that it’s full throttle as the countdown to the Big Day begins. The first large scale event to launch the shopping season in Norwich is the Festive Fair at The Forum. This 4-day Christmas market (24th – 27th November) promises to be an enticing event featuring 50 indoor and outdoor stalls selling East Anglian arts, crafts and produce, perfect for Christmas presents

and stocking fillers. There’ll also be live music and winter foods for that added touch of festive cheer. The Forum is a perfect venue to host the market, with its huge glass atrium decorated to create a glowing golden aura. It’s a spectacular backdrop in this contemporary glass Millennium building and, with views across to the Tunnel of Light and Norwich’s largest medieval church – St Peter Mancroft, there’s a lot to experience. 2017 Autumn | 21


FinePlaces Two Christmas shows to keep all ages and generations happy will be: A Christmas Carol - the musical (20 December – 31 December), an immersive and humorous performance from Planet Theatre Productions, and the Theatre Royal Norwich’s annual pantomime, which this year presents the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty (13 December – 14 January). The Theatre Royal is one of the few theatres of its size in the UK to create and produce its own pantomime. Panto stalwart Richard Gauntlett pens and directs the show, as well as starring in it, and is much loved by Norfolk audiences as well as by those from further afield. Unusually for panto, there is also a live six-piece band playing specially arranged music which adds greatly to the atmosphere. Melanie Cook, PR Manager at VisitNorwich, says; “Norwich is an exciting and diverse UK city to visit throughout the year – for day trips and overnight stays - but at Christmas, with the additional lights scheme, it gets even better. Expect a non-stop programme of live festive events, performances, music, in-store entertainment and cultural activities. Add to that the fact that Norwich is a compact city to walk around, with fantastic shopping with high street brands and a high proportion of one-off independent shops, plus its thriving café and restaurant culture, and you have an all-round Christmas experience to rival other, much larger, cities in the country.” Preliminary Launch Events for Christmas in Norwich Tunnel of Light Hay Hill Thursday 16 November - Friday 5th January 2017 The Tunnel of Light returns with a vengeance to Norwich this Christmas, and this time adorned with a glittering tiara! Don’t miss the chance to see this magical sight and bag yourself the best selfie in town.

jewellery, pretty pottery, elegant glassware and wonderful woodwork, to interesting prints, paintings and cards, colourful tins and textiles, some fabulous festive plants and much more. There will also be some wonderful winter produce - such as home-made sweets, mince pies, cheese, preserves and so on - as well as a series of festive food and drink stations outside the building. Over the four days there will be plenty of seasonal music from The Pavilion Quintet, a popular Norfolk-based brass band who’ll be playing Christmas carols, to a fabulous festive choir or two. Performance Sleeping Beauty Theatre Royal Norwich Wednesday 13 December 2017 – Sunday 14 January 2018 The Theatre Royal is one of the few theatres of its size in the UK to create and produce its own panto, and the same creative team has worked on it for many years, taking a lot of pride in making it the very best it can be. Panto stalwart Richard Gauntlett pens and directs the show, as well as starring in it, and is much loved by Norfolk audiences. Unusually for

panto, there is also a live six-piece band playing specially arranged music, which adds greatly to the atmosphere. A Christmas Carol - the musical Daynes Sports Centre, St Faiths Lane, Tombland, Norwich. (Part of Norwich School) Wednesday 20 – Sunday 31st December 2017 with a range of shows at 2.30, 7.30 and a couple at 5pm. On 23rd December there will be a Victorian Father Christmas from 12.30 – 2pm http://bit.ly/2vKYPNe. Enjoy an energetic, immersive experience with a live band at this family-friendly production featuring music, dance and drama whilst soaking up a traditional Dickens story with all the trimmings, making it a must-see production. The show is brought to Norwich by amateur group Planet Theatre Productions under the direction of Peter Beck and producer David Rees, after the sell out success of Return to the Forbidden Planet in 2016 and The Producers by Mel Brooks in 2017. Music by Alan Menkin, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens.

Festive Fair at The Forum Friday 24 November – Monday 27 November 2017, free entry 10am to 5pm on Friday 24th, Saturday 25th and Monday 27th November, and from 11am to 4pm on Sunday 26th. The city’s first Christmas market of 2017! This enticing event will feature a host of indoor and outdoor stalls selling East Anglian arts, crafts and produce, perfect for Christmas presents and stocking fillers. Held over the last weekend of November, this Festive Fair is the ideal place to stock up on gorgeous Christmas gifts. There will be over 50 stalls selling everything from contemporary 22 | Autumn 2017

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Culture The Russian Season at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts closes Sunday 11 February 2018 (opened 14 October 2017) http://scva.ac.uk/art-and-artists/exhibitions/therussia-season Royal Fabergé This exhibition will trace the story of one of the world’s most exquisite jewellery workshops and reveal how the creativity of Fabergé came to extend from St. Petersburg and the court of the Romanovs to a dairy on Norfolk’s Sandringham Estate. In 1907, Edward VII commissioned Peter Carl Fabergé to produce portrait sculptures of dogs and horses at Sandringham as a gift for Queen Alexandra. The project was soon extended to cover all the Norfolk estate’s wild farm and pet animals. The best sculptors were sent from St. Petersburg to Sandringham to make wax models of the animals which were taken to Russia to be rendered in hardstones, gemstones, gold, silver and platinum as directed by Fabergé himself. More than 100 sculptures are known, most now in the Royal Collection. www.finecity.co.uk

The loans from the Royal Collection will be the centrepiece of the exhibition but the wider story of Fabergé will be told with major loans from private and public collections in Britain, Russia and America. Over 150 works, including vintage films and photographs, will illuminate the extraordinary skills of the Fabergé craftsmen who created glorious enamelled and bejewelled plants set in rock crystal vases, as well as the famous Fabergé eggs and other royal gifts. Radical Russia ‘Radical Russia’ will show how the avantgarde succeeded in transforming Russian art and culture in the 20th century, well before the Revolution of 1917. The exhibition will include paintings, sculpture, books, ceramics, furniture, games, costume and objects relating to everything from theatre to architecture and urban planning, spanning the period 1905 to 1930. Highlights will include suprematist paintings by Malevich, designs by El Lissitzky and Tatlin, and ceramics from a number of countries. Rembrandt: Lightening the Darkness Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Castle Meadow, Norwich, NR1 3JU Saturday 21 Oct 2017 – Sunday 7 Jan 2018 www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/ Featuring the nationally important collection of Rembrandt etchings held by Norfolk Museums Service this exhibition showcases Rembrandt’s explorations of light and darkness, through selected loans from the National Gallery, the Royal Collection, the British Museum and the National Galleries of Scotland, together with the Castle’s extraordinary collection of 93 etchings by the great artist. One of the world’s most renowned and innovative printmakers, Rembrandt’s handling of light and shadow - expressed purely through the medium of lines and the space around them – was unsurpassed. During his lifetime, Rembrandt was as famed for his prints as for his oil paintings, being better known in Britain as a printmaker. This exhibition will highlight this lesser known aspect of his output. Rembrandt: Lightening the Darkness will compare prints with a selected group of paintings and drawings, to show how physical and metaphorical light and darkness meet and combine in Rembrandt’s work in all media, creating narratives that communicate to the viewer. 2017 Autumn | 23


FinePlaces

EACH

An update on the nook appeal

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he nook appeal is East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices’ (EACH) £10 million campaign to transform children’s palliative care for Norfolk.

Money raised will be used to build a new hospice – called the nook - on a five-acre woodland site in Framingham Earl, just south of Norwich. It is necessary because EACH has outgrown its current hospice in Quidenham, which restricts the care staff can offer to families. Jane Campbell, EACH Service Manager, explains more: “Due to lack of space, I’ve had to convert the nurses station to an office for the physio and occupational therapist, and am currently planning the conversion of one of the bedrooms to an office for the symptom management team, a decision I have not taken lightly but one that is required to ensure professional and confidential delivery of care. Until we have more room at the nook, I continue to have to juggle rooms and decide what services we can offer. “The new hospice is not simply about in-house care or bedrooms and play. We’ll be able to offer families improved facilities including residential accommodation, confidential counselling rooms and a hydrotherapy pool, plus large music and art studios. 24 | Autumn 2017

“It will also provide us with the necessary hub for the delivery of services from a diverse staff team. This includes our increasingly popular child support, parent and bereavement groups, which currently take place off site at a cost and with considerable planning. “Many years ago children stayed in hospital for months, but now they are surviving longer and being sent home on ventilators with tube feeding and requiring increasingly complex, technologically dependent care. This has increased demand for our highly skilled palliative care services and the nook will provide the vital central hub for Norfolk families who need our support.” EACH is pleased to report that the nook appeal total has reached £6.3 million and wishes to thank all the individuals, charitable trusts and companies that have given gifts and pledges so far. For more information about the nook appeal and how to support it, go to www.each.org.uk/ the-nook. www.finecity.co.uk


STEAM TRAINS TO THE NORFOLK BROADS SPOOKY EXPRESS

TRAINS TO SANTA

21st - 29th October - Half Term Week

December Dates

Join our mascot bear for a week of spooky fun! FREE travel for every child when accompanied by a fare-paying adult (max. 2 per adult).

A three hour experience inclusive of:

No pre booking required Trains from Aylsham and Wroxham

- Return steam train from Wroxham to meet Santa - Personal present for each child - Childrens entertainer - Refreshments for all the family

Booking Essential

Norwich Road, Aylsham, Norfolk, NR11 6BW 01603 733858 www.bvrw.co.uk

FREE Spooky Fun at Bure Valley Railway!

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hroughout the half term holiday, 21st October to 29th October 2017, the Bure Valley Railway will be holding its popular children’s event, “The Spooky Express”. Trains will operate throughout each day from both Aylsham and Wroxham Stations (visit www.bvrw.co.uk for train times). A children’s competition to see how many spooky items can be spotted on the train journey, a colouring corner and a decorated Whilstlestop Café add to this themed event. Also, the Railway’s resident Bear will be dressed up for the occasion to welcome each train at Aylsham Station. To make this a truly family friendly event, the Railway is giving free travel for every child when accompanied by a fare-paying adult (maximum of 2 children per adult, train only). Adult Return is £13.00. No prior booking required. Susan Munday, Business Manager and organiser of this event, says, “Children of all ages can enjoy lots of spooky fun without it being too scary!”

For further information contact: Susan Munday, Bure Valley Railway, Aylsham Station, Norwich Road, Aylsham, Norfolk, NR11 6BW, Tel: 01263 733858 Website: www.bvrw.co.uk Email: marketing@bvrw.co.uk

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Steam Trains to Santa The ever popular Santa Specials at Bure Valley Railway return this Christmas for the 27th year. The Santa Train departs from Wroxham Station and travels to Aylsham Station where Santa and his railway sleigh are there to welcome everybody. A visit to Santa in his Grotto with a personalised present for each child provides a memorable experience. Entertainment and festive refreshments for all the family add to the Christmas magic, before climbing aboard the Santa Train for the return journey to Wroxham. The complete Steam Trains to Santa experience takes approximately three hours, including a named present for each child 12 and under and only costs from £15.00 per person (adults and children). The Santa Specials this year are running weekends from 2nd December and daily from 20th December, up to and including Christmas Eve. Advanced booking is essential. Online booking facility is available at www.bvrw.co.uk For further information contact: Susan Munday, Bure Valley Railway, Aylsham Station, Norwich Road, Aylsham, Norfolk, NR11 6BW, Tel: 01263 733858 Website: www.bvrw.co.uk Email: marketing@bvrw.co.uk

2017 Autumn | 25


FineArts

INTERVIEW WITH DANCER LIAM FRANCIS RAMBERT – October 19 & 20, 2017 FEATURE By Judy Foster

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triking skeleton dancers moving to the rhythmic strains of South American pan pipes – Ghost Dances is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated contemporary dance pieces of its generation and one many young dancers would give anything to perform in.

Yet taking centre stage when the iconic piece is performed by Rambert at Norwich Theatre Royal on October 19 & 20 is a dancer who as a young boy was far more captivated by the world of street dance than ballet. As a youngster growing up in Brighton, hiphop obsessed Liam Francis could little have thought one day he would be performing as a ghost dancer for the legendary choreographer Christopher Bruce in a piece which pays evocative tribute to the victims of political oppression in South America. As he told Judy Foster, Liam joined Rambert as an apprentice dancer in 2014, but he started out in a very different form of dancing when he was 14. “I went to see Into The Hoods by Zoo Nation Dance Company. I had been doing street dance classes for six months at my local dance school, but then when I saw these guys they were like dance super heroes, like machines. The flips, the energy, just everything was totally amazing.” www.finecity.co.uk

So he joined the hip-hop theatre company and remained an active member up until 21. At 18, he enrolled at the London Studio Centre to train professionally in dance, choosing the school because a lot of the dancers from Zoo Nation had been there. “Whilst I was there it was very mixed training. I did ballet, I did contemporary, jazz, tap, I had to sing and we did drama, so the training was quite eclectic. In the third and final year, you had to decide what it was you wanted to specialise in and by that time I had developed this love for contemporary dance and thought that is what I wanted to study. I did that in the school’s third year company which is called Intoto Dance.” With all the confidence of youth, he aimed high when he sent out invitations to his end of year show. “I invited Rambert - Mark Baldwin (artistic director), Mikaela Polley (senior rehearsal director) and Angela Towler (rehearsal director). I also invited Matthew Bourne, Russell Maliphant and Akram Khan. I thought why not, what’s the worst that can happen? I hadn’t trained my whole life as a contemporary dancer or a ballet dancer, but I had danced with Zoo Nation, who are one of the most respected hip-hop theatre companies in the UK, so I felt I had achieved something, so why doubt myself?”

And Rambert were impressed, offering Liam an apprenticeship contract after seeing him perform – that was three years ago. Now having finished his apprenticeship and at the age of 24, he is a fully-fledged member of the company and is soaking up as much as he can learn from the more experienced dancers there. “I just looked up to so many of them and thought they were all so wonderful, and being here and sharing knowledge with other dancers who come from a very different background to me is something I was interested in. Coming from a hip-hop background I could have stayed there and never done any classical training, but I’ve always liked the idea of absorbing as much knowledge as possible and learning new skills. “When you see the mind-blowing dancers on stage, I don’t know what it is but they have life experience. No limits, no boundaries, no edges, no blinkers, just this vast openness to movement and knowing your body. Each different technique or style that you study offers you a different interpretation of how to use your body, which is wonderful because I think that if that is how you communicate then you don’t want to limit the textures or dynamics of your body because maybe it is 2017 Autumn | 27


FineArts safer to be comfortable with something you know. It is better to be vulnerable and explore things so you can gain knowledge, different understandings of your body, so you can communicate successfully.” Initially Liam wasn’t destined for a life of dance at all. “I was at college studying English, Maths and Politics and wanted to do a Politics degree – but I thought ‘it’s just not that much fun’. Dancing is so much fun. I thought let’s try that. Let’s see what happens!” So fast forward a few years and now he is dancing on stage as one of the ghosts in Ghost Dances which has recently returned to UK stages for the first time in 13 years. “I remember when I first started dancing at A level and I was studying Ghost Dances. I remember watching it on a screen and we were learning it backwards on the screen. Then when I was at school one of my teachers, Paul Liburd, taught us repertoire at London Studio Centre as part of our training and he was one of the ghost dancers 13 years ago. I remember thinking I wanted to be like him – his presence,

28 | Autumn 2017

his ability, what he represented. Then when we got told we were learning it here, it was at the end of my apprenticeship and I was overwhelmed.

But within that freedom is also a rigid discipline to adhere to Christopher Bruce’s choreography – and the man himself has been putting the dancers through their paces.

“The ghost I play is referred to as Casper because it is always played by the youngest member. It’s just the most extraordinary experience because you are on stage and you are with two other men and regardless of your height, your build, your colour, anything about your body really, you all just merge into one, which is wonderful because then you are dancing as one body, one energy on stage.

“It is a really historic piece of dance and it is important to retain the essence of what it represents. How those issues are transferrable to now – which we believe they are. The subject Christopher was addressing – the oppression in South America - there are still elements of that being dealt with today. So there’s that responsibility.”

“You have feathers around your waist, your knees and your arms, and body paint – so you are rather naked on stage, you are rather bare. But there is something wonderful when you are moving - you can feel the air on your skin, the feathers are flowing in the air but you face is covered by a skull mask. So there is the freedom of your body being really free in the space but there is a lack of identity due to the body paint and the mask, so you feel absolute freedom.”

Liam had worked with the acclaimed choreographer once before. He recalled: “The first time I worked with Christopher Bruce I was an apprentice and we were doing Rooster – and we were doing a live stream. And in front of the nation he was saying ‘Liam, that’s not my choreography. Stop, Stop, Stop.’ Slapped his head about my dancing and I was humiliated. Obviously no-one realises but as an apprentice I was feeling like ‘I’m dying. My career is over’! Then to come back and have him working with me as a ghost is wonderful. He knows everything. He knows every step

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that every person does in his work. He knows exactly what the women do in lifts. So if you lift him he can show you what the women do. He can lift a woman to show you what the man does. He knows everything inside out. I am just in awe. You’re not always lucky enough to have the steps from the horse’s mouth – so it is a real honour to have him in the room giving you notes, helping you, teaching you, guiding you, coaching you – it is really wonderful.” As one of three ghosts, Liam has built a close relationship with his fellow dancers. “Doing such an historical piece of dance which is British dance heritage is wonderful and the team I do it with in my cast – Danny Davidson and Juan Hill – we have got awesome chemistry together. We share dressing rooms and get ready together. We all have different things to offer so we all help each other because we are aware that it’s how the group looks. Although you are playing quite a poignant, significant part in the piece, it’s not about you. It’s about the three of you. You are only as strong as the strongest dancer and you as weak as the weakest one, so it’s about team and community which the whole piece is about as well.” Getting ready to perform is also a team effort as the three ghosts have intricate body paint to apply. “When we are doing a photoshoot and we want it to be perfect, it takes about half an hour. But in the show you have about ten minutes in between pieces, so it is an absolute rush. We have a train system where the other guys who aren’t ghosts come in and do your back for you while you are doing your front. It is always the other ghosts from the other casts who are helping you. It’s a real sense of community threaded through entirely.” That sense of community has enthused Liam and he hopes to make Rambert his home for a while. “We have a wonderful new CEO – Helen Shute – and the plans for the future that we are hearing about are really wonderful and they lend well to a dancer like myself who wants to progress, who wants to try new things, expand. “We’ve just come back from Italy which was lovely. We do a lot of UK touring – and we get to see a lot of the UK and there is talk of potential foreign tours coming up. In Italy, we were on stage in a castle, so you have beautiful art around you and you are not looking into blackness like you often are in a theatre. You can see the castle walls around you and there was no ceiling. Then you get to dance and you feel it is such an honour.” As well as travel, dancing with Rambert brought him the accolade in 2015 of being featured as the UK entry for the European www.finecity.co.uk

Newcomer of the year in Tanz magazine’s international Critics’ Survey. It’s all a long way from those early days of street dance and hip-hop in Brighton, but Liam does see hip-hop featuring again in his life at some time. “I love choreographing so I am starting to investigate that aspect of things, especially from my own creation because I think it is important to represent possibilities. I think a lot of young hiphop dancers wouldn’t see this as a possibility so I want to show them that what they are studying offers something very different to ballet. But it’s of no lesser worth.The stuff that you learn about your body, and knowing your hip-hop body, is extremely interesting and the skills that you have are completely transferrable, which is what I have learned and I continue to learn.” His family are immensely proud of him. “My brother loves dance but he is studying chemistry at Cambridge University - that’s why I didn’t go to university because I would have had to compete with that!,” he quipped. “He comes to watch all my shows and my younger sister, who is ten, also loves dance. Whenever she comes to see a show I can take her backstage and onto the stage and she can watch behind the scenes. My mum is also very proud. It feels like it is a nice opportunity to give something back to your family, because it is such an important part of your upbringing and what you achieve later in life.

“Having these opportunities is always a wonderful reflection on my mum and dad, as well as on hard work and luck playing a part. The hard work is instilled in you by your parents and you have to be of a mind-set to capitalise when luck passes by. It is your preparation that allows you to capitalise.” Liam will be dancing in Ghost Dances when Rambert performs at Norwich Theatre Royal on October 19 & 20. The company will also present two other pieces, both new works: The days run away like wild horses, a new creation by Aletta Collins, one of the UK’s most indemand choreographers, and Symbiosis, a new work from internationally-acclaimed dancemaker Andonis Foniadakis. For tickets call 01603 630000 or see www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk Listing: Rambert runs from Friday 19-Saturday 20 October, 2017, at 7.30pm Eves, 1.30pm Fri mat. Tickets £8-£25. Discounts for Friends & Corporate Club, Over 60s, Under 25s, Schools and Groups. Pre-show talk on Thursday 19 October, at 6.30pm. Tickets FREE but must be booked in advance at Box Office. BOX OFFICE 01603 630000. For more info or to BOOK ONLINE www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk 2017 Autumn | 29


FineArts

INTERVIEW WITH ARTISTIC DIRECTOR MARK BALDWIN RAMBERT – October 19 & 20, 2017

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hen Rambert Dance Company returns to Norwich for its annual autumnal visit, it comes not just with a fantastic programme to delight audiences but also a wish to make the city feel even more a part of the Rambert family. As its artistic director Mark Baldwin tells Judy Foster, there is a strong ethos within the company to not only make its performances pieces “extremely accessible” to all types of audience, but also to involve as many people as possible in enjoying the transformative power of dance. 30 | Autumn 2017

FEATURE By Judy Foster The three pieces Rambert has picked to present as a mixed programme on October 19 & 20 at Norwich Theatre Royal combine the iconic with the brand new. Christopher Bruce’s masterpiece Ghost Dances tops the bill. One of the most celebrated contemporary dance pieces of its generation and a key area of study for dance students, it was choreographed by him for Rambert in the early 1980s and is an evocative tribute to the victims of political oppression in South America. Mark enthuses about the “amazing Peruvian music which is played live”. “It is 14-years-old

but it speaks to today’s audience as much as it did all that time ago. It was commissioned by Free Chile about all the people that were going missing then and that message is still relevant today. That‘s why it’s exciting that we have brought it back. “Everyone in the piece is dead because it is based on the Mexican Day of the Dead. The ghosts are dressed in masks and full makeup and as you look at the costumes for the villagers, half are disintegrated and the other half intact – and the ghosts are taking them to the other side. So it’s little vignettes of those villagers’ lives.” www.finecity.co.uk


Mark said that as so much of Ramber t’s work is usually “very, very contemporary”, it has been nice to bring back a classic. “It has the folk music and the singing which came to England then. A Chilean refugee will be singing on tour with us, so it is a genuine voice of this kind of music. It is par t of our 90-year history and although we do like uber contemporary work and we are always looking for new movement, it is all about the dancing.” Now aged 71, Christopher Bruce continues to hold a unique position in British dance. As a dancer and then a choreographer with Rambert from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, he was encouraged by the company’s founder Dame Marie Rambert. For this most recent reworking of one of his most famous pieces, he personally returned to the studio to put the dancers through their paces. Mark explained that he had been one of the first generation of choreographers who combined more modern dance techniques with classical ballet to come up with his own language which “opened up the whole www.finecity.co.uk

chocolate box of how dancers move these days and how they are engaged in a work”. Also on the programme in Norwich will be The days run away like wild horses, a new creation by theatrical choreographer Aletta Collins, one of the UK’s most in-demand choreographers. It takes its title from a poem by Charles Bukowski and is a witty and vivid laugh-out-loud depiction of the everyday moments that make up a life, set to the pulsating tones of Arturo Márquez’s musical piece Danzones. Mark said: “It’s from a film that she saw in the 80s with all these high repetitions going on in a room. There is one main woman in it and most of the cast end up dressed like her and it is really fun and punchy. They have all got characters – we have a plumber, a schoolgirl, lovers, and it really takes you on this journey and creates a beautiful world for you.” And completing the triple bill is a new work from internationally-acclaimed dance-maker Andonis Foniadakis called Symbiosis. A high velocity celebration of the Rambert dancers’

skills, it is set to a newly-commissioned and very beautiful score by British neo-classical composer Ilan Eshkeri who is known for his concert music, film scores, and artistic collaborations. “It’s going to be gorgeous,” Mark said. He feels all the pieces, which have been carefully chosen for regional theatregoers, will help to draw in a fresh audience as well as delight those who are already fans. Rambert is reaching out to new audiences all the time and programmes a wide array of classes from its London home on the South Bank drawing in children, young people and adults, as well as more specialised groups such as dementia sufferers, with events, talks, demonstrations and workshops. It now runs these not just at home but at venues throughout the UK, and is also working extensively with schools, colleges, dance groups and other organisations nationwide to dovetail with the company’s dance pieces which are studied as part of the education curriculum: “We still have A Linha Curve out which is on the curriculum and Christopher Bruce is also 2017 Autumn | 31


FineArts still on the curriculum and we love all those kids coming to watch,” he said. “We teach about 50,000 people as we tour around the country and it’s jumped in the last couple of years. So there is this hunger to be involved in dance, to know what it is, for people to be able to make their own dance and just to get to know how to relate to it and ask ‘what’s the music, what are the ideas, who’s dancing, is there anyone from our town, Norwich, there?’” He is excited by the Theatre Royal’s new education and development building Stage Two and hopes it will play a part. “It would be nice to be much more relational with Norwich,” he said. “I did a piece called The Creation and used 25 students from our school just to get that idea across and they were bookended by our fantastic dancers. Then there was also this really big young group who were given quite a lot to do. I love this idea that within a large work you can have sections performed by local people.” He recalls a dance piece he also choreographed called Eternal Light which was performed in Norwich in October 2008 – with music composed by Howard Goodall (a writer of theme music for much-loved TV shows such as The Vicar of Dibley and Blackadder). “A local choir (the Keswick Hall Choir) came to sing and I think one day we will turn up and we will have one of your local youth dance groups in the show on stage with us.” Rambert is at Norwich Theatre Royal on October 19 at 7.30pm, and on October 20 at 1.30pm and 7.30pm. The Friday matinee production in Norwich will feature an introduction by Rambert’s artistic director Mark Baldwin with performances of Ghost Dances and The days run away like wild horses. There will also be a pre-show talk on Thursday, October 19, at 6.30pm in the theatre’s Targetfollow Room (tickets for the pre-show talk are free but must be booked through the Box Office on 01603 630000). For tickets call 01603 630000 or see www. theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk Listing: Rambert runs from Friday 19-Saturday 20 October, 2017, at 7.30pm Eves, 1.30pm Fri mat. Tickets £8-£25. Discounts for Friends & Corporate Club, Over 60s, Under 25s, Schools and Groups. Pre-show talk on Thursday 19 October, at 6.30pm. Tickets FREE but must be booked in advance at Box Office. BOX OFFICE 01603 630000. For more info or to BOOK ONLINE www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk 32 | Autumn 2017

www.finecity.co.uk


Trump Depression Hotline tour

New York’s Reverend Billy returns to the UK in October for a radical mix of passion and politics

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allelujah! Your saviour is at hand. If you’re concerned about a wife with global advertising, multinational control, climate change, the threat of nuclear war, supermarket domination, and all the constant controversy caused by the US President’s outpourings, this is for you. If you’re not, this is REALLY for you! Award-winning wild anti-consumerist gospel shouters and Earth-loving urban activists Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir return to the UK for a whistlestop tour of the country. They’ll be spreading the word of Earthelujah and encouraging us all to join the struggle to avert the threatened Shopacolypse. Expect humour, great music and an unshakeable belief. The Church of Stop Shopping is a New York based secular political religion founded in 1999. Their performances in concert halls (and the Tesco cash tills exorcisms) are directed by Savitri D, who co-founded the ‘church’ with Talen in the months after 9/11. Since Trump, the Frankenstein of shopping culture, won - or stole - the election, the church has been a repository of community anguish. The choir has opened for Neil Young, been produced by Laurie Anderson, and hosted a Black Lives Matter benefit with Joan Baez as well as hosting their own parades, boycotts, and protests – all whilst singing multiple harmonies. To date they have performed in, and Billy has exorcised cash registers in, over a dozen countries and four continents.

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‘Rev and his choir enrapture large audiences with sermons to which Jesus himself would have said Amen’ Kurt Vonnegut The Rev has an advice column in a New York newspaper called ‘Trump Depression Hotline’ – and this effort to bring mindfulness and hilarity to these dark times became the name of the UK tour. ‘We gotta love everybody and show them we care ‘til they can’t Trump anymore’ he said. ‘Talen’s message resonates with the words W. H. Auden wrote on the eve of World War II… “We must love one another or die.” ‘ Village Voice Savitri D and Reverend Billy have taken to spending time in the public garden of Trump Tower, ‘We walk past the submachine guns and dogs, the body armour and the golden name of the white supremacist president that hovers in space above the door’ said Rev Billy ‘We travel up gold-plated escalators to legally protected privately owned public space then we write together for 45 minutes. At the end we stand with our writing and recite or shout or sing our words at the 700 foot tall gold-tinted monstrosity’ added Savitri D.

‘the Church’s honesty, passion and lack of cynicism is inspiring’ The Guardian Reverend Billy Talen is an actor, performance artist and activist who began his experimental preaching in Times Square in 1994. Soon singers were accompanying his ‘retail Interventions’ inside chain stores, principal targets being Disney, GAP, Nike, and Starbucks. He is legally banned from every branch of Starbucks in the USA and the coffee giant has issued a memo to its managers ‘What should I do if Reverend Billy is in my store?’ The Church of Stop Shopping hold ‘services’ wherever they can, in theatres, churches, community centres, forests, parking lots, shopping malls, and perhaps most importantly, inside stores, as close to the cash register as they can get, within spitting distance of the point of purchase. Their feature film ‘What Would Jesus Buy’ was produced by Morgan Spurlock and their earlier film Preacher With an Unknown God won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Sun 29 Norwich Arts Centre St Benedicts Street, Norwich NR2 4PG 7.30pm £pay what you can, 01603 660352 www.norwichartscentre.co.uk

2017 Autumn | 33


FineArts Star pianist, Imogen Cooper (Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke)

Norfolk & Norwich Chamber Music FineCity arts writer, Tony Cooper, previews the new season of Norfolk & Norwich Chamber Music

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nd what a season, too, the first to be programmed by NNCM’s new artistic director, Misha Donat, writer, lecturer and senior music producer for BBC Radio 3 for more than 25 years. He has given many radio talks and pre-concert talks at a number of venues in Britain and has lectured at universities here and in the USA. He writes programme notes particularly for the Wigmore Hall and, currently, is working on a new edition of the Beethoven piano sonatas being published by Bärenreiter, the German classical-music publishing house based in Kassel. This is what he had to say: ‘It has given me great pleasure in putting the 2017/18 programme together and I hope that chambermusic aficionados will enjoy not only the music but the internationally-renowned artists that are coming to Norwich to perform it. ‘The core of the chamber-music repertoire is well represented with the complete piano trios of Beethoven as well as no fewer than four of his string quartets and a small handful of 34 | Autumn 2017

works for solo piano. The season also includes Schubert’s last quartet together with his final triptych of piano sonatas and a group of his Lieder as well as Mozart’s sumptuous Serenade for 13 Winds, Mendelssohn’s irresistibly-youthful Octet for strings and Schumann’s Dichterliebe plus one of his late piano trios. ‘Some of the programmes range farther afield. There is, for instance, a healthy sprinkling of music by the Hungarian contingent: Bartók’s Fourth Quartet - perhaps the greatest of the half-dozen he composed - and pieces by the two leading Hungarian composers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, György Kurtág and György Ligeti. Other contemporary composers represented include Wolfgang Rihm and Luciano Berio.’ Altogether, there’s so much to discover during the course of the season which gets underway with a song recital by Mark Padmore the celebrated English tenor who has worked with many of the world’s foremost orchestras, recorded a wide and varied repertory with

major labels and won numerous awards and honours. His concert on Saturday, 30th September, 7.30pm, sees him joining forces with the Austrian pianist, Till Fellner, to perform some of Schubert’s most subtle and hauntinglybeautiful songs including ‘Die Sterne’ in which the twinkling of the stars in the piece is suggested in the delicate repeated notes of the piano part and ‘Das Zugenglöcklein where the tolling of a small bell is evoked by a single note chiming throughout. Mr Padmore’s recital concludes with Schumann’s Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Love), the most heart-breaking and tragic of all his songcycles and the best known. The texts for the 16 songs (composed in 1840) come from the Lyrisches Intermezzo of Heinrich Heine, written 1822-23 and published as part of the poet’s Das Buch der Lieder. Following the songcycles of Schubert - Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise - those of Schumann constitute part of the central core of the genre in musical literature Prague-based Pavel Haas Quartet (Sunday, 8th October, 3.00pm) opens an www.finecity.co.uk


Dowland’s lute-song ‘In Darknesse let mee dwell’ and Beethoven’s penultimate sonata, Op.110, with its aria and fugue paying homage to another earlier master, JS Bach, while Haydn’s stormy C minor sonata has a strong claim to be regarded as the first truly great work of its kind in the pianist’s repertoire.

The Gould Piano Trio

exciting programme with Stravinsky’s Concertino pre-echoing The Soldier’s Tale ending with Dvořák’s Quintet in E flat which he wrote in the wake of his famous ‘American’ string quartet during a stay in Iowa. The slow movement contains a melody he intended as a new American national anthem. The central work in the programme, Ravel’s String Quartet in F major, is a lovely piece. It was written in early April 1903 when the composer was 28 and premièred in Paris in March the following year. The structure of the quartet is modelled on that of Claude Debussy’s String Quartet of 1893. Debussy admired Ravel’s piece rather more than did its dedicatee, Ravel’s teacher, Gabriel Fauré. Following later in the month (Saturday, 14th October, 7.30pm) is the Berlin-based Kuss Quartet who’ll play Beethoven’s youthfullyexuberant Quartet in D, Op.18, No.3 and Schubert’s Quartet in G, the last and largest of his string quartets. The final work in the programme, György Kurtág’s Officium Breve, is Kuss String Quartet

described by the composer as a ‘mini-Requiem to departed friends and colleagues’. The Vienna Piano Trio has long championed all three composers featured in their well-planned programme on Saturday, 28th October, 7.30pm, comprising Haydn (Trio in B flat), Wolfgang Rihm (‘Fremde Szene’ No.1) and Schumann (Trio in D minor). The prolific German composer, Wolfgang Rihm, has long been fascinated by the music of Schumann and his series of ‘Fremde Szene’ pieces pay homage to Schumann’s piano trios and, in particular, to the impassioned Trio in D minor while Haydn’s late trios are worthy companion pieces to his great string quartets and they contain a wealth of undiscovered treasures. Imogen Cooper - one of this country’s best-loved pianists - offers an interesting and contrasting programme on Saturday, 18th November, 7.30pm, comprising Thomas Adès’s Darknesse Visible, a piece illuminating John

Three leading players of the younger generation - Alec Frank-Gemmill (horn), Joe Puglia (violin) and Alasdair Beatson (piano) - come together on Sunday, 10th December, 3pm, to play György Ligeti’s Horn Trio, a fascinating piece and a tribute to Brahms’ similarly-scored Horn Trio in E flat, which also forms part of the programme. And just as Brahms’ work contains a melancholy slow movement written in memory of his recently-deceased mother, Ligeti’s piece suitably ends with a desolate lament. Completing the programme are three pieces from Schumann’s Fünf Stücke im Volkston and a further piece by Brahms: Scherzo in C minor for violin and piano. The long-established Gould Piano Trio offers a wonderful weekend of music-making in January playing the complete trios of Beethoven over a series of three concerts: Saturday 20th (7.30pm) and Sunday 21st (11.30am / 3.00pm). The three piano trios Op.1 marked Beethoven’s official début as a composer and they show his youthful style at its wittiest and most energetic while the composer’s C minor trio, his last work, is as dramatic as they come. Among the trios of the composer’s high-maturity period are such famous works as the Ghost and the Archduke - the latter-named perhaps the grandest and greatest of them all. French-based quartet, Quatuor Ébène (Saturday, 27th January, 7.30pm) - one of the most versatile ensembles of its kind performing today - will contrast Beethoven’s witty quartet, Op.18, No.2, with the more dramatic world of the second in his triptych of ‘Razumovsky’ quartets, Op.59. This welcoming programme also offers Bartók’s magisterial Fourth Quartet which shows the composer’s idiosyncratic quartet writing at its most compelling. Italian pianist, Francesco Piemontesi (Saturday, 10th February, 7.30pm) - a former BBC New Generation Artist - is particularly admired for his sensitive interpretations of Mozart and Schubert. In his concert for NNCM, he’ll treat the audience to Schubert’s last three sonatas, composed in September 1828, just a few weeks before his death at the age of 31. Each sonata is very different in character. For instance, the C minor is dark and dramatic, the A major radiant and lyrical and the B flat major, serene and valedictory.

www.finecity.co.uk

2017 Autumn | 35


FineArts

Vienna Piano Trio

Members of the Haffner Ensemble are well known as chamber musicians, soloists and principals in the Britten Sinfonia and in their programme on Sunday, 18th February, 3.00pm, the music ranges from the lone oboe of Berio’s ‘Sequenza VII’, written for the Swiss player, Heinz Holliger, to the most richly scored of all Mozart’s wind serenades - Serenade for 13 Winds in B flat - while Dvořák’s Op.44 (Serenade in D minor) is in the same tradition as the Mozart work but tinged with the nationalistic mood of the Slavonic Dances he began to write shortly afterwards. The programme, however, opens with Beethoven’s Rondino in E flat, one of many pieces he composed for the court of Maximilian Franz, Elector of Cologne. Born in 1995, the Turkish-American pianist/ harpsichordist, Tolga Atalay Ün, was selected last year as a scholar to the ‘Young Musicians on World Stage’ project. He’ll include in his concert on Saturday, 17th March, 7.30pm, Berg’s romantically-inclined Sonata 36 | Autumn 2017

Op.1, written during his period of study with Schoenberg and the Op.1 Sonata in C by Brahms, a youthful work on a grander scale paying tribute to Beethoven’s monumental Hammerklavier sonata. Nearly forty years later, Brahms composed Three Intermezzi, a series of short, intimate piano pieces which were, he said, ‘the cradle songs of my suffering’ and these pieces promise one of the highlights of the programme which also includes Mozart’s Variations on ‘Salve tu Domine’ and Debussy’s Images Book I. The final concert of the season (Saturday, 21st April, 7.30pm) falls to the Elias Quartet who’ll be joined by the Navarra Quartet in Mendelssohn’s irrepressibly exuberant Octet, one of musical history’s greatest miracles and a perfectly-achieved and highly-original work composed by a boy of sixteen. The programme is completed by Beethoven’s Quartet in F minor (the ‘Serioso’) and Smetana’s wonderful and inspiring autobiographical work - Quartet no.1 in E minor (From My Life) - which looks

back to the carefree world of his youth and comes to a climax with a vivid depiction of the tinnitus which afflicted him. All of N&N Chamber Music concerts take place at the John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UH. Box office: Norwich Theatre Royal On-line booking: www. norwichchambermusic.co.uk/tickets Any further information concerning N&N Chamber Music, please log onto info@norwichchambermusic.co.uk

feature by:

Tony Cooper

Writer tc@tony-cooper.co.uk

www.finecity.co.uk


www.finecity.co.uk

2017 Autumn | 37


FineArts

Strangers & Others visit Norwich on UK premiere tour Be alone and together simultaneously as you look, touch, assume and judge with fellow audience members Strangers & Others is a new immersive piece from award winning maverick performers and choreographers H2 DANCE. The groundbreaking show visits Norwich Ar ts Centre on 24 October with performances at 3pm, 5pm & 7:45pm, as par t of a UK tour. This is a playful performance without performers. Instead the audience are the protagonists in a show that asks how can we come together to co-exist and create understanding and empathy between social groups and cultures? At a time when global events seem to lead to increasingly fractured 38 | Autumn 2017

and isolationist societies, community and integration seem more important than ever. The audience are invited to don headphones to receive live instructions from H2 DANCE’s Hanna Gillgren and Heidi Rustgaard. The pair lead them through a series of choreographed meetings with permission to look, touch, assume and judge – and the trademark humour inherent in most of the company’s work is never far away. Each performance will be different as, alone in their own headphone-controlled world yet moving within a group of strangers, each

individual is free to choose how to respond. Witnessed only by the choreographers, appearance, physicality and behaviour will be their sole guides as they cooperate in silence. As the audience moves around they will create a constantly changing physical landscape of shapes and patterns as they come together or shift apart. Immersed in light and sound, this is an experience of being alone and together at the same time. Who takes responsibility and when do actions have consequences? ‘We wanted to explore socialisation, tolerance, autonomy and exposure and freedom of choice’ said Heidi. ‘To see how a group of strangers follow the social codes and play their par t’ added Hanna. www.finecity.co.uk


‘The disconnect is funny, sometimes brutal, and always entertaining’ The Guardian on H2DANCE’S Duet Strangers & Others is itself the result of international cooperation and collaboration. With the creation process spread across Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany and London this is a truly pan European piece. H2 DANCE were founded in 1999 by choreographer/performer duo Hanna Gillgren (Sweden) and Heidi Rustgaard (Norway). Together they produce provocative performance work that addresses political issues with humour and emotion. The company works in collaboration with interdisciplinary teams and local communities to create evocative performances that challenge and respond to the audience. Hanna and Heidi have co-created eight dance pieces, eleven touring shows, two dance films and several successful high quality participatory dance projects in the UK over the last 16 years. www.finecity.co.uk

Hanna Gillgren and Heidi Rustgaard are available for interview. Contact Steve Forster steve@sfppr.co.uk 01603 661459 for availabilities, review tickets etc. Strangers & Others is funded by Arts Council England, Arts Council Norway, Nordic Culture Fund, Region Värmland Sweden, Dance4 Nottingham and supported via South East Dance and Jerwood Charitable Foundation Dramaturg in Residence programme. It is coproduced by Dance4 and Metal UK, Nordic House Iceland, Region Värmland and Dansens Hus Sweden, Bergen Dansesenter and Liikelaituri Finland.

Music composition: Sylvia Hallett Lighting design: Andy Hammond Producer: Natalie Richardson for Konzept Arts & Ideas Norwich listings info:

Strangers and Others is a 60 minute participative performance installation suitable for everyone aged 14+. It involves movement & physical contact.

Tuesday 24 October 3pm, 5pm & 7:30pm Norwich Arts Centre, 51 St Benedicts Street, Norwich NR2 4PG Tickets £ Pay What You Can 01603 660352 www.norwichartscentre.co.uk

Choreography and direction: Hanna Gillgren and Heidi Rustgaard Dramaturgy: Martin Hargreaves

Strangers & Others New immersive & participatory piece from H2 Dance looking at how we respond to, react to and judge strangers

‘Their mix of deadpan laughs and pathos is a winner.’ Time Out on H2DANCE’S Duet 2017 Autumn | 39


FineArts

Jon Boden Folk hero, Jon Boden, is heading to Norwich for a gig at OPEN - and a gig not to be missed!

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est known as the lead singer of the English contemporary folk-band, Bellowhead, Jon Boden is moving on and rekindling his solo career after spending twelve glorious years with the band and can be seen in Norwich at OPEN, Bank Plain, on Wednesday 8th November (7pm). With a repertoire comprising traditional dance tunes, folk-songs and shanties, Bellowhead (on the road from 2004 to 2016) chalked up a quarter of a million album sales, seven singles on the Radio 2 playlist and sold out hundreds of venues across the country including London’s famed Royal Albert Hall. Sadly, the curtain came down upon their act in May of last year. Jon launched his solo career shortly after. A supremely-skilled and talented performer, plus an electrifying multi-instrumentalist, he appeared solo to great acclaim at last year’s Cambridge Folk Festival and this year became the festival’s first-ever guest curator. Just as active in the recording studio as appearing live, Jon’s solo career actually stretches back to 2006 with the release of his album Painted Lady re-released with new bonus tracks in October of last year marking the album’s tenth anniversary. Jon’s new solo album Afterglow - released in 40 | Autumn 2017

October by Hudson Records - is his first studio release since Bellowhead and follows on from his 2009 solo concept-album Songs From The Floodplain which led him to be named ‘Folk Singer Of The Year’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Speaking about the album, Jon had this to say: ‘Like my previous album Songs From The Floodplain, Afterglow imagines a near-future world where the luxuries and comfort of 21st-century life have become scarce and a harder, simpler existence now prevails. The scenario of Afterglow - which, by the way, I had a wonderful time recording with the help of my band The Remnant Kings and Andy Bell in the producer’s chair - focuses on a couple who are trying to find each other in the middle of a bonfire-night street carnival in a crumbling, derelict city.’ Now touring as a solo artist and also with his band The Remnant Kings, Jon - who’s widely respected as an interpreter and champion of traditional songs but with a repertoire extending far beyond the boundaries of the traditional folk genre - will perform in both incarnations. His solo show incorporates elements from the wide creative span of his career to date ranging from the self-penned pop-songs of Painted Lady to the funked-up power-pop

arrangements of folk-songs that characterised Bellowhead and Spiers & Boden to the post-Apocalyptic song-world of Songs From The Floodplain to unaccompanied ballads as featured on his mammoth ‘A Folk Song A Day Project’ in which he recorded and released 365 folk-songs in one calendar year spanning 2010 and 201, and showcases his instrumental talents on fiddle, guitar and concertina as well as his trademark ‘stomp box’ which he and John Spiers introduced to the world of traditional music in 2001. The Guardian said that Jon ‘was a standout performer of his generation’ while Americana UK commented that ‘seeing him solo is certainly something not to be missed … a variety of instrumentation and song … the dramatic gestures of a rock concert … not something you often get from a solo folk performer.’ Praise, indeed! Jon Boden’s solo gig in Norwich falls on Wednesday 8th November (7pm) at OPEN, Bank Plain. Tickets £21.50 Box office 01603 763111. Alternatively, one can catch him with The Remnant Kings at the Haverhill Arts Centre, Suffolk, on Monday 20th November (8pm). Tickets £20.50 - box office 01440 714140. www.finecity.co.uk


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FineArts

Would you like to sing in a spectacular city centre winter concert? Anyone can join internationally renowned Norfolk choir and sing about dreaming & waking in the city

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he latest call is out for anyone who would like to sing with an internationally renowned Norfolk choir in a unique winter concert to be staged in January 2018 at various locations around Norwichcity centre. ‘Travels in Light’ will be the final part of a trilogy of pieces about sleep, dreaming and waking (and especially the bits in between) from the Voice Project Choir. Inspired by a quote from the painter Paul Nash ‘The divisions we may hold between the waking world and that of the dream are not there; they are porous; in a word, they are not there’. This concert, at one of the darkest times of year, will focus on dreaming and waking. The Choir’s co-director Jonathan Baker said ‘We’ve been developing the trilogy for about three years although the original idea came a while before that. As we’ve gone along, ideas for parts two and three have developed from the previous show so we feels it is very much three parts of one whole’. The Voice Project Choir is totally open access with no previous experience or specialist knowledge needed. There are no auditions and everything is taught by ear with no need to read music. Anyone interested should simply attend the no obligation taster session on 10 October or the first rehearsal on October 17. ‘We don’t have a permanent choir’ said Jonathan’s co-director Sian Croose ‘some people sign up for every project and some join for one and return at a later date. I think that flexibility helps keep everything fresh’. The taster session is an opportunity to meet the Directors, sing some of the music, and hear about plans for the January performance of Travels In Light. The idea is to stage the concert as a promenade event taking in various locations and buildings in Norwich city centre. The Voice Project was set up in 2008 as an educational education and performance organisation by music professionals Sian Croose and Jonathan Baker. As well as the

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French TV and had been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The choir is one of the best known in the East of England and they will be taking their show The Arms of Sleep to next year’s Brighton International Festival. choir they run workshops designed to build vocal confidence and explore a wide variety of uplifting and inspiring vocal music. Their unique vision of what a community choir can be has been taken to international festivals in mainland Europe, appeared on prime time

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For more information on the taster session, to book and for information on all Voice Project activities visit www.voiceproject.co.uk or contact info@voiceproject.co.uk Jonathan Baker and Sian Croose are available for interview, contact Steve Forster steve@

sfppr.co.uk 01603 661459 Listings info: Tuesday 10h October 7.30pm The Voice Project Choir Taster session No obligation taster session to try your hand (and voice). Everyone welcome, no experience or special ability needed. Friends Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane, Norwich NR2 1EW 01603 624854 www.voiceproject.co.uk

2017 Autumn | 43


An American in Paris Tony Cooper relishes An American in Paris jumping from the Big Screen to the Big Stage and packing them in at London’s well-appointed Dominion Theatre in Tottenham Court Road

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ased on the Oscar Award-winning MGM movie starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron and featuring the music/libretto of those great songwriting brothers, George and Ira Gershwin, An American in Paris, dating from 1951, has successfully jumped from the Big Screen to the Big Stage as did that other great MGM blockbuster, Singin’ in the Rain, which hit Broadway - the Great White Way - a year later.

opportunities as to the style and fashion he wanted the show to look.

Winning six Oscars, An American in Paris had so much going for it not least by the famous Ballet - a glorious 17-minute piece of intense brilliant dancing - which became one of the most famous and most talked about dance sequences in the history of the Hollywood musical. Surprisingly, though, it took 63 years before a theatrical version of American would find its way to the stage.

Appropriately, its première took place in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet in December 2014, a theatre renowned for staging Broadway musicals and favoured, too, for opera and ballet. Incidentally, the management of the Châtelet - dating from the 19th century and one of my favourite theatres in the French capital - has just appointed their first female artistic director, British-born Ruth Mackenzie, who comes from the Holland Festival, the biggest international performing arts festival in the Netherlands held in Amsterdam. But before taking up her new post she was general director of Scottish Opera and also artistic director of the London 2012 Festival, the official cultural programme of the 2012 Olympics.

But unlike the stage version of Singin’ - which covered practically frame-for-frame the movie’s scenario - An American in Paris drifted slightly and in doing so offered the director/ choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon, endless

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He succeeded hands down in his artistic endeavours but Wheeldon - who crafted his dancing skills and technique at The Royal Ballet School and, indeed, worked for The Royal Ballet in the early Nineties - is a five-star professional as far as I’m concerned and his staging of An American in Paris is most certainly a five-star show.

American playwright, Craig Lucas, born in 1951 the same year that the movie of An American in Paris hit the screen, came up with a new book that spiced up the story no end but, really, it’s the fabulous dance routines and memorable songs that stamp this musical as one of the best of its time. Storming the French capital and later Broadway, the legendary home of the Big Musical, Wheeldon’s colourful and outstanding production played the Palace Theater where it collected four Tony Awards including, not surprisingly, Best Choreography. And the Palace, I must say, is another theatre I harbour fond memories of as it was at this venue that I first saw La Cage aux Folles in the early Eighties. Recently, I attended a good touring production of this fine show at Norwich Theatre Royal, a theatre, too, that’s renowned for hosting top touring productions of famous West End musicals. However, the scenario of American is romantic as it comes and surrounds Jerry, a young exAmerican GI finding his feet in Civvy Street

2017 Autumn | 45


after the Second World War, struggling as an artist based in Montmartre, the famous artists’ colony in Paris. By sheer chance he meets Lise, a young and attractive French ballerina, but, as in all good romantic stories, she’s got another and is headover-heels in love with Henri Baurel, a Parisian night-club singer, whose wealthy parents played by Julian Forsyth and Jane Asher - saved her from the Nazis. In this show (and at the age of 70) Ms Asher is making her West End musical début. And what a début! Her performance was radiant, refreshing and totally absorbing while Zoé Rainey was equally radiant in her role as the rich (but lonely) American society heiress, Milo Davenport, who finds that money cannot buy love. Highly-trained balletdancers took the leading roles: Robert Fairchild (a New York City Ballet Principal) starred as Jerry Mulligan (now former Matthew Bourne dancer, Ashley Day, has just taken over the role) and Leanne Cope (a Royal Ballet First Artist) as Lise Dassin. They made a lovely couple. A stunning pair, in fact! Their performance jumped from the stage to the auditorium with consummate ease while their vocal technique hit the right note! And Ms Cope’s pointework - a technique designed to make female dancers appear weightless and sylphlike - proved the worth of her strict Royal Ballet training. She was fantastic! Incidentally, both dancers made their Broadway débuts in these roles. But the casting was spot on with fine support coming from Jerry’s buddies. Haydn Oakley (who recently appeared in Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum) took the role of 46 | Autumn 2017

Henri Baurel and David Seadon-Young (Leon Czolgosz in Sondheim’s Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory) appeared as the young Jewish composer, Adam Hochberg. He put in a memorable performance with Zoé Rainey (Milo Davenport) in ‘But Not For Me’ originally written for the

Gershwin brothers’ musical, Girl Crazy, in 1930. In fact, this production lovingly hosted several numbers from the Gershwin catalogue not used in the movie. After the show’s jazz-influenced opening number, Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra, Jerry, Henri and Adam, launched into that big production number full of fizz, rhythm and showbiz panache, ‘I Got Rhythm’, another number borrowed from Girl Crazy. What a start! What a routine! They blitzed the stage in true Broadway style joined by members of a fine and well-drilled chorus to audience glee and utter amazement while the 13-piece orchestra, under the baton of John Rigby, excelled themselves and played Gershwin’s unforgettable, jazzy, entertaining and toe-tapping score with verve, swing, and above all, true Broadway grit. Concluding this fantastic and entertaining show was a sensitive and nostalgic rendering of that sweet, enchanting, wonderful song, ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’. No, no they can’t! But, let’s face it, An American in Paris is full of memorable and well-loved songs such as ‘I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise’, ‘But Not for Me’, ‘’S Wonderful’, ‘The Man I Love’ and ‘Love is Here to Stay’. The creative team headed by the famed designer, Bob Crowley (who won Best Scenic Design of a Musical and Best Costume Design of a Musical in 2007 for Mary Poppins) did a marvellous job. Not only was he responsible for the costumes but responsible for the set, too, while 59 Productions created and duly delivered an awe-inspiring series of well-constructed video sequences that put the shine on an already polished and well-produced show. For instance, Paris was magically portrayed by a series of line-drawings in the form of a sketchbook conjuring up striking images of the city’s landmark buildings which were projected on to large multiple screens while simple mobile vertical-constructed props, punctuating Paris’ traditional and well-loved street scene, were spun here, there and everywhere with dancers flooding the stage in a state of nervous excitement in the opening scene. Here they were seen celebrating their newfound freedom from a life of drabness and austerity of living under an occupied force strongly and emotionally portrayed by a swastika banner morphing into the Tricolore, the French national flag. Within seconds of this bold statement being flashed in all its glory across the stage, the show magically came to life by an artist’s impression of Paris awash with vibrant colours www.finecity.co.uk


reminiscent of the works of Claude Monet, one of the founders of French Impressionism. The City of Light was alive and well once more and basking in the joys of life. The Eiffel Tower was back in business, too. Oh la la! In fact, the artists’ broad palette of Paris was self-evident throughout this brilliant and colourful show. For instance, a mere touch of shimmering light on still water - used effectively by Monet in his well-loved paintings of waterlilies - caught one’s eye immediately while the varying scenes surrounding the bustling and crowded boulevards of Paris echoed Auguste Renoir’s expressively-rich brushstroke style of painting comprising bright, bold and basic colours emphasising the sweep of the painter’s arm. Really, there was so much going on that you’ll want to see the show again. And that’s what I’m planning to do.

What a start! What a routine! They blitzed the stage in true Broadway style

One last thought! If An American in Paris topped the charts receiving five-star reviews from all and sundry, I should like to give the production the same amount of stars plus an added bonus star. It deserves it every step of the way. An American in Paris: Booking to 27th January 2018 Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7AQ Box office: 0845 200 7982 Official UK website: AnAmericanInParisTheMusical.co.uk Twitter: twitter.com/ AmericanParisUK @AmericanParisUK Get the best out of your day and travel to London by train: Greater Anglia run regular services every half hour from Norwich to London Liverpool Street calling at stations en route. For the return journey the last two trains leave Liverpool Street at 22.30 and 23.30 and these trains also serve Ipswich for those travelling back to Suffolk. For more information and best-value fares offered by Greater Anglia, please log on to www.greateranglia.co.uk

feature by:

Tony Cooper

Writer tc@tony-cooper.co.uk

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FineArts

Norwich Philharmonic

New 2017/18 Norwich Phil season at St Andrew’s Hall

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he brochure for this season’s concerts by the Norwich Philharmonic Society at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, sponsored by Hansells, is full of images of clouds and heavenly skies. It’s a striking motif that reflects the inspiration for a little-known masterpiece by Gustav Holst, Mahler’s ‘vision of the hereafter’, his 9th Symphony, and Brahms’ divine ‘Song of Destiny’ - just three highlights from a whole season of uplifting and inspirational music that promises to move audiences for the Phil’s upcoming series of 5 concerts from November to March. Holst’s rarely heard The Cloud Messenger, the most neglected of his

large scale choral works and inspired by his fascination with Sanskrit literature, is the main work in the first concert on 4th November. The Norwich Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra under the baton of David Dunnett are joined by mezzo soprano soloist Deborah Miles-Johnson. In the first half, Matthew Andrews conducts the orchestra in the First Symphony of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, an early work, written in the same year as his popular Finlandia. On 9th December, following performances in recent years of the 1st, 2nd, 5th and - perhaps most memorably - 8th symphonies, the Phil continues its Mahler cycle with the heartwrenching 9th Symphony, the ailing composer’s last complete symphony, described by Alban Berg as ‘a vision of the hereafter’.

Judging by the sell-outs of the Phil’s previous Mahler performances, fans of the composer will want to book early to ensure they get a ticket for what promises to be a very special musical experience. Always a sell-out, the Phil Chorus gives its hugely popular Family Christmas Concert on 19th December when they are joined by special guests the Cawston Band. Then in the New Year, for the Phil’s second purely orchestral concert on 3rd February, the outstanding young British pianist Alexander Ullman is soloist in Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto, perhaps the most physically demanding in the repertoire. The concert also includes the wartime 3rd Symphony of Czech composer, Bohuslav Martinu, another first for the Phil and a particular favourite of conductor Matthew Andrews. The sparkling Overture Colas Breugnon from a largely forgotten opera by the Russian composer Kabalevesky completes the programme. For the final concert of the season on 17th March, the Phil Chorus then return to more familiar territory for two of the greatest choral works of the 19th century - Brahms’ beautiful Song of Destiny and Mendelssohn’s uplifting SymphonyCantata Lobgesang or ‘Hymn of Praise’, otherwise known as his 2nd Symphony. David Dunnett conducts the Norwich Philharmonic

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Orchestra and Chorus with soloists Ruth Holton, soprano, and Christopher Steele, tenor. Season tickets are available for the four main concerts of the Phil season, offering four concerts for the price of three and guaranteeing a seat at every concert (except the Family Christmas concert). Both season tickets (priced £33-£51) and individual concert tickets (priced £11- £17, under 26s £7), are available from St. George’s Music Shop, 17-19 St. George’s Street, Norwich

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www.stgeorgesmusic.co.uk 01603 626414 or via the Norwich Phil website: www.norwichphil.org.uk

hil

NORWICH

NORWICH PHILHARMONIC

ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS

The Norwich Philharmonic Society is a registered charity No.264425

AT ST ANDREW’S HALL NORWICH

BOX OFFICE

www.norwichphil.ticketsource.co.uk www.stgeorgesmusic.co.uk 01603 626414 INFO www.norwichphil.org.uk

SEASON SPONSORS

SATURDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2017 7.30pm SIBELIUS Symphony No.1 HOLST The Cloud Messenger Deborah Miles-Johnson mezzo-soprano

SATURDAY 9 DECEMBER 2017 7.30pm MAHLER Symphony No.9 TUESDAY 19 DECEMBER 2017 7.30pm The Phil’s Family Christmas SATURDAY 3 FEBRUARY 2018 7.30pm KABALEVSKY Overture ‘Colas Breugnon’ RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No.3 MARTINU Symphony No.3 Alexander Ullman piano

SATURDAY 17 MARCH 2018 7.30pm BRAHMS Schicksalslied (‘Song of Destiny’) MENDELSSOHN Lobgesang (‘Hymn of Praise’) Ruth Holton soprano • Christopher Steele tenor

MUSIC AWARD WINNER

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2017 Autumn | 49


FineArts

From Shakespeare to Tolkien via Japan! Norwich Puppet Theatre’s Autumn season is packed with fantastic theatre for adult audiences.

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s well as their usual programme of high quality children’s theatre, this season Norwich Puppet Theatre plays host to an array of British and International puppetry talent with shows designed for adult audiences. Kicking off the international offer is Shakespeare vs Moliere by Indigo Moon Theatre and Compagnie Via Cane who visit Norwich on Friday 10 November. Using table-top puppetry, object manipulation, music and projection, this show imagines what the two great playwrights would have to say about the current migrant crisis. Performed in both English and French, it showcases puppetry’s ability to explore complex issues and darker themes. There will be an afternoon performance for school

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groups, including a discussion after the show, followed by a 7.30pm public performance. Next, is the return of Puppet State Theatre, who last amazed Norwich audiences with their show The Man Who Planted Trees. Their current production is an adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s short story Leaf by Niggle, described as a minimasterpiece. Often seen as allegory for the author’s own life, Leaf was written in 1939 whilst Tolkien was despairing of ever bringing his great work, The Lord of the Rings, to a conclusion. One morning he woke up with Leaf by Niggle complete in his mind and wrote it down. Whilst this play is devoid of orc’s and wizards, Leaf is instead the story of an unsuccessful painter who becomes obsessed with one particular painting which keeps getting bigger and bigger. There is

just one chance to catch this fascinating story, on Wednesday 15 November at 7.30pm, so book early to save disappointment. Perhaps the highlight of the season is a visit from the Masuda String Puppeteers Association from Shimane Prefecture, Japan on Saturday 18 November. Believed to be the only group left performing in this traditional style of Edo string puppetry, the Masuda Masters will be performing extracts from traditional Japanese stories. There will be a 2.30pm family friendly performance for ages 4+, followed by an extended 7.30pm performance for older audiences which will contain extra displays of the Masters’ skill, such as a puppet playing a musical instrument and climbing a ladder. The puppets themselves are beautiful, protected

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artefacts and with up to 18 strings it’s no surprise that puppeteers must train for at least 5 years to become a Master. The next day there is an opportunity to learn from these skilled performers in a workshop, where the Masters will share the secrets of using a Japanese handling board and manipulating these incredible puppets with subtlety. If something a little sillier is more your thing, Norwich Puppet Theatre are also offering a Clowning and Improvisation workshop with contemporary circus and outdoor theatre company Dizzy O’Dare on Saturday 11 November. This workshop will encourage participants to explore how to say ‘yes!’ to the most ridiculous situations and take pleasure in where they lead. However, the grown-up puppet entertainment doesn’t stop there. Keep an eye out for Norwich Puppet Theatre’s manipulate festival next January - February, when there will be another burst of fascinating and diverse adult puppetry and workshops on offer. Visit www.puppettheatre.co.uk or phone the box office on 01603 629921 for more information

The Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Shimane Japan

Masuda String Puppets Sat 18 November 2.30pm Family Show 7.30pm Evening Show Sun 19 November 10am-3pm Workshop

益 田 糸 操 り 人 形

島 根 県 無 形 民 俗 文 化

Supported by

www.puppettheatre.co.uk | 01603 629921 Norwich Puppet Theatre, St James, Whitefriars, Norwich NR3 1TN | Reg. Charity 271041

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@norwich_puppet 2017 Autumn | 51


FineArts

Glyndebourne

The Glyndebourne Tour arrives in Norwich in November presenting a couple of worldfamous operas plus a brand-new work that has taken the opera world by storm. Tony Cooper reports

Act II scene. Centre: Hamlet (Allan Clayton) and Laertes (David Butt Philip)

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n the road again for its 49th year, the Glyndebourne Tour - founded in 1968 to act as a showcase for emerging artists and to enable Glyndebourne to share its work with bigger audiences - calls at Norwich Theatre Royal in November offering two ‘giants’ of the operatic repertoire - Mozart’s richly-flavoured Così fan tutte and Rossini’s riotous and popular comedy Il Barbiere di Siviglia - plus a new production of Hamlet by the Australianborn composer, Brett Dean, that has been tremendously received by audiences and critics alike. Not to be missed, it receives a single performance on Friday 17th November (7.15pm).

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Raised and educated in Brisbane, Dean - whose compositional style is more often than not punctuated by dynamic soundscapes while treating single instrumental parts with complex rhythms often enriched with objects from everyday life - started on the violin at the tender age of eight and later took to the viola. Rising through the ranks he eventually landed a job as a violist with one of the world’s greatest orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic, holding this position from 1985 to 1999. But in 2000 he decided to fly away to pursue a career as a freelance artist and returned to Australia where his many appointments have included curating classical-music programmes

for the Sydney Festival in 2005 and the Melbourne Festival (2009). Another aspect of Dean’s compositional style is to the fact that he engages and shapes musical extremes ranging from harsh explosions to inaudibility. And modern-playing techniques are just as characteristic for his style as an elaborate percussion scoring. Dean turned to composing in 1988 initially focusing on experimental film and radio projects as well as improvisational performance but over the years he has successfully created numerous compositions ranging from orchestral to chamber music as well as www.finecity.co.uk


All photos: Richard Hubert Smith

concerti scored for several solo instruments. For instance, he found great success with Carlo, written for strings, sample and tape, inspired by the music of Carlo Gesualdo, the wellrespected Italian Renaissance composer. Further success came Dean’s way when Polysomnography for wind quintet and piano received its world première at the Lucerne Festival in September 2008. And just a month later Sir Simon Rattle conducted the first performance of his orchestral song-cycle, Songs of Joy, in Philadelphia. However, Dean’s first foray into opera came with Bliss - premièred by Opera Australia in www.finecity.co.uk

2010 - based on the novel by Peter Carey with the scenario surrounding Brisbane in the 1980s while Hamlet premièred to blistering success at this year’s Glyndebourne Festival. As it happens, it is only Dean’s second opera and, surprisingly, Glyndebourne’s first new commission in nearly a decade. Success follows success, of course, and Dean found it again with a couple of stunning works: The Last Days of Socrates - a work for bass-baritone, choir and orchestra - premièred in April 2013 by the Berlin Philharmonic in a co-commission by the Rundfunkchor Berlin, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Melbourne Symphony

Orchestra and Electric Prelude premièred at the BBC Proms by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo in August 2014. But in respect of Hamlet - directed by fellow Australian, Neil Armfield - Dean has hit the jackpot and his work (and name) has now reached a wider public while the libretto by Canadian-born librettist, Matthew Jocelyn, breathes new life into Shakespeare’s epic tragedy consisting only of words and phrases written by (or attributed) to Shakespeare. The words are all by Shakespeare but the librettist has played a few tricks by placing them in a different order. 2017 Autumn | 53


FineArts Horatio (Jacques Imbrailo), Gravedigger (John Tomlinson) and Hamlet (Allan Clayton

Hamlet (Allan Clayton)

To give an example, David Butt Philip (who played Laertes at the Glyndebourne Festival) is playing Hamlet on the Tour performing opposite the International Opera Awardnominated British soprano, Jennifer France, as Ophelia. But it’s the First Player (played by Brian Bannatyne-Scott - also undertaking the roles of Ghost of Old Hamlet and Gravedigger) who gets to say that prophetic and well-known phrase: ‘To be or not to be.’ Confusing! Maybe? But, nonetheless, interesting. The cast of Hamlet is completed by such wonderful and experienced singers as William Dazeley (Claudius), Rupert Charlesworth (Laertes), Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts (Polonius), Gavan Ring (Horatio), Louise Winter (Gertrude), Rupert Enticknap (Rosencrantz), James Hall (Guildenstern), John Mackenzie-Lavansch (Marcellus / Player IV / Lucianus), John Findon (Player II) and Anthony Osborne (Player III).

Ghost of Old Hamlet (John Toml inson), Hamlet (Allan Clayton) and Gertrude (Sarah Connolly)

Gertrude (Sarah Connolly)

This is what the critics said: ‘A magnificent new opera. Don’t miss it.’ The Times ‘Glyndebourne’s latest commission is unmissable. This is the operatic event of the year.’ The Sunday Times ‘Brilliant music, rapturously received.’ The Daily Telegraph And here’s what an audience member glowingly said: ‘Utterly electrifying, one of the very best things I’ve seen at Glyndebourne in 25 years of regular attendance.’ Performance schedule - Così fan tutte: Tuesday 14th November (7.15pm) and Thursday 16th (2.00pm); Il Barbiere Di Siviglia: Wednesday 15th and Saturday 18th (7.15pm); Hamlet: Friday 17th (7.15pm). Ticket price range: £8 to £55. Box office: 01603 630 000. Discounts for Friends, Under 18s and Groups plus Saver Scheme available. Pre54 | Autumn 2017

Act I scene. Front: Player 1 (John Tomlinson). Back, left to right: Gertrude (Sarah Connolly), Claudius (Rod Gilfry), Hamlet (Allan Clayton), Polonius (Kim Begley) and Ophelia (Barbara Hannigan)

performance talks take place in the Town Close Room (6.15 to 6.45pm) on Tuesday (14th November), Wednesday (15th) and Friday (17th). Remember to order your free tickets from the box office when booking. On-line booking: www. theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk More info about the Tour, please visit glyndebourne.com/tour2017

feature by:

Tony Cooper

Writer tc@tony-cooper.co.uk

Gertrude (Sarah Connolly) and Ophelia (Barbara Hannigan)

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Norwich Beer Festival th Celebrates its 40 Year!

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orwich and Norfolk CAMRA are getting ready to celebrate the 40th year of the Norwich Beer Festival, where a variety of Real ales from Britain’s independent brewers will be on sale, along with ciders, perries, wines, bottled and draught beers. Special ales will be launched to mark the occasion and home brewers have been invited to take part.

Preparations are well under way for the festival, which will begin on the Monday 23th October, and will run until Saturday 28th October, with a few festival specials to celebrate the 40th year. The Norwich Beer Festival takes place in the medieval halls, known as St Andrews and Blackfriars Halls. The Halls are a friary complex dating back to the 13th century, rebuilt in 1470 and Grade 1 listed. The friary survived the reformation as it was bought by the City Corporation for public use - an inspired and far-sighted decision! The 40th Norwich Beer Festival offers a nostalgic appeal, with a range of beers served from wooden casks and some of the beers originally ordered for the first beer festival in

1977. Festival organisers have tracked down beers originally brewed for the first beer festival, however, ‘unfortunately not at 1977 prices!’. When asked how the festival has been going from strength to strength, festival organising committee member, Martin Ward, commented ‘We hit the mark and offer something for everyone, a social event with good quality ales, of a variety of styles, excellent entertainment, in a unique venue. It is attended every year by thousands of people and each year people return and bring their colleagues, partners, family and friends.’ Rob Derbridge, Norwich Beer Festival Organiser, explained that 2017 is the 40th Norwich Beer Festival, with the first festival in 1977, the festival then skipped a year in 1978 with the second festival held in 1979. Rob commented that the organisers of that first festival probably had little idea of the success of the festival, currently with over 18,000 door admissions each year. For those who have never experienced the festival, you can expect a vibrant evening with entertainment, games, food and beers. There

is such a wide variety of beers, ciders, world beers and even wine, you can’t fail to find something you like! There are even glutenfree beers. Quieter sessions tend to be at lunchtime and in the early half of the week as the festival builds to the popular Thursday, Friday and Saturday music nights. On the busy weekend nights, visitors can still enjoy a quiet conversation in the marquee, Cloisters and Blackfriars Halls. There is seating in the cloisters and marquee. Opening times and prices, a map of where to find the Halls and a layout plan can all be found on the Norwich CAMRA website. The website also has a guide and will have beer and cider lists nearer to the opening date, so you can plan your visit beforehand. On entrance to the halls visitors may purchase a festival glass and beer cards, as cash is not accepted at the bars, and remaining beer card tokens may be cashed-in at the end of the visit, or donated to charity. The 2017 charity of the Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA Branch is Leeway. Established in 1974, Leeway is an independent charity providing support to adults, young people and children who are experiencing domestic abuse in Norfolk and Waveney. Every year the charity provides specialist support to over 8,000 adults, children and young people. Craig Harmer, Deputy Beer Festival Organiser, explains ‘We have adapted to demands with the addition of a vast selection of ales, ciders and world beers and the introduction of key keg beers in 2016 and the introduction of mead this year’ The festival also benefits from a new fast track entry system which was introduced last year and speeds up entry, reducing queuing and waiting times.

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Ian Stamp, Chairman expressed his thanks to the branch volunteer members and added ‘the festival simply would not run without the dedication of all the volunteers. There is a lot of hard work which goes on behind the scenes, both during and on the run up to the festival, though not without plenty of fun and, of course, beer!’ Ian mentioned that the World Beer Bar has grown and will have a beer from almost every Trappist brewery in the world, with some new and aged Orval. He added that there will also be some aged cask beers at the festival. This year, the festival will be open longer on Saturday 28th October, as there will be no break between the sessions and Saturday admission will be from 12noon until 9pm, with closing time at 9.30pm, with cash entry on the door or free admission with a valid CAMRA membership card and with limited advance tickets. Entrance on Saturday is only £3 all day for non-members. There will be a special treat for home brewers as they will be able to sample winners of the Great Anglian Brew Off. Home brewers from across the region have been given the opportunity to launch their own beer for

the 40th Norwich Beer Festival as part of a competition held prior to the festival with Anglian Craft Brewers in association with CAMRA.

for your festival beer using the voting form in the programme and the results should be announced at the end of the week before the festival finishes on Saturday.

Norwich City pubs will also be ready to host those visiting the festival from afar, with a real ales and ciders, including CAMRA’s 2017 award winners - Kings Head in Magdalen Street, Fat Cat Brewery Tap in Lawson Road and the White Lion in Oak Street.

A varied music line-up will be announced shortly for the 2017 festival and Blackfriars will be a music-free area.

The selection of real ciders and perries has grown year on year, as the appeal for ciders has grown in recent years, with drinkers preferring a wide selection of flavours and styles. This year the festival will offer 80 different varieties, mostly from East Anglia. Over the four decades the festival has evolved from around 20 odd beers served on small tables in Blackfrairs Halls in 1978, where the organisers visited breweries one by one requesting to buy beer for an unknown local festival. Now there are over 220 caskconditioned real ales on sale and the organisers have reached capacity! Festival goers may also vote on their favourite beer in the festival competition. You can vote

Cash admissions will be available on the door at every session. As always, CAMRA members have free entry all week with the presentation of a valid membership card. Free entrance to CAMRA members will also be extended to the week of the Great British Beer Festival Winter. The festival is hosted by Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA in Norwich at the Halls from 20th to 24th February 2018. The February Festival, which offers beers of every season, colour and style, will then stay in Norwich for 2019 before moving to a different CAMRA region and will have music nights on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For more information visit norwichcamra.org.uk. For more information, beer lists and admission times and prices visit norwichcamra.org.uk and see Norwich Beer Festival.

we brew the beer, we cook the food, we show the sport. all you do is

enjoy yourself COACH & HORSES 82 THORPE ROAD NORWICH

The drinking consultants

thecoachthorperoad.co.uk @TheCoachThorpe

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Deepdale Christmas Market

he 9th annual Deepdale Christmas Market will be taking place from the 1st until the 3rd December, in the lovely village of Burnham Deepdale. Visitors to the market can enjoy ‘Not on the high street’ presents, decorations, food and drink in three large marquees around the Dalegate Market site, in the barn of Deepdale Backpackers & Camping, and amongst the pews in St Mary’s Church. With free entry and car-parking, there is no reason not to visit the North Norfolk Coast this Winter, when over 120 local artisans and producers gather for one of East Anglia’s best seasonal markets.

Look out for tasty treats, wreaths, cheese, penguin pictures, soaps, homewares, biscuits, chutneys, jewellery, accessories, toys, books, salamis, tea, 58 | Autumn 2017

beer, cordials, glass, bags, photographs ... Something for every budget, every present list, and every taste. Alongside these wonderful Christmas delights, there will be of course, food. The Deepdale Cafe, pizzas, pies, crepes, duck wraps, mulled wine, hot chocolate, burgers, real ales, sloe gin, Christmas punch, brownies ... You definitely won’t go hungry or thirsty, plenty of places to refuel to continue with the Christmas shopping. As always, entrance is free to the event, so no emptying your pockets before the shopping begins. Also as usual, there is free car parking in the farm yard of Deepdale Farm and in a grass field on Dalegate Lane as well as the Coasthopper bus dropping off right outside the door. www.finecity.co.uk


Deepdale Christmas Market is open from 10am to 5pm on all three days - Friday 1st, Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd December. The entertainment programme will announced shortly, but many of the favourites who attended last year will be back. You can also find further information on the variety of stalls on the Deepdale Christmas Market website: www.deepdalechristmasmarket.co.uk So mark the 1st, 2nd & 3rd December in your diary and we’ll see you in Burnham Deepdale for the start of the festive season. www.finecity.co.uk

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7 Dalegate Market, Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk PE31 8FB 01485 211111

www.gonecrabbing.co.uk www.finecity.co.uk

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FineEvents A delicious accompaniment for your cold buffet or Ploughman’s... DRIVER’S FOODS , established in 1906! See their beautiful jars of pickled onions, beetroots, red cabbage, gherkins and eggs suitable for any larder cupboard. Pretty, perfect stocking fillers by TOFTLY TREATS – gorgeous ribbon tied jars of handmade chocolate buttons with a twist and winter wedding favours! Experience the delicious (Great Taste Award 2016), real 100% Pure Maple Syrup produced in Canada for a truly authentic taste, great gift packaging too from PURE MAPLE CO .

FESTIVE GIFT FAIR AT THE NEC

16-19 NOVEMBER 2017

Christmas is around the corner! More to see, try, touch, taste, enjoy and buy at The Festive Gift Fair

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hristmas means gifts for your loved ones, hanging decorations on the tree, excitement on children’s faces, party games, movies by the fire and a table fit for a festive feast…! All of which can be found as this fabulous Christmas Shopping Fair returns to the NEC, 1619 NOVEMBER, with loads of NEW AND EXCITING stalls. Often the most time-consuming part is finding clever presents. There’s no need to be stuck for ideas, start with a trip to THE FESTIVE GIFT FAIR and you’ll see how fun and easy Christmas shopping can be! From the moment you arrive, you’ll be caught up in the excitement of the day, exploring 350 stalls overflowing with thousands upon thousands of CRACKING GIFT IDEAS and DECORATIONS that don’t cost the earth. The variety is HUGE, with presents for all ages – from babies to teenagers, and parents to grandparents. When your bags are full, you can drop them off at the Present crèche and continue to shop, or stop for a bite to eat in one of the FOUR sparkly catering/entertainment areas, where you can ENJOY watching a great line-up of live musical acts – to get 62 | Autumn 2017

you rocking round the Christmas Tree! No wonder FESTIVE GIFT FAIR is one of the most popular Christmas shopping events in the UK! We’ve picked out a few of our favourite NEW stalls. EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY!

Not your average pizza, these look-a-likes are made from Chocolate! Chose from ‘Heavenly Honeycomb’ and ‘Crunchy Munchy’ to ‘Decadent Dark’ in a great looking pizza box from THE GOURMET PIZZA CHOCOLATE CO . Pork pies for all occasions – Yorkshire based CRUSTY PIE’S delicious Pork, Turkey and Cranberry Pie will go down a treat on Boxing Day. DOG BREATH BREWERY - Hand crafted ales called ‘Jailbait’, ‘Smoke On the Water’ and ‘Tie Your Mother Down! From possibly the smallest brewery in the world! Visit the HALEWOOD WINES AND SPIRITS stall for Liverpool Vodka, Marylebone London Dry Gin, Pogues Irish Whiskey and Hawkshead Windermere Pale Ale.

Raise a glass! That’s the spirit! Gather family and friends around a festive table and enjoy! Christmas is the one time of year when everyone can over indulge a little.

A luxury gift for special occasions HARPERLEY HAMPERS have bespoke hampers filled with exclusive products called Chocolate Indulgence and Kindred Spirit and will even personalise the lining with your special message. BONBONNIERE – Sign up for a Chocolate Workshops for adults, children and hen parties! With the Midland’s best chocolatier.

At THE FESTIVE GIFT FAIR you’ll find a whole array of delicious ARTISAN FOOD and DRINK that you can sample, before you buy.

A great non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine, HERBY 4 will be tempting you with their Spiced Somerset Chaider, a combination of Indian chai spices and Somerset apple juice.

Get cooking with some new and amazing herbs. At URBAN HERB stall you can design your own dried herb gift bag with 6 different flavours. Sunday Lunch blend is our favourite with sage, rosemary, parsley and thyme!

Welcome to NEW YORK DELHI , a unique take of some of the planet’s favourite snacks including iconic ViPnuts , the perfect snack with drinks or just while you are watching Christmas TV!

Vintage is cool! The ladies behind BOOZY BELLES VINTAGE COCKTAILS will be all dressed up to show you their antique style bottles full of cocktails and vintage infused spirits with a retro twist!

Try the delicious hot and spicy mulled cider from BARBOURNE CIDER CO. WOODHOUSE FARM will be offering Spit Roast pork, slowly roasted to produce www.finecity.co.uk


really crispy crackling and succulent meat, carved hot in a bap. Yum! GIFTS FOR THE KIDS... Hold your breath, count to three and you’ll be in a world of imagination! At the Fair, you’ll find loads of clever stocking fillers, toys and games to keep tots and school children amused for hours! EASY READ TIME TEACHER - the simplest, most ingenious and effective way to teach your children to tell the time. Fun educational clocks and watches. Head to the HEADZ AND HANDZ stall, to see a huge range of engaging puppets, puzzles and craft and science projects that will bring out the creativity in children age 0-11 years. A brilliant crafty gift for youngsters ART 2 COLOUR have a wide range of T-shirt designs, from zoo animals to fairies, with crayons supplied, to colour in and wear. From Gingerbread mix to Chocolate Muffin Mix, these easy and fun Home Baking Sets are perfect for aspiring little chefs from COOKIE CRUMBLES.

Remember all those great comic heroes from Flash Gordon to Power Rangers, Batman to Star Wars, Andy Pandy to Mickey Mouse... browse the huge range of highly collectable comics on the VINTAGE COMIC SHOP stall. They look great framed too. For the DIY fanatic, TRIPLE X TRADING, will be demonstrating their ‘One Drill Bit Drills All’, which comes with a lifetime guarantee for drilling wood, metal, tiles, steel and glass! DAVID SHIELDS is a Football stadium photographer. Whichever club you support, whether it be Arsenal or Birmingham City to Bristol Rovers, you will find a unique photographic compilation here.

Pocket Vision is the Go-To accessory for anybody that uses glasses. These simple yet stylish foldaway glasses are an inexpensive option – keep a pair of back up glasses in your car, on your desk, in your jacket packet, on your key chain… by CARMEN IMPORTS. For a unique driving related gift, treat him to a Bespoke Driving Experience for an unforgettable day driving a Ferrari, Lamborghini or Aston Martin round the track by EVERYMAN RACING. Favourite films are brought to life – COWANZINGA sells high quality copies of film scripts with signatures, from Godfather to Harry Potter, from Ghostbusters to Star Wars.

Guaranteed to have your party laughing, DIRECT BEERS give good beer a bad name! Novelty labels include ‘Brewed By Wind – Old Fart Best Bitter and ‘Brewer Grudgingly – by Grumpy Git’!

GIFTS FOR THE LADIES IN YOUR LIFE!... Pamper your Mum, Grandma, Sister, Best friend, Wife or Girlfriend with a special present this Xmas...

Green-fingered men must try this indispensable tool. Ratchet pruners that perform the cutting action in stages, which means more leverage and less effort by JARDIN DE FRANCE.

EVELYN WINTER is a special kind of Jewellery BOUTIQUE where owner Evelyn has collated a lovely range of very classy, very beautiful and very en trend designs.

OAKLEY’S BOOK TREE – Oodles of doodling, colouring, drawing, reading, activity and sticker books by the popular Usborne Book brand. THE RUBY RANGE - your chance to commission, design and personalise your own Rag Doll, a bespoke gift that will be treasured for a lifetime. GIFTS FOR HIM... Buying presents for Chaps can sometimes be a challenge! – at Festive Gift Fair, you’ll find Whisky, woollies, watches, clever gadgets and silly stocking fillers… www.finecity.co.uk

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FineEvents MINIMUM MOUSE , a great name for a treasure trove of a stall selling vintage clothing from vintage trilby’s and old Levi jeans to quirky jewellery and sunglasses. Wear what makes you happy is their motto! JO DOWNS GLASS - every piece of glass is handmade – chose from the striking collections of glass coasters, bowls, frames and candlesticks that exude elegance and style. Sheer luxury in a gold ingot box, PERFECT TIPPLE show off their unique sparkling wine infused with 23 carat gold flakes! Guaranteed to be a talking point! A Clever new fashion accessory that is both beautiful and versatile. RANFIRE DESIGN has designed a unique Jewellery Clasp that can be used with edge-to-edge jackets, pashminas… BUG – be sure to see the ‘La La Land’ handmade jewellery collection which is just too cute for words! Imagine a tiny silver Marmite or Nutella pot or Heinz beans can or wishbone on a necklace or charm bracelet. Commisions under- taken too.

sparkly pressed glitter cosmetic range will be a hit!

from Bottom Sniffer Doggy Beer to Pet Pawsecco!

Indulge your beauty queen with this gorgeous, cocktail inspired bath and body care range from BOOZI BODY CARE stall.

CRAFT AND DESIGNER MAKERS

HEALTH AND BEAUTY TREATS

Feel like gliding on water – try SOLEMATE’S liquid orthotic shoe insoles, which increase circulation and support through their unique massaging system.

Calling all Party Girls! If you love a bit of glitz and glam, PRIMA MAKEUP’S super

For Teas Tonics and Treats – see Woof And Brew for the ultimate doggy refreshments

A one stop shop for Sewing and Knitting gifts, from pin cushions to sewing baskets, from knitting bags to craft boxes all from THE SUNFLOWER SHOP. BETTY BAY DESIGN – for a beautiful, original home ware collection of fine bone china mugs and much, much more. Quirky, macabre and curious! Words that best

We have a pair of tickets to give away

"

"

Simply fill in and cut out this form and send it to FineCity, Queens House, Queens Square, Attleborough, Norfolk NR17 2AE Name Address Email 64 | Autumn 2017

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describe Charlotte’s range of hand decorated bone china ornaments, Bunny Teapots and cake stands by CHARLOTTE CLARK DESIGNER MAKER. RACHEL BLACKWELL ARTIST AND ILLUSTRATOR – Rachel’s delightful children’s illustrations are whimsical, colourful, cheerful and quirky to be treasured forever – commissions undertaken too. ADD A LITTLE MAGIC THIS CHRISTMAS! You’ll find plenty of inspiration at Festive Gift Fair. Go mad with the decorations! Dressing the tree is just the start! It’s time to dress your table, your hall, your mantelpiece with lots of twinkling fairy lights, flickering candles and loads of greenery. All that glitters in gold and silver – exquisite glass tree decorations, hand blown and hand decorated by TREASURE TREE. Remember the fascination of shaking a Snow Globe and watching the snow swirl, GIFTS KINGDOM’s stall specialises in large globes

and intricate battery operated Christmas scenes that will delight all ages.

bundles and chilli twig hear ts, all on JORMAE POURRI stall.

Find sweet smelling traditional Christmas decorations, from orange garlands and potpourri to lavender

ENTERTAINMENT WHILE YOU SHOP While you are browsing and shopping at the Fair, you can enjoy a whole line-up of FANTASTIC musical entertainment with four stage areas to get you rocking into the Christmas spirit! Santa will be there too, along with a band of Christmas characters. FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF WHY SO MANY PEOPLE LOVE SHOPPING AT FESTIVE GIFT FAIR AND RETURN EVERY YEAR! BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW and get ready for a brilliant, fun day Christmas Shopping. The Fair is open daily 09.30 – 17.00 from Thursday 16th – Sunday 19th November at National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. Adult tickets from just £9.00. For much more information, list of exhibitors, video, show highlights and the musical entertainment programme, visit www.festivegiftfair.co.uk

Cards for Good Causes Multi Charity Christmas Shop 12th October – 17th December The Forum (Portakabin), Norwich, Open 7 Days a week

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elling cards for more than 40 charities plus gifts, gift wrap, traditional advent calendars and lots more.

Cards for Good Causes Limited (CFGC) pays the participating charities (or their trading subsidiaries) at least 70p in every pound from card sales. The retained amount covers CFGC’s costs of running the temporary charity Christmas card shops. Cards for Good Causes Limited is the trading company of the 1959 Group of Charities (Registered Charity No. 249039) www.finecity.co.uk

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The Parent & Baby Show

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he Parent and Baby Show are extremely excited to be hosting East Anglia’s brand new baby show in the grounds of Norwich City Football Club this winter. The show is aimed at parentsto-be looking for all things baby related for their special little arrival all the way through to children aged 5 years old. Although the day will be centered around shopping – with clothing, books, prams, slings all on display, the show is very focused on providing both parents and little ones a great experience through learning, play, relaxing and of course a lovely tearoom hosted by Delia’s Canary Catering. Examples of what families can enjoy include: Sling Testing Baby Sensory Zone by Baby Sensory

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Soft Play by Little Land Soft Play Story Time by Puddle Ducks Face Painting and an Imagination Station by Little Squirrels Play Forest Mum Zone including pamper treatments from wellness centre’s TREAT as well as Mamma Me Time As well as a great programme of talks, workshops and an advice station – covering everything from baby first aid to weaning and breast feeding - all of which can be found on their website. Pop-up Photo Studio with Shellie Wall Photographer *extra cost involved Baby Foot/Hand Print Tiles by Doddle Pots Holt *extra cost involved

Stadium Tours *extra cost involved With much more to be announced over the coming two months. ‘The Parent and Baby Show came about through hearing many local baby/children businesses calling for a well run, affordable yet professional show in the area. There are many other baby events in East Anglia but we hope our event will stand out in terms of interactive features and quality stands, and we feel Carrow Road is the perfect venue for it. We’re working very hard to ensure our customers feel valued and will have a quality experience at the show. With free parking and discounts at local restaurants being a bonus on the day.’ Quotes Alexandra Atkinson – event manager from The Parent and Baby Show.

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EVENTS OVER OCTOBER AND HALLOWEEN AT ALGYS FARM SHOP

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onday 23rd October popcorn parties Tickets available online at norfolkpopcorneventbrite. co.uk. Pumpkin trail at the farm shop week of half term 23rd October - 29th October, pumpkin express pick your own pumpkins throughout October. For further details and info please check out our website on www.algys.co.uk. We also have a huge amount of freshly picked home grown veg and other Amazing locally produced goodies. Including our own Algy’s Norfolk popcorn and Bintree Birdseeds.Happy Halloween

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www.algysfarmshop.co.uk 01362 683 893 / 07775 517 473 OFF A1067 BINTREE, DEREHAM, NORFOLK, NR20 5NE Open Monday to Saturday 9am till 6pm Sunday's and bank holidays 10am till 4pm

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FineLiving

NORFOLK COAST IN THE GREAT WAR Norfolk based author Stephen Browning talks about how his new book came about and some of the most interesting stories he unearthed while writing it Present day photos: Daniel Tink

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his book came into being several years ago whilst having tea in the Britannia Café, Guildhall Hall, Norwich with my publisher. He had come down to experience the delights of Norwich for the first time and we had spent a windy couple of hours on and off the Norwich sightseeing bus. It was over tea in this lovely place that we realised that a study of the coastal towns in the Great War had never been attempted.

There was one obvious problem but that was also what made the research so wonderful – it would entail a huge amount of travel around the Norfolk coast to gather information. I knew the area pretty well already, though, as since a boyhood spent in Heacham, Hunstanton, Kings Lynn and Norwich, it had been my home.

he invented another method which involved conkers. After the war he became the first President of the state of Israel. A tale which for a long time was kept top secret came to light along the coast at Hunstanton – Bayntun Hippesley and his pioneering work on message interception. He had, in 1912, succeeded in picking up messages from the doomed liner Titanic. In 1914 the government approached him to work as a

I decided to research the coast in a clockwise direction beginning with Kings Lynn. The war experience of citizens and soldiers who lived along the coast was my primary focus: everyday life had to go on and the book documents this: joys and sorrows, jobs, shopping, wages, housing, entertainments and the rule of law. There are also some wonderful tales to tell. In Kings Lynn, I heard about the story of Chaim Weizmann, a renowned chemist at the University of Manchester who came to the rescue of the British government when the supply of cordite, without which guns could not fire, was so low that in some places British guns fell silent. The vital missing ingredient of cordite was acetone and he was able to produce this with a new process setting up one of the two main manufacturing plants in Kings Lynn. Later

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volunteer interceptor, shamelessly perhaps exploiting his passion for his hobby. They gave him a hut to work from and this became known as ‘Hippisley Hut’: it is still there but extended to form a five bedroomed home. Many consider his work from the cliffs of Hunstanton to have been pivotal in winning the war. The book details his most important work 1914-18. He was awarded the CBE and died in 1956. At Wells, I heard of some pioneering work by the local history group which corrected erroneous government information into the fate of their ancestors. At Stiffkey, I encountered the war service, trial and terrible death – by a lion in a circus – of the so-called ‘Prostitute’s Padre’, Rev Harold Davidson. At Holt I was told that the death of so many fine young men – 100 – from Greshams’ School resulted in the Headmaster, George Howson, dying in 1919 ‘spent in grief ’. There were other tales: of Rupert Brooke’s decision to fight in Cley; of the ‘bravest man

who ever lived’, Henry Blogg who heroically skippered the Cromer lifeboat; of the first woman war photographer, Olive Edis, in Sheringham; of Tom Crisp VC who, although shot through by a shell from U-boat U.63, kept command of his fishing smack; of Zeppelins and of the feats in dangerously light flying machines by the likes of the Red Baron for Germany and Albert Ball VC for the English. The book ends with a detailed itinerary for a 46 mile walk – in seven sections or all at once – along the wild and magnificent Norfolk coast from Hunstanton to Cromer. In long stretches of this walk, the vista has not changed at all in 100 years.

though, taken a century from the last, shows an enormous amount of work on the structure. The book is only recently out but has received a review from a national website which calls it ‘a delight’, praising the research involved and the illustrations. Norfolk Coast in the Great War is published by Pen and Sword at £12.99, and is available in bookshops and online from Amazon and others.

The book contains 180 photographs, many of them archive and rare. In a dozen cases it has been possible to stand on the same spot from where a photograph was taken 100 years ago. The results are fascinating – sometimes there are noticeable changes but not always: the main street in Cromer, for example, has exactly the same buildings as in 1914, pub, shops, everything. A photograph of the pier,

feature by:

Steve Browning

Writer www.stephenbrowningbooks.co.uk

Feature by:

Daniel Tink

Photographer hello@danieltink.co.uk

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FineFood

HOT STUFF Written by Richard Bainbridge

Richard Bainbridge, chef-proprietor of Benedicts in Norwich, shares his take on mushrooms on toast – with an added twist!

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recipe. When combined with rich venison, it’s a winning flavour combination. This triedand-tested dish would work perfectly well as either a starter or main course at your next dinner party. www.finecity.co.uk

office@norfolkonmymind.co.uk


MUSHROOMS ON TOAST WITH ROASTED VENISON (SERVES 4)

INGREDIENTS 1 venison loin, trimmed and ready for roasting 50g salted butter 4 slices of sourdough 200g British girolles 1 small shallot, ďŹ nely chopped 10g flat-leaf parsley, chopped 30g 90% bitter dark chocolate Rapeseed oil for frying

METHOD Preheat the oven to 180°c. Place a small frying pan onto a high heat. Lightly season the venison loin with salt. Once the pan is hot, add a splash of rapeseed oil and carefully place in the loin. Turn the venison loin round slowly until well-coloured all over. This should take about 5 mins. Place in the oven for 8 mins, turning every 2 mins. Once cooked, remove and allow to rest for at least 10 mins before serving. Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter is melted and starting to foam, add the sourdough and colour on both sides until golden. Season lightly with sea salt.

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Place a small pan on a high heat and line with rapeseed oil. Add the girolles and season with a little salt. After about 2 mins, add the chopped shallots and parsley. Remove from the heat and strain on a kitchen towel. Check the seasoning and keep warm until ready to serve. To serve, place the sourdough in the middle of the plate, add the girolles on top, and slice the venison and place it on top of the mushrooms. Just before serving, grate over the dark bitter chocolate.

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FineHomes

Do come and say hello!

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he golden light of autumn softens the landscape and eases us gently into another season. I love the autumn, maybe because it means we’re one step closer to winter. My fingers are firmly crossed for a good snowfall…I know it’s not everyone’s thing, but I long for deep snow blanketing the fields and icicles hanging from the trees. It’s selfish, I accept that and I feel sorry for those who have to work in it and for the wildlife. Soon, I’ll be moving tender plants into the polytunnels. Even the larger Posh Plants range with be undercover, given protection from the cold and more especially the wind. As the show and wedding season slows down I get a chance to breathe and refresh the Posh Plants website. To be fair, this has recently been completely re-designed by Tony Hatt, a very clever fellow who has brought it up to date and enabled me to add photos of recent events and new products to the online shop, so I’ll be keeping the website fresh and exciting! Feedback always welcome, so please have a look. These new products have recently been added to the online shop and I think you will agree will give a cosy and warm glow to any 72 | Autumn 2017

room. The LED candles are totally safe, there is no open flame and the intricate detailing is a beautiful motif of Tivoli Gardens. The glass dome offers all sorts of possibilities… fill with pinecones after a walk at Holkham, dried flowers, leaves, or, these sparkly string lights. Of course, plants are never far from my mind. Succulents are very popular at the moment, their small size and easy care means everyone can have one. Generally speaking succulents like to be kept on the dry side, in bright light and grown in an open gritty compost. Lots of the online products, as well as my designer jewellery, unusual Christmas decorations and of course some beautiful plants, large and small, will be for sale on our stand at the Festive Fair at the Forum which will be from Friday 24th - Monday 27th November. This promises to be an exciting opportunity for some unusual Christmas shopping. Do come and have a look and say hello! Sue Huckle www.poshplants.com online shop and plants at… Seven Acres Nursery, East Tuddenham. NR20 3NF. 07703 347014 www.finecity.co.uk


Award Winning Landscaping and Design

Paving and Pathways Ponds and Water Features Lawn Laying Walls and Brickwork Timber and Decking Driveways, Fencing and Screening Garden Design by Georgina Read

T: 01953 852139 E: info@lifestylelandscaping.co.uk W: www.lifestylelandscaping.co.uk

Contemporary, classic or chic modern

Kitchens and Interiors The kitchen is the heart of the home. That’s why at Graham Torbitt Kitchens and Interiors we provide quality craftsmanship, contemporary design, unique and fresh ideas to bring you the kitchen you desire. With over 25 years experience, let us put the heart back into your home.

Bespoke design and budget Creative solutions Integrity and expert advice Professional service Free consultation Inhouse at Premier Marble 3 Dewings Road, Rackheath, Norwich NR13 6PS

01603 327727 | www.gtki.co.uk | graham@gtki.co.uk www.finecity.co.uk

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Sales Manager Ed Hipkiss Ed has been designing kitchens for approaching 20 years, before which he worked as a chef alongside some of the country’s leading names. “The passion I had as a chef – for quality, imagination, consistency and getting the job done – has stood me in good stead during my time as a kitchen designer. I understand that the kitchen needs to be – not only a highly functional space for cooking, but also a beautiful space you can enjoy spending time in…” “I really enjoy working with customers, helping them to achieve their ideal kitchen”

Pop into our showroom or visit our website to look at the different styles available. When it comes to kitchens, we can help you to achieve your dreams.

Tel: 01603 426519 148 Cromer Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR6 6XA

74 | Autumn 2017

www.labellecuisine.co.uk

La Belle Cuisine has been supplying Kitchens for almost 40 years. Based in Norwich, we are an established kitchen retailer in the Norfolk area. La Belle Cuisine can help you to find a new kitchen that suits your needs & fulfills your dreams – one that looks fantastic, is also functional & a joy to cook in. We can supply the best quality available for the budget you have in mind. We can provide individual items if you are looking to upgrade part of your existing kitchen. At La Belle Cuisine we strive to provide a dedicated and personal service, offering specialist knowledge and ongoing support. Recommendation provides for a large number of our new customers which reflects our philosophy www.finecity.co.uk to provide quality with a personal, professional and helpful service.


www.finecity.co.uk

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Weddings, Proposals, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Parties F R I DAY 1 0

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Enjoy an exclusive three-course meal designed by Delia before the Giardino String Quartet perform a collection of unique arrangements of music to accompany the evening. Tickets include a pre-dinner drinks reception with canapés before the concert. Tickets Standard £55 Season Ticket Holders & Members £50 limited availability. T&Cs apply. See website for details.

To book your tickets Call: 01603 218724 Email: canary.catering@canaries.co.uk Visit: deliascanarycatering.co.uk/events

FineCity Magazine - Autumn 2017  

The Autumn 2017 edition of FineCity Magazine. Covering all of the fine city of Norwich, Norfolk.

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