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Issue 70 Winter 2017

Meet Stephen Crocker Pete Goodrum interviews the CEO of the Norwich Theatre Royal

A Special Exhibition

curated by the Norwich Castle Musuem

What’s on In Norwich?

Dance, Music, Singing and Opera


04 | Winter 2017

2017 Winter | 05

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2017 Autumn | 07


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elcome to the Winter edition of FineCity Magazine. This issue is filled with features for the coming months to keep you in the know this festive season.


Jonathan Horswell @JonathanHorswel

Jonathan Horswell Editor

Charlotte Bushell Issue 70 Winter


Pete Goodrum talks with Stephen Crocker, CEO of the Norwich Theatre Royal, for an in-depth interview starting on page 14.

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Starting on Page 28 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 Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, the Oak Circus Centre, St Andrews Hall and the Puppet Theatre. 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!





Luke Keable Meet Ste phen Crocker Pete Good ru interviews m the CEO of the Norw ich Theatre Royal WHAT’S NEW | OUT & ABO UT | FASH ION

A Special Exhibition Norwich

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What’s on In Norwich? Dance, Music , Singing and Opera





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Disclaimer All rights reserved. No part of FineCity may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any other form, or by any other means, electronic, mechanic, photographic, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the owner of FineCity. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of material published in FineCity. However, the owner cannot accept responsibility for the claims made by advertisers or contributors, or inaccurate material supplied by advertisers. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Editor. Although all reasonable care is taken of material, photographs and transparencies submitted, the owner cannot accept responsibility for damage or loss.


Understanding Risks when investing Investment risk is an integral part of most financial plans and it is critical that you understand the balance between risk and reward when putting together a strategy. Phil Beck looks at how we ensure that clients are comfortable with the element of risk associated with their investment portfolio. There are two basic types of savings and investments, as far as risk is concerned. Cash savings include accounts with banks, building societies and credit unions as well as certain savings bond products such as those from NS&I. With savings deposits, your returns take the form of interest on the money you have deposited. Importantly, you will not normally get back less than the capital you originally put in, even if interest rates change. Provided your money is held in an institution that is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme’s deposit guarantee and you have no more than £85,000 saved with any single institution then, even if the institution fails, your deposit will be secure. The FSCS scheme covers most banks, building societies and credit unions but if you are unsure if your savings are covered, you can do a check on the FSCS website at Investments include a range of solutions such as equity, bonds, property, gilts and derivatives. Equity investments are held in stocks and shares: you buy shares in a company at a certain price, for example, and investment gains occur when they are subsequently sold at a higher price. Holding shares can also bring the investor dividend income, depending on the performance of the company involved.

management to suit most investors’ pockets. The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested. The tax treatment of investments depends on individual circumstances and is subject to change.

Your portfolio will usually contain a mix of investment types of varying risk levels but the overall profile of your portfolio will match your risk profile. In addition, we may recommend that you adopt investment management – where a specialist Investment Manager adjusts your portfolio in line with market conditions – to help mitigate the risks.

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

There are forms of investment

The thing to remember is that investments generally carry an element of risk and you could potentially get back less than you put in or – in the very worst scenario – lose it altogether. However, different types of investment and holdings in different companies and funds carry different levels of risk. A financial adviser can ensure that you understand the level of risk involved with any investment strategy you adopt and that it is suitable for your risk profile.

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Secondly, we will look at your capacity for loss. This is a much more scientific measurement: it’s about the amount of money you are actually going to need at specific points in your life and the stage at which a loss is not affordable.


Once we have these two assessments, we can reconcile the findings and come up with a risk score that is tailored specifically to you. We then take the risk score and match suitable investments to it, so that your portfolio is never exposed to more risk than is appropriate for you. 10 | Winter 2017

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2017 Winter | 11


UEA Chamber Choir


A EUROPEAN CHRISTMAS Sunday 10 December 2017 | 6:30pm St George's Church, Tombland, Norwich

A festive evening of choral music from neighbours near and far Conductor Tom Primrose

Doors open at 6:00pm

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Daniel Brine

THU 14 DEC 2017


The largest arts festival in the East of England and one of the four largest in the UK, the Norfolk & Norwich Festival’s new director is Daniel Brine


urrently artistic director and chief executive officer of the Cambridge Junction, a venue committed to performance, popular culture and creative learning engaging in progressive and cutting-edge work. Daniel began his career at the Australia Council, the Australian Government’s arts advisory and funding body while he has also worked for Arts Council England. Daniel - who replaces William Galinsky, who recently left following a seven-year stint - will lead the festival’s extensive programme of work across performance, theatre, music, visual arts, literature, events for children and unique concerts as well as large-scale free outdoor events in which the festival has built up a strong following over the past few years. He will continue the N&N Festival’s work as the flagship arts organisation for the East of England showcasing some of the world’s most renowned international artists working 12 | Winter 2017

alongside regional talent and drawing audiences from across the UK. Previously, Daniel was artistic director and chief executive officer at Performance Space, Australia’s leading organisation for the development and presentation of interdisciplinary works. He has also worked as associate director at Live Art Development Agency, the leading development organisation for live art in the UK as well as co-director of NOW Festival, a celebration of arts and popular culture in Nottingham. Brenda Arthur, Chair of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival Board, said: ‘I’m delighted that Daniel is our new festival director. He’ll drive forward our artistic vision for Norwich, Norfolk and the rest of the UK. His track record in programming and producing entertaining work, as well as understanding his audiences, positions him perfectly to continue our commitment to nurturing the best of local and national talent as well as bringing in the best

7.30pm (doors 6.45pm)

new international work. The team are all hugely excited to collaborate with him on the future festivals.’


Daniel Brine said: ‘It’s a huge honour to be appointed Norfolk & Norwich Festival’s new director. I’m looking forward to leading the team to create a festival that the people of Norfolk and Norwich are proud of and enjoy. I live in the East of England and I’m committed to bringing great arts to the region. It’s a great privilege to lead a regional flagship event of international standing and I’m keen to work with local arts and cultural partners to continue the festival’s success.’


The 2018 festival runs from Thursday 11th to Sunday 27th May. For full and detailed information on all Norfolk & Norwich Festival activities visit



£9 full price £6


Ticket price includes the cost of a concert programme (available to collect on the night)

EMAIL All profits from UEA Music Centre concerts are used to fund scholarships for students

@UEACONCERTS 2017 Winter | 13


His French was a helping passport to the Sorbonne in Paris where he studied musicology. And he found singing jobs there too. ‘I think’, he says ‘that being able to sight read helped. I was able to get work singing in concerts, and doing church singing’. He was often singing in ‘a huge church nearby’ and he found it both a wonderful experience and a source of income. ‘But four funerals in one week was a little…..demanding’. By now a train of thought was beginning to emerge. ‘I knew I didn’t want to pursue ‘the opera route’ and I also started to realise that I was interested in what went on beyond the actual performing. How did all this happen? It led me into arts management’. And his debut was really rather impressive. He took up a role at St Martin-In-The- Fields. Being back in London and part of the team working on the £36million redevelopment and loving restoration of this legendary, world famous church and classical music venue was he says, ‘Wonderful. Incredible. Aside from the arts and music role it showed me the social care work done at St Martin’s’. Encountering people in need amongst such splendour was plainly a salutary experience for him. For all the work and the outstanding team spirit, at St Martin’s he does admit to, eventually, ‘beginning to slightly fall out of love with London. A bit.’ “I did consider returning to Paris, but I always have the feeling that you can’t re- create something by returning to it. And anyway, what’s life’s if there’s not an adventure?’

Stephen Crocker

Pete Goodrum meets Stephen Crocker Chief Executive of The Theatre Royal, Norwich.


ate morning bordering on lunchtime is an odd time to be in a theatre. An afternoon performance or evening is when we expect to be in there. The crowds, the dark, the performance, they’re what it’s all about. Well, they are for us lesser mortals, but for those who make the magic happen the theatre is an all-day, every day business. There are a million things that have to be done to bring plays and shows and performances to us, the public, and they are carried out by the people who run the place. It’s a busy and full life.

14 | Winter 2017

Stephen Crocker, Chief Executive of The Theatre Royal in Norwich has carved out some time in his busy and full life to talk to me. When I arrive at the theatre in the broad daylight of the middle of a working day the place is demonstrably alive. Staff are everywhere. Jobs are being done. As for Mr Crocker’s own day? He comes in to the room carrying what’s left of his lunchtime Diet Coke. He’s just finished a meeting where he’s been discussing programme details for 2021, and he’s due in London later this afternoon. My case is proven. It’s a busy and

full life. It doesn’t stop him from being attentive and charming. Initially taking a seat opposite me across the functional meeting room table he moves because he says ‘This is all a bit formal isn’t it? It’s like a job interview’. I make a joke of that by asking the interview cliche question: ‘So, where do you see yourself in five years’ time?’ We laugh it off, but we will return to it in more serious vein. Meantime we begin by establishing Stephen’s beginnings. Born in South Wales he admits to having always felt the ‘pull of the big city’. No surprise then to learn that he set off for

London (‘I didn’t actually have my belongings in a spotted handkerchief on a stick over my shoulder’) to attend university where he would study French - and then singing. ‘It was in the blood I think. My grandfather was a club singer from the same South Wales territory as Shirley Bassey. There’s no evidence that they ever met!’ While in London, Stephen found a cohort of contemporaries who would, like him, ‘get into’ music through a less than direct route. That said, by the time he was 20 and still a student, Stephen had secured his first professional singing job.

And so he went to Manchester in 2004, taking up the position of Head of Development at Manchester Camerata. ‘It was an amazing chamber orchestra, and I arrived a time when Manchester was really beginning to develop its own confident identity with culture at its heart’. By 2007 he had ‘crossed the Irwell’ to Salford where he would become Development Director, and subsequently Deputy Chief Executive, at The Lowry.

‘I knew a little about Norwich. I heard about the Theatre Royal position and I felt that maybe now was the time to have a shot at running my own organisation’. So, in 2015, he came for the interview. The fervour of the convert is a well known concept, and if you want a demonstration of it you need to talk to Stephen Crocker. ‘I suppose I didn’t totally get Norwich until I got here! I went for a walk before the interview and I couldn’t believe the atmosphere and the amount going on. The buskers, the people, the culture. When I got in to the interview I actually asked if all this had been put on to attract and impress me! I’ve always said that Norwich sold me the job!’ As we know, he got the job. And now, he most certainly gets Norwich. He is one of the most impassioned and articulate advocates for the Fine City I’ve ever heard. Stephen Crocker sees Norwich as exemplary because ‘It’s hard to find anywhere with culture as much at its heart’. Stephen doesn’t see culture as a periphery; something that’s bolted on to the rest of a city’s life. He sees it as an essential and integral element in what makes a city work and what makes it tick. In his role at The Theatre Royal he can, and does, make a massive contribution to that. ‘I see the job to be done, certainly as far as the Theatre Royal and The Playhouse are concerned, as being about being bold and building Norwich as an international destination of culture’. This is not empty rhetoric. This man means business. ‘We will, and do, bring in more international companies and orchestras. We’ll work closely with partners like the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and the Garage. The Theatre Royal and The Playhouse will play their roles to the full in building Norwich’s reputation’.

‘What I loved first was the fact that Salford was now establishing its own character, distinct from Manchester, and that The Lowry was through its shiny new millennium project phase. Now it was vibrant place at a special time. MediaCityUK was there. It was a fantastic nine years for me’.

This combination of enthusiasms - for Norwich as city and for the role he has in establishing and enhancing its cultural identity - is a potent cocktail. And it’s quite intoxicating. I need no converting. You’ll find no noisier advocate of this city than me, but even I start to feel heady as I see the place refracted through the lens of Stephen Crocker.

Those nine years ended when he heard about a job as the Chief Executive of the Theatre Royal in Norwich.

And whilst I’m mixing cocktails, and metaphors, let’s get festive. I mention the imminence of the pantomime. ‘It will soon be here’ I say. ‘Oh yes

2017 Winter | 15


Norwich Puppet Theatre

it will’ he replies. (One of us was going to say it weren’t we? And he only just beat me to it).

As​ ​January​ ​turns​ ​to​ ​February,​ ​the​ ​fantastic​ ​​manipulate​ ​​Visual​ ​Theatre​ ​Festival​ ​-​ ​in​ ​partnership with​ ​ Puppet​ ​Animation​ ​Scotland​ ​-​ ​returns​ ​to​ ​Norwich​ ​Puppet​ ​Theatre​ ​for​ ​the​ ​seventh​ ​year running.

I say that I see it as important and not to be, as it sometimes is, ‘looked down on’ by those with, shall we say less frivolous theatrical tastes. It’s not that he agrees. Good heavens no. He picks up the point and delivers an argument worthy of a keynote lecture on the importance of panto as a real theatrical tradition, made all the more vital by not only his responsibility to bring one of the highest quality to the citizens of Norwich but also the thrill of juxtaposing it with other elements of the repertoire.


‘And’, he adds, ‘ Christmas is a time for families. What’s better than the idea of them choosing, actively choosing, to come together for pantomime here in this theatre?’ It’s that ‘culture at the heart of it’ thing. If the picture I’ve painted so far is of a serious and seriously committed man, then it’s not inaccurate. But it’s not complete either. Stephen Crocker is a genial, open man. He laughs easily, and sees life as an adventure. He’s stylish, relaxed and never fails to make me feel that, despite my knowing what his schedule is today, he would talk for hours with me.

imed​​mostly​​at​​adult​​audiences,​​the​​ Festival​​includes​​an​​array​​of​​shows​​ and workshops​​designed​​to​​showoff​​the​​variety​​and​​potential​​within​​ the​ ​puppetry​ ​artform.

on Sunday​ ​28​ ​January.​ ​This​ ​Japanese​ ​style​ ​ of​​puppetry​​traditionally​​has​​3​​puppeteers​​ controlling​​a single​​figure.​​Bunraku​​is​​great​​ training​ ​for​ ​the​ ​style​ ​of​ ​puppetry​ ​often​ ​used​ ​in​ ​ big​​stage productions​​such​​as​​War​​Horse.

This​​year’s​​offer​​opens​​with​​​Boris​​and​​Sergey’s​​ Vaudevillian​​Adventure​​​on​​Saturday​​27​​January. Described​​as​​‘crossover​​cabaret’,​​the​​show​​ centres​​around​​a​​wonderful​​double​​act​​of​​ Bunraku puppets,​​with​​short​​plays​​and​​skits​​ filled​​with​​riotous​​exploits,​​malarkey​​and​​mirth. The​​‘Balkan​​bad​​boys​​of​​puppetry’​​are​​brought​​ to​​life​​by​​the​​brilliant​​Flabbergast​​Theatre,​​who recently​​featured​​in​​Plan​​B’s​​music​​video​​​In​​ the​​Name​​of​​Man​​​and​​who​​come​​to​​Norwich​​ with several​​5*​​reviews​​from​​the​​Edinburgh​​ Fringe.​​Flabbergast’s​​shows​​are​​built​​on​​a​​ belief​​that theatre​​should​​be​​engaging,​​sweaty​​ and​​uncompromising.​​So​​expect​​physicality,​​ excitement and​​comedy​​-​​although​​best​​suited​​ to​ ​ages​ ​16+.

The​​second​​show​​of​​the​​Festival​​offers​​a​​ complete​​contrast,​​as​​Stephen​​Mottram​​takes​​ to​​the Puppet​​Theatre​​stage​​with​​two​​pieces​​of​​ For​​more​​information​​and​​to​​book,​​visit​​the​​ work​​on​​Saturday​​3​​February,​T​​he​​Parachute​​​ Theatre’s​​website​​​​​​​or and Watch​ ​the​ ​Ball​.​ ​Both​ ​pieces​ ​demonstrate​ ​ phone​​the​​box​​office​​on​​01603​​629921. the​​pure​​magic​​of​​puppetry​​and​​object​​ manipulation; playing​​joyfully​​with​​the​​way​​our​​ minds​​interpret​​shapes​​and​​movement,​​with​​ humorous​​and moving​​results.

There​​will​​also​​be​​a​​chance​​to​​learn​​the​​trade,​​ as​​Flabbergast​​present​​a​​Bunraku​​workshop​​

Completing​​the​​line-up​​is​​a​​6​​day​​puppet​​ carving​​course​​with​​esteemed​​maker​​and​​ performer John​​Roberts.​​This​​course​​is​​open​​ to​​beginners​​and​​more​​advanced​​makers,​​and​​ can​​be​​as relaxed​​or​​intense​​as​​the​​participants​​ make​​it,​​with​​a​​wooden​​marionette​​as​​the​​ result.​​Places are​​very​​limited​​however,​​so​​it’s​​ one​​to​​book​​early!

The​ ​international​ ​offering​ ​comes​ ​from​ ​ renowned​​and​​respected​​US​​puppeteer​​Eric​​ Bass.​​He​​will be​​leading​​a​​two​​day​​workshop​​ on​​1st​​and​​2nd​​February​​focusing​​on​​the​​ interaction​​between puppet​​and​​terrain.​​​Terrain:​​ The​​Ground​​on​​Which​​a​​Puppet​​Lives​​​hopes​​ to​​expand​​the​​horizons of​​a​​puppet’s​​world​​ -​​creating​​new​​and​​exciting​​opportunities​​ beyond​​a​​flat​​‘table-top’​​surface.

But, that schedule does exist and courtesy demands that I acknowledge we must draw to a close. In doing so I return to that ‘interview question’.

27 January - 9 February

‘As we raised it’, I say, ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ time?’ He answers in a heartbeat. He says ‘Here’. He adds that he wants to be here to see ‘the fruit of his labours’ but it’s more than that. ‘You get to know a place by getting lost in it, and I haven’t so far had time to do that’. That’s interesting. Ask him what he likes about the city and he’ll tell you where he likes to walk, naming the streets as he does so with what sounds like the knowledge of a native. Ask him what he likes to do in the unlikely event of his having any spare time and he says, quite simply ‘being outdoors. I love it. I do exercise as much as I can, but not as much as I should. I just love spending time in the city’. As we really do come to the end of our meeting he reflects on what we’ve covered and returns to the main themes. ‘It’s about focus. Focus to our commitment to deliver the broadest possible range of quality programme to Norwich and panto has an essential role in that. It’s our responsibility to sustain that programme for Norwich’. 16 | Winter 2017

And suddenly it is time for handshakes and goodbyes.

there one word that encompasses all of those. It hits me. Of course there is.

Walking along Theatre Street I find myself searching for one word that describes this man. Our meeting. Exciting? Yes. Impressive? Definitely. Fun? For sure.

The one word to describe the man, his outlook, his work and our meeting is the synonym for, and synthesis of, all of those possible choices. It’s this.

Within a few minutes I’m hearing the buskers and seeing the activity outside the Forum. Feeling the buzz that Stephen himself described. I too have other meetings today and this column to write. But that search for a word niggles at the back of my mind.


I’m still kicking it around as I get back to the desk. Stephen Crocker - he’s accomplished. Masterly at his work. He’s impressive, and he’s inventive. He’s bright. Very bright. He shines. Is

Visual Theatre Festival 2018 FEATURE BY:

Pete Goodrum

WRITER, BROADCASTER @PETEGOODRUM | 01603 629921 Norwich Puppet Theatre, St James, Whitefriars, Norwich NR3 1TN | Reg. Charity 271041

@norwich_puppet 2017 Winter | 17


Many of us, whatever our religion, will be going along our local churches this season. It is also a peak time for visiting both of our fabulous cathedrals – and don’t forget that each has a great gift shop where you can buy some Christmas presents happy in the knowledge that your money will be going to an excellent cause. Steve Browning takes a trip to them both. England and Wales have some 83 cathedrals, most of them in large cities. The Fine City boasts The Cathedral of St John the Baptist and The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. The history of each is fascinating, even dramatic, and yet they could hardly be more different. One has been a cathedral for less than forty years and the other for 900. One was born out of love, the other as an act of penance. One has been subject to terrible acts of natural and manmade destruction while the other has survived largely unscathed. And, of course, one is Roman Catholic and the other Anglican. We are also very lucky to have the ‘loveliest parish church in England’ (John Wesley) in the centre of town – St Peter Mancroft – which some visitors actually mistake for the Anglican cathedral. Both cathedrals, however, have certain people and characteristics in common. St Felix, who brought Christianity to East Anglia, is equally

revered and the Pope has a critical role in the foundation of each. Perhaps the most striking feature to the historian is the role that determined people, who refused to be ‘beaten’, played in their birth. Here are some similarities and differences. The Cathedral of St John the Baptist This was born out of love. Henry Fitzalan Howard, 15th Duke of Norfolk, wished to build a church as an act of thanks following his marriage to Lady Flora Abney Hastings. It was completed in 1910 but has only been a cathedral since1976. For the first seven decades of its life it was a parish church. It became a cathedral in that year following the creation of the Diocese of East Anglia. It was designed by George Gilbert Scott and completed, following his untimely death, by his brother, John Oldred Scott. It is generally seen as a prime example of ‘Victorian Gothic’ – very rich in (chaste, being Victorian) imagery and quite dark.

A fabulous feature, best seen inside, are the brown columns of Frosterly marble, each of which contain thousands of fossilized creatures. Some of the stained glass is breathtaking, particularly The Queens’ Window which features Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, with the Christ Child. In the left-hand aisle, you will see the image of Our Lady of Czestockowa, which commemorates the many Polish men and women who fled here in the Second World War. The cathedral was built on the highest land in the city. In the summer months, tours are organized during weekends to the top of the tower from where it is possible to see – with binoculars – sweeping vistas up to the lighthouse at Happisburgh. The Cathedral was built in a dark place, the site of a former grim prison, and some boys and girls did not want to venture here after it was completed. As in much of Norwich, underground caves proved a problem to the original constructors. Also, in the

A Cathedral at Christmas 18 | Winter 2017

2017 Winter | 19


FinePlaces on his effigy. The beautiful Pelican lectern you see was buried to escape the mob and only recently re-discovered. Most incredibly of all, the priceless ‘Dispenser Reredos’ in St Luke’s Chapel was rescued by a person unknown and turned into a workman’s table – i.e. reversed. It was only discovered fairly recently when someone dropped their pencil while decorating and looked up…… If you look carefully as you go around you will see some graffiti dating from 1643 - separately, a church and a galleon – and it is possible that these were carved by citizens ‘holed up’ in the cathedral to escape the Black Death. No-one knows for sure.

last war, it was seen by the German High Command as a symbol of hope but mercifully survived relatively unscathed. The Narthex, incorporating café, garden, information and toilets, was opened in 2010. The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity This began life as an act of penance. Herbert de Losinga sought forgiveness from the Pope for the sin of ‘simony’, having paid the huge sum of nineteen hundred pounds to have himself made Bishop of Thetford. The Pope granted him absolution provided he moved his bishopric to Norwich and built a cathedral there. It was completed in 1145. It has been a cathedral since 1101 and was formally consecrated by Edward I in 1278. Who was it designed by? No-one is quite sure. The soaring majesty of the Nave may owe much to the basilica of the Imperial Palace of Trier in Germany. Money was certainly no problem as is evident from the fact that much of it is built of Caen stone which was imported from France and very costly. The thriving Jewish community may well have lent money.

in stone that tell the history of man from the beginning of time to the end of the world. It is noticeable that the Kingdom of Heaven as depicted bears an uncanny resemblance to Norwich Castle which, in these times of almost non-existent travel, would have been the grandest thing the master masons would ever have seen. Some of the bosses, and, indeed, the carving on the pews of the Choir, are quite saucy and funny – here is a row between husband and wife (to tell the monks that married life is not all it is cracked up to be?) and elsewhere a monk caning the naked rear end of a small boy!

The Hostry, with exhibition, educational and hosting space, was opened in 2009. It was designed by Sir Michael Hopkins and took 11 years to complete. A book in the PiXZ series,’ The Spirit of Norwich Cathedral’ (£4.99), is available with text by Stephen Browning and photographs by Daniel Tink. The book is available from all good bookshops and Amazon, but, if you would like one, it would especially benefit the cathedral if you could kindly buy it from the Cathedral shop if possible. Thank you!


Steve Browning


Over the course of its life there were innumerable acts of villainy and heroism – and pure luck – associated with this cathedral. In 1643 hordes descended on the cathedral. They fired their muskets and hacked with their swords on anything visible. If you go to the tomb of Bishop Goldwell in the Nave it is possible to see a rusted musket ball still encased in the side of his tomb. His nose has been cut off and there are huge hack marks

Norwich shopping centre has the perfect decoration for your tree this Christmas


orwich’s biggest shopping centre features a stunning giant Christmas decoration across all three floors this winter.

The star-shaped design at intu Chapelfield is a beautiful sight for shoppers, with baubles, lights and butterflies cascading down. It will also help raise money and awareness for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) as visitors can buy limited edition glass baubles for their own Christmas trees. Each of the baubles contains a handmade origami butterfly and gold lametta, features a tag etched with the bauble’s unique number and comes in a purple satin-lined presentation box.

What to see? It is hard to know where to begin as the cathedral has been the centre of life for over 900 years. The Cathedral Close itself is wonderful – did you know that many of the exquisite houses are available for rent? In the Cathedral itself, The Presbytery is often seen as ‘The peoples church’ and the Choir as ‘The monk’s church’ as there was a monastery here with sometimes as many as 60 souls getting up at 2 am to perform their many acts of worship. Take a look at the misericords – these are little ‘tip-up’ ledges that would enable monks to appear to stand whilst gaining a small measure of support during many hours of worship. Also, in the main church and in the cloisters, too, are the world-renowned ‘bosses’ – i.e. carvings 20 | Winter 2017


The EACH Butterfly Bauble costs £30 and for an extra £5 you can select a specific edition number to remember a specific date or event – making it an ideal Christmas gift for a loved one! All proceeds will go to EACH’s nook appeal, a £10 million campaign to build a new hospice just five miles south of Norwich, in Framingham Earl, and transform children’s palliative care.

EACH has outgrown its current hospice in Quidenham and the charity, which cares for 50% more children and young people at Quidenham than at its other hospices in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, often has to cancel much-needed short break care to provide end of life care. The nook, as a purpose-built central hub, will enable the charity to give both at the same time. Christmas is a stressful time for many of the families EACH supports and particularly for bereaved ones as they remember their child who is no longer with them. EACH hosts Christmas parties so families can meet others in a similar position and relax in a supportive environment. To buy an EACH Butterfly Bauble visit the Information Desk at intu Chapelfield now. 2017 Winter | 21

FinePlaces Christmas is coming and lots of us will be buying books as gifts for our nearest and dearest. Steve Browning takes a timely look at the independent book trade and one shop in particular – the much-loved Holt Bookshop and talks to its owner, David Makinson A talk and book signing I recently had the great good fortune to give a talk on my new book, ‘Norfolk Coast in the Great War’, at Holt’s famous bookshop which, as those who love books know, is situated in Appleyard, a courtyard just off the main street. It was a memorable evening for several reasons, one of which was that I met some interesting folk both from Holt itself and from as far away as Sheffield (they were on holiday). Margaret Younger from the Western Front Association was there and invited me to give a presentation to the Norwich branch – this will take place on March 6th at the White Horse in Trowse; and I was also very pleased to meet Sue Smart, a former teacher at Greshams school, whose fine book ‘When Heroes Die’ I had discovered ten years previously when researching another book I was writing about Norwich.

to just over 1000 in 2014 but since a revival has taken place. Then like all of us I had seen the rise of e-books and e-readers but had been told by a manager of a big Norwich store that many a Kindle is now languishing in a cupboard because there is no substitute for the smell and feel of real paper. There are very few products more beautiful to hold than a well-made book. In addition, I have seen some stories in the press predicting the death of the printed word – some businesses, including my accountant in Norwich, tried in vain for some years to have ‘paper-free’ environments – but a quick check on Google revealed that book sales this year were up 8% on the year before and that total revenue amounted to well over £3 billion. David Makinson and the Holt Bookshop David was born in Derby where his father was a chartered accountant and he has one brother and one sister. He was not a great reader at

‘Also, it is a humane trade which is not capable of being vulgarised beyond a certain point. The combines can never squeeze the small independent bookseller out of existence as they have squeezed the grocer and the milkman.’ - George Orwell writing in 1936

I also met David Makinson, the owner of the bookshop, for the first time as he hosted the evening. We had communicated by email and phone about the talk, of course, and I was aware of some facts about the business. I knew it had existed for a while (David actually took it over in 2005); I had heard it somehow had an association with Stephen Fry; I remembered reading that it was one of the Independent newspaper’s top 50 independent UK bookshops and I recalled that the Guardian had placed it in its directory of leading bookshops, too; and I had visited it as a customer on several occasions. Like many booklovers, I had wondered about the viability of being an independent when faced with the big high street multiples and internet giants like Amazon: they are doing OK actually as shoppers find they like old-fashioned service and knowledgeable staff. People also increasingly care about where they source their books. The number of independents dropped 22 | Winter 2017

school, although his best subjects included English and History, and it was not until his late teens that he became really interested in books and the English Language, something that was rapidly to develop. He became a journalist, working on papers both in England and the Middle East and thereafter until the present an avid reader, usually having more than one book ‘on the go’ at once, perhaps a novel, a biography, a work of history or some essays. He had, like many of us, I suspect, crazes for certain writers – French authors such as Stendhal, Balzac and Flaubert followed by Russians like Tolstoy and Chekhov. Of English writers he would go sometimes for Jane Austen, Dickens, Conrad and George Gissing and at other moments for J G Ballard, Graham Greene and VS Naipal. It was partially as a means of bringing him home that David’s brother, also in the publishing business, suggested setting up a bookshop in England. They settled on Holt. At the time there was a shop in the High Street

Anatomy of a famous Norfolk bookshop called Holt Books but the owner agreed to set up a joint shop in the new Appleyard complex. They named it The Holt Bookshop. Stephen Fry opened the shop on Jul 16 2005. He then served behind the counter for a couple of hours being his wonderfully entertaining self and signing any book thrust into his hands. It was the best day to date in terms of sales – the next best being when Stephen returned in 2011 to sign copies of his autobiography ‘The Fry Chronicles’. Since then, many famous people have passed through the door, some like Alexander McCall Smith, Michael Palin and Alan Bennett being linked to the famous Holt Festival (nearby Greshams

School is ideal for larger festival meetings). In terms of numbers in the shop itself, David remembers one signing in particular: ‘Kate Adie drew a huge crowd’, he says. Not a level playing field David believes that independent shops have a good future, especially because his customers are very loyal and Holt has a reputation as a successful retail town. The playing field, though, is not level when it comes to the big supermarket players and internet sites which right from publication date frequently sell likely best-sellers at half-price or even a loss. This is hardly fair. One suggestion put to me by another independent bookseller in London

is that all books should be the same price for everyone for the first six months after release and then shops can do what they please. I mention to David that I recently read in the Guardian that having a good independent bookshop adds considerably to the desirability of a town and has a direct effect on house prices. At present, we both agree, Holt has an unrivalled selection of interesting shops for a town of its size, a fact that makes it a ‘go-to’ location for shoppers from all over East Anglia, especially at Christmas. David finds working in a bookshop very enjoyable, even though some customers expect him to have read all of the 6,000 – 7,000

titles which seems a little unreasonable. Many customers regularly drop in to find out about the latest releases and some have become personal friends. Much appreciated is the dedicated children’s book department which is a real boon for busy parents who wish to introduce their little ones to the magical world of reading. Does he get to read a great deal? Yes, but not as much as he would like. I ask about some of his personal favourites of the last few years and he comes up with these: ‘All for Nothing’ by Walter Kempowski; ‘Austerlitz’ by WG Sebald; ‘The Feast of the Ghost’ by Mario Vargas Llosa; ‘Arguably’ by Christopher Hitchens; ‘An Officer 2017 Winter | 23

FinePlaces and a Spy’ by Robert Harris; and ‘The Radetzky March’ by Joseph Roth. And the bestselling book of all time? Probably this is ‘A Scandal at Felbrigg’ by Trevor Heaton, who is the Features Editor at the Eastern Daily Press. Recommendations for Christmas So, it is now coming up to Christmas. ‘This is by far the busiest month amounting to around a quarter of our annual sales’, he says. And what, I ask to conclude, are his predictions for the top sellers for 2017? David lists these as: ‘Book of Dust’ by Philip Pullman; ‘Turtles All the Way’ by John Green; ‘The Sparsholt Affair’ by Alan Hollinghurst; ‘The Legacy of Spies’ by John Le Carre; and the ‘Private Eye Annual’. Best get your orders in for these right away before they go!


Stephen Browning’s new book ‘Norfolk Coast in the Great War’ is published by Pen and Sword at £12.99 and is available from Holt Bookshop, other fine Norfolk bookshops and online

THURSDAY 14TH DECEMBER From 7:30pm in the Marquee Tickets are only £7.00 per person Advance purchase required and will not be available on the door. Bring your own blankets and cushions if you want snuggle up to enjoy the film. Chairs will also be set out as a cinema.

TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS: CALL: 01603 410871 EMAIL SPROWSTONMANOR.EVENTS@MARRIOTTHOTELS.COM Please note there are limited spaces available so booking early is advised.

Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6AR T: 01263 715858 Contact:

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2017 Winter | 25


Attik Property Services ATTIK Property Services, an estate agency with a difference – the human touch


ow did ATTIK come about? During founder, Kate Mamo’s employment at other estate agency firms in Norfolk, she felt there was a real gap in the services offered for clients that were dealing with the stress of helping loved ones move into care homes or dealing with bereavements. Although the services of: house clearance, cleaning staging of property and selling of property were available individually, there wasn’t an estate agency that offered all these services under one roof. From this ATTIK was born! What services does ATTIK offer? ATTIK offer a wider range of services than most other agents such as: • House Clearances – Where there is a lot of clutter, or unwanted clothing that needs removing from the property • Cleaning – After clutter is removed a thorough clean is required to get the property looking great. • Property Staging – ATTIK can bring in furniture to make a previously empty home look more lived-in and warmer for perspective buyers. • Selling – This is the ultimate goal. ATTIK aim to sell the property and achieve best value for their clients. Clearing, cleaning and staging the property really makes the property look the best it can for perspective purchases. This in turn helps to achieve the best possible price for the vendor! Do you have to book all services? What about if I just want to sell the house? ATTIK are happy to offer their services on an individual basis or as a package. Every

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client’s needs are different and ATTIK are more than happy to tailor their services to suit your individual requirements. The house clearance, cleaning and staging services are there for those people that need them, but we remain at heart a dedicated, professional and experienced estate agency. How do house clearances work? The ATTIK clearance team look to re-use, recycle or sell as much of the contents as possible. ATTIK work with the vendor to achieve this. For example; if there are beneficiaries then the team work with them to remove any belonging they would like to keep. The property is often cleared in stages. Firstly, all rubbish is removed and recycled where possible. Then personal effects are removed and distributed as requested. The property is then staged for marketing. Surplus ornaments, crockery, cutlery, clothing and furniture are removed and either taken to charity, sold at auction or passed to vintage sales companies for re-sale. Once the property has exchanged then the rest of the property is thoroughly cleared. If the home owner has gone into care or to live with family then the team look to sell as much of the contents as possible to raise money for the care of the home owner or a charity that is held dear by them. The same would happen in the instance of a someone who has passed away and the absence of beneficiaries. How does ATTIK get the best possible price for the properties it sells? ATTIK take great care in their property presentation from the clearing and cleaning of the property right through to the design-led photography. All properties are marketed on

the leading property portals, in branch. All viewings are conducted and negotiated by experienced, empathetic negotiators. Does ATTIK deal with standard property sales? Yes! ATTIK specialise in selling properties after someone has passed away or gone into care, but are a dedicated estate agency at heart and will happily assist anyone looking to buy or sell a residential property. How does ATTIK keep in contact with their clients, especially when several family members are involved? ATTIK understands that the most important things for a vendor or executor is knowing what is going on behind the scenes and getting feedback from the estate agent. Kate and Team are always on the other end of the phone. When selling through ATTIK, you will also have access to your own online property file, where you will have an individual login. This portal gives you access to the viewings information, feedback, statistics, offers and marketing data. ATTIK have found this to be a very popular tool for solicitors and vendors alike. This online property file makes it easy when dealing with multiple properties, large groups of beneficiaries and beneficiaries overseas who all need to be kept up to date. Solicitors also have access to all the property documentation, as they need it. If you would like to find out more about ATTIK Property Services, or would like an informal chat about how they could help you: please call 01362 694 800 or email

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SLEEPING BEAUTY DEC 13TH - JAN 14TH Another norfolk christmas for popular comedy actor Ben Langley


orfolk-based comedy actor Ben Langley returns to Norwich Theatre Royal for the new Christmas season to resume his successful festive partnership on stage with much-loved panto dame Richard Gauntlett. The pair struck comedy gold four years ago when they teamed up in Ben’s first Norwich panto Peter Pan in 2014-15. Snow White followed in 2015-16, in which Ben’s character Muddles captivated children with his search to find his pet goat, Greta. Now, after last year’s most successful Norwich panto ever, Jack and the Beanstalk, Ben is back to tread the boards again in Sleeping Beauty from December 13 through to January 14. As he tells Judy Foster, he is delighted at the prospect of another Christmas on home turf and feels he has built a real connection with Norwich audiences who caught on to his catchphrase of ‘Greta, Greta, Greta!’ “The Theatre Royal has absolutely become a bit of a home for me at Christmas,” Ben said. “It became a home on the second year because everyone is so welcoming on every level - in the restaurant, the crew are great, front-ofhouse are brilliant, everybody. You walk around the building and everybody knows you and you try your best to know them. “The audience is now familiar as well, especially from my third year. Snow White was great going into Jack and The Beanstalk because I’d had some great scenes with the gag about Greta the goat.

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Then bringing it back last year in Jack, just the mention of Greta made me realise ‘oh yes, they do know me and they do remember things’. I hadn’t really had that connection before, so it was a real sign of the audience knowing me.” He’s also looking forward to working with Richard Gauntlett again “who I love and adore”. The two had known each other for a number of years before pairing up in panto and the mother-son relationship on-stage translates into one of easy banter and camaraderie off-stage. Richard is once again writing and directing the panto and has lined up some challenges for Ben: “I can’t say too much, but it is going to be a little bit wet, something on the height front, my vertigo will be challenged. And I don’t like snakes much, so I am hoping there won’t be any snakes in the panto!” So, what has he been up to since the curtain came down on Jack and The Beanstalk in January? “I have been very busy – a very busy daddy to Elwood and Loxley. I have been doing my own variety show up and down the country and abroad – that’s the Ben Langley Show, lots

of juggling and blowing rubber gloves up on my head. I’ve been to all the holiday parks in Devon and Cornwall, a few around Norfolk, a couple up north, a couple of Thomson Holiday Villages, Ibiza and Cyprus, so that has been very nice and very busy.” He has also had writing commitments and two big television jobs. “I did a lovely episode in The Detectorists which is written by and stars Mackenzie Crook. I did Season One and then he emailed me and asked if I would be in Season Three, so I did a day’s filming in a scene he had written – and that is coming out in October-November. I play a solar guy - a small but significant role – in a very funny scene and I got to work with Mackenzie and the actor Toby Jones.” Ben is also involved as a presenter and performer with the CBeebies series Treasure Champs. “It’s a CBeebies pre-school programme about values. We were given 30 episodes straight away by the commissioner and I am in five – so that is coming out January 1st. So that’s all very exciting.” Having two young boys keeps him busy too, especially as his wife, Sarah, is also in the business and this year is once again choregraphing for the Sheffield Lyceum panto, as well as directing Aladdin at Diss Corn Hall.

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FineArts “Loxley has just started reception so that’s all new and exciting and daunting for him all at the same time. Elwood has just gone up to Class 2 and is doing well. So it’s very busy in our house. Sarah will be back up in Sheffield doing the choreography for the Sheffield Lyceum show, and she is also very happy to be directing the pantomime in Diss – so I get her very far away and then very close. So November, December and January are hectic and then we come out the other side and we think ‘oh yes, we’ve got two children’,” Ben said.

The boys get very excited about panto season. “They love all that and they are lucky boys because they get to come backstage. Everyone knows them and they get to go on the stage and have a look. Everything about the building is like Aladdin’s Cave to them. They always see the show about three or four times every year. I’m particularly excited this year because Dickleburgh Primary are coming and that is where Loxley and Elwood are, so that’s a big thing for me. I am going to be ever so nervous.”

His eldest son is rapidly becoming a mini expert in the art of performance and is happy to offer up his own critique. “Elwood will say to me ‘you know when you do the knife chop, I don’t know why you show them how it is done after’. He says ‘you shouldn’t do that Daddy. Just throw it away, keep them thinking Daddy’. Then the other day he said I say something too much in my show – something like ‘that’s nice’.” No doubt ‘that’s nice’ will be heard quite a few times from Ben’s character in this year’s panto. Muddles Midges the under-gardener, is son to Richard’s Mrs Midges, the housekeeper in a grand turn-of-the-century country house, and Ben does have a little gardening experience to fall back on. “I did grass cutting for my father-in-law because he used to run South Norfolk Gardening Agency, so I used to do Bunwell Church and lots of other places. I’ve got myself a Hayter mower. Although I think in the show it might be called a Gre-ay-ter! I think that might work!” Joining Ben on stage for Sleeping Beauty will be Derek Griffiths, of Play School and more recently Coronation Street fame (Chortwood the butler), EastEnders’ ‘Jean Slater’ actress Gillian Wright (Dowager Aunt Vipera), Elizabeth Carter (as Sleeping Beauty/Patience Midges), Glenn Adamson (the Hon. Timothy Norbridge), Stephen Godward (Lord Teddy Norbridge) and Richard Gauntlett (Mrs Midges). Sleeping Beauty is at Norwich Theatre Royal from December 13, 2017, to January 14, 2018. Tickets are available from the box office on 01603 630000 or online at www. Listing: Sleeping Beauty,Wednesday 13 December 2017-Sunday 14 January 2018. Tickets £7-£24.50. Under-threes free. Discounts for Friends, Over-60s, Under-18s and Groups. Signed performance on Saturday 13 Jan at 2.30pm. Audio-described performances on Wednesday 3 Jan and Saturday 6 Jan at 2.30pm. Captioned performance on Sunday 7 Jan at 1pm. Relaxed performance on Friday 5 Jan at 5.30pm which is bookable in person or by phone on 01603 630000.

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Fine City arts correspondent, Tony Cooper, looks at English National Opera’s new season at the London Coliseum


hen R And what a season! It opened in style with a powerful and engaging production of Verdi’s Aida, a timeless story of duty, love and betrayal, directed by Phelim McDermott, artistic director of the ground-breaking theatre company, Improbable. In fact, McDermott made his operatic début with ENO in 2007 directing an iconic interpretation of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha (he’ll return later in the season to direct its third revival) as well as the Olivier Awardwinning production of Akhnaten in 2016. The Canadian-born conductor, Keri-Lynn Wilson - who made her successful ENO début in 32 | Winter 2017

Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West in 2013 found herself in the pit overseeing a marvellous production that packed a punch particularly with the staging of the famous Grand March, a sure-fire hit and a highlight of the opera. Jonathan Miller’s riotously-funny production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville - first seen at the Coliseum some 30 years ago - proved its worth with Morgan Pearse and Eleazar Rodriguez reprising their roles of Figaro and the Count while Sarah Tynan (last seen with ENO in the title-role of Partenope) made her role début as Rosina and Alan Opie took on Dr Bartolo. And following a distinguished

Tony Cooper


career on the Continent, British conductor, Hilary Griffiths, also made his ENO début.

scheme for full-time students and people under the age of 30.

This season comprised nine fully-staged productions as opposed to eight last season. And this tally will rise to ten by 2019-20. Price is not a barrier either. For those wanting to experience great opera in a great theatre - whose architect was none other than the celebrated Frank Matcham - 500 tickets for £20 or less are available for every performance. The company has also been able to reduce the price of more than 50 per cent of the seats in the dress circle and is increasing the number of tickets available as part of their ‘Access All Arias’

The important work carried out by ENO’s learning and participation team flourishes as never before with the team engaging with over 15,000 people through the ENO Baylis programme as well as developing British talent through initiatives ranging from ENO Harewood Artists to ENO Mackerras Fellowships while ENO has forged a fruitful partnership with the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Opera House around their exhibition ‘Opera: Passion, Power and Politics’ running to 25th February 2018 at the V&A.

New work is the life-blood of any arts organisation and a new work coming to the Coliseum this season promises great things with Nico Muhly’s Marnie, his second world première for ENO following the enormous success of Two Boys in 2011. It will be conducted by Martyn Brabbins, his first production as ENO’s music director and directed by Tony Award-winning director, Michael Mayer, who’ll be making his UK operatic début. Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano, Sasha Cooke, creates the title-role, while acclaimed Canadian bass-baritone, Daniel Okulitch, makes

his company début as Mark Rutland. The cast also includes long-standing ENO favourite, Lesley Garrett, who won plaudits for her performance last year in the world première of Mark Simpson’s opera, Pleasure, produced by Opera North. Marnie - based on Winston Graham’s gripping psychological thriller that Alfred Hitchcock turned into a great movie starring Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery - provides a great topic for an opera and the scenario follows one woman on a journey from constant deceit into emotional honesty. She’s plagued by two men in very different ways and ENO’s chorus 2017 Winter | 33

FineArts will take centre stage playing a major role in creating an unsettling atmosphere of gossip, innuendo and pressure. Following the huge success of Mike Leigh’s The Pirates of Penzance, a new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s fantasy political satire Iolanthe will further bolster ENO’s reputation as the premier home for the works of this great comic pairing. An experienced interpreter of Gilbert and Sullivan’s work, Timothy Henty will conduct a cast of ENO favourites including Andrew Shore, Yvonne Howard and ENO Harewood Artist, Samantha Price. Award-winning director Cal McCrystal makes his ENO début with this production embracing the chaotic physical comedy and irreverence that are his hallmarks. Known for his creation of the vigorous slapstick sequences in the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors, McCrystal’s well known both on stage and in Hollywood as a master of comedy. ‘Gilbert and Sullivan invented the particularly English brand of the silliness that has inspired much of the clowning and comedy I’ve created over the last 20 years,’ explained McCrystal. This is going to be a surprising piece but one encircled by tradition: being set half in Arcadia and half in the House of Lords. This gives me plenty of opportunity to pull out all my best physical comedy and the sets are going to be a real playground for the performers to leap about on. The cast is handpicked - they’re all very good actors as well as great singers. I don’t want people to come and give a little laugh to show they get the joke, I want them to bang their heads on the seat in front with laughter!’ The final new production of ENO’s 2017/18 season is a sweepingly-romantic interpretation of La traviata from ENO’s artistic director, Daniel Kramer, his first production since taking up the position in August of last year. Irish soprano, Claudia Boyle, makes her role début as the ‘fallen woman’ Violetta. A former member of the Salzburger Festspeiel’s Young Singers Project, she has previously performed lead roles with ENO in The Pirates of Penzance and The Pearl Fishers. She’ll be joined by rising tenor and 2017 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World finalist, Lukhanyo Moyake, making his UK début as Alfredo. Olivier Award-nominated baritone, Alan Opie, sings Germont and British conductor, Leo McFall, will be making his house début. ‘Almost every opera-house round the world has a production of La traviata in its repertoire,’ said Kramer. ‘It’s one of the most heart-breaking operas ever written and I believe that our core audience come to ENO wanting to have new light shed upon such well-loved classics. ENO 34 | Winter 2017

for me is the home of contemporary takes on timeless stories and this is also one of my key passions when directing opera or theatre. I have built this production from the ground up to feature our world-class award-winning ENO chorus.’ For decades ENO has enjoyed a very special relationship with the music of both Handel and Britten. Therefore, the season welcomes revivals of both Richard Jones’s Olivier Award winning Rodelinda and Robert Carsen’s magical interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Welsh soprano, Rebecca Evans, returns to the title-role of Rodelinda for its first revival with countertenor, Tim Mead, as her husband, Bertarido, while Susan Bickley reprises the role of Eduige. Christian Curnyn, most recently seen with ENO conducting the five-star production of Handel’s Partenope, returns to the pit. First seen in 1995, the beautiful dreamscapes of Robert Carsen’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream have since delighted audiences around the world. An important showcase of the vocal talent nurtured by ENO, the exceptional cast features five ENO Harewood Artists. Soraya Mafi makes her role début as Tytania returning after her stunning performances as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. Led by conductor Alexander Soddy, the cast also includes David Webb and Matthew Durkan as Lysander and Demetrius, Clare Presland and Eleanor Dennis as Hermia and Helena and countertenor Christopher Ainslie as Oberon. Phelim McDermott returns for his second show of the season to direct the third revival of his iconic production of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha. British tenor, Toby Spence, takes on the role of the Indian independence leader, M K Gandhi, for the first time. Contemporary music champion and former music director of the Staatsoper Hannover, Karen Kamensek, who conducted last year’s performances of Akhnaten to great critical acclaim, returns to St Martin’s Lane for her first performance of this piece.

team up in the 2018/19 season with ENO and Opera North co-producing the world première of Iain Bell’s fourth opera, Jack the Ripper, featuring Rupert Charlesworth in the title-role. A sympathetic exploration of womanhood in London’s East End, the central roles will be created by some of the UK’s finest singers including Josephine Barstow, Susan Bullock, Lesley Garrett, Janis Kelly and Marie McLaughlin. And looking ahead, a collaboration gets off the ground next year between Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and ENO who’ll collaborate on a new production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw - a story of unearthly encounters at a remote country house. It will be directed by multiple Olivier Award-winner Timothy Sheader (artistic director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and conducted by ENO Mackerras Fellow, Toby Purser. For more information check out ENO’s full programme/performance schedule by logging on to Box office: 0207 845 9300 Email: Travelling by train: Greater Anglia run regular services every half hour from Norwich Thorpe Station 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. 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.

Martyn Brabbins will conduct the final production of the current season with Fiona Shaw returning to ENO to direct the second revival of her production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. ENO Harewood Artist, Rhian Lois, will sing the role of the cunning maidservant Susanna working alongside Dutch baritone, Thomas Oliemans, making his ENO début as Figaro. Baritone, Ashley Riches, plays the Count opposite Lucy Crowe making her role début as his beleaguered Countess. Finally, ENO Harewood Artist, Katie Coventry, makes her role début as Cherubino. Daniel Kramer and Martyn Brabbins will 2017 Winter | 35



city gallery is set to mark the festive season with a return to the traditional. The Fairhurst Gallery in Norwich will host an exhibition by two young artists, both renowned for their classical work. The Fall of Light will include paintings and drawings by London-based artists Olivia Crane and Georgina Stanley. Alongside the exhibition the Fairhurst Gallery will be launching their new Gallery Shop, which will stock a range of special editions made by emerging and internationally established artists and designers. Nina Fowler, of the Fairhurst Gallery, said: “We have decided to end the year with a return to the traditional. Georgina and Olivia represent the art of academic painting and drawing. “Having mastered their techniques under the guidance of esteemed tutors in Florence, we are proud to showcase their skills. “Sometimes with a contemporary twist on the classical still-life, their paintings and drawings are always executed to capture the essence of what they are observing and, of course, the fall of light. “It is always refreshing to see a younger generation of artists appreciating and aspiring to recreate the techniques of the old masters.” Olivia, who is based in Hackney, studied Art History & Classical World Culture at Newcastle University before moving to Italy for two years to learn the techniques of the old masters. Olivia said: “My current work is an amalgamation of all the influences I’ve encountered over the years as a student of the traditional arts in Italy and assistant to contemporary artists working in today’s art world. “I hope to reanimate traditional methods of painting and drawing in a contemporary context with my work. I believe this type of representational art still has a significant relevance in our artistic dialogue today.” Georgina started painting at school, but it wasn’t until she attended the Florence Academy of Art in 2011 that she began to explore still life and portraiture more fully. In 2014 she organised Represent, an exhibition in London to promote the work of contemporary realist painters from around the world.

Fairhurst Gallery City gallery set to return to the traditional this Christmas with exhibition and new gallery shop

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Now working full time in Brixton, Georgina works from life and in natural light, using a combination of oil and charcoal. She often chooses perishable items to represent the fleeting moments before decay sets in. The exhibition is on at The Fairhurst Gallery

from December 1 through to December 23, 2017. Accompanying the exhibition, the Gallery Shop will be stocked with special editions of artist’s work, some created especially for the Fairhurst - from artists who have worked with the gallery in the past, to those the gallery will showcase in the future and others the team are eager to introduce to the Norwich lanes. Nina Fowler said: “We are very excited to launch the Gallery Shop this Christmas. We aim to make it a ‘go to’ spot for buying unique gifts, an extra special treat or simply to browse the latest creations from a wide variety of talent.” There will also be a selection of framed and unframed prints, plus unique pieces from local and emerging artists to internationally established ones. Bella Singleton will be represented with a collection of scarves (as stocked in the Tate Modern), photographer David Gwinnutt, fresh from his exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery, will showcase a pair of antique chairs, upholstered with his portrait of artists Gilbert and George, as well as his recent book The White Camera Diaries. Also available in the Gallery Shop, will be sculptures from Royal College graduate Bruce Ingram, Geraldine Swayne (recently named the Best Portrait Painter in Britain – Artlyst 2017), Cat Santos, Nicky Deeley, JD Appleton, Guy Allen, Joni Smith, Nom Kinnear King, Rosie Emerson, Rachel Kurdynowska, Davide Lakshmanasamy John Moore, Jo Stafford, Nina Mae Fowler and Par Avion. The gallery, on Bedford Street, is open Tuesday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5.30pm with additional viewings available by appointment.

About Fairhurst Tucked away in the Norwich Lanes, once a 17th century skittle alley and formerly the Cat Trap jazz club, the Fairhurst is a unique gallery space, hosting regular exhibitions.  The Fairhurst Gallery champions contemporary fine art, bringing variety and brilliance to the city of Norwich. With a

view to developing the careers of new professional artists and helping established practitioners reach new audiences,The Fairhurst repeatedly show inspirational work of the highest standards. The Fairhurst Gallery also offers a traditional framing business as well as a bespoke restoration service, with clients including stately homes around the region, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich Castle and the Sainsbury Centre. About Olivia Crane After two years of intense training in Italy, Olivia spent a year in Paris working as a painting assistant to the British artist Nick Devereux, helping to create large scale oil paintings based on master paintings lost or destroyed in WWII. She now divides her time between working in her studio in Hackney and as a painter’s assistant to the artist Philip Colbert in his studio in Shoreditch. About Georgina Stanley Although Georgina enjoys Portraiture work, her paintings are predominately Still Life; exploring the process of determining every element of the painting, from the objects chosen and their placement, to the fall of light and study of colour. Working solely with traditional methods and materials, she enjoys celebrating the imagery so closely associated with her training, whilst also endeavouring to bring touches of modern life to her work in order to act as a contrast.

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Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery FINE CITY arts correspondent, Tony Cooper, checks out a special exhibition curated by Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery focusing on the world-renowned Dutch artist, Rembrandt ‘I have had three masters: Nature, Velazquez and Rembrandt.’ (Francisco Goya, c. 1799) A major exhibition of prints, drawings and paintings by Rembrandt come together in a rare, remarkable and refreshing show at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery entitled Rembrandt: Lightening the Darkness with Birketts, the East Anglian-based law firm with offices in

Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Norwich, the headline sponsor. The exhibition (to Sunday 7th January 2018) is the latest in a very successful series of world class exhibitions mounted by Norwich Castle over the past few years comprising The

Wonder of Birds (2014), Homage to Manet (2015), Artist Rooms: Jeff Koons (2016), British Art Show 8 (2016), Fishermen and Kings: the photography of Olive Edis (2016) and Nelson and Norfolk (2017). Forming the core of the exhibition is the little-known (but highlysignificant) collection of Rembrandt etchings held by the Norfolk Museums Service whose outstanding collection of Rembrandt etchings is the fourth most cherished collection in the country after the British Museum, the Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge) and the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford). The most important print in the collection, however, is an impression of ‘Christ Presented to the People’ printed on vellum. But in its entirety the collection - bequeathed to Norwich Castle in 1951 in the will of London art dealer, Percy Moore Turner - comprises 93 examples. Turner, by the way, was a trusted advisor to Samuel Courtauld, a passionate art collector who helped to establish the Courtauld Collection and encouraged the Tate Gallery and the National Gallery to purchase Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings for the nation. He spent part of his life in Norwich and was heavily involved with the Castle during the 1920s and 1930s. The exhibition - unique to Norwich and, therefore, will not be seen anywhere else - has been jointly curated by Dr Francesca Vanke, Keeper of Art and Curator of Decorative Art and Dr Giorgia Bottinelli, Curator of Historic Art, at Norwich Castle.

A Woman in Bed, 164(7) (National Galleries Scotland)

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‘This is the first time Norwich Castle’s extraordinary collection of etchings by Rembrandt has been exhibited as a group for more than 30 years,’ explained Dr Vanke. ‘The exhibition demonstrates how Rembrandt’s handling of light and darkness, expressed purely through the medium of black space and white space around them, was unsurpassed.’ The prints will be complemented by a host

The Angel preventing Abraham from sacrificing his son Isaac, c.1634-5 (Trustees of the British Museum)

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FineArts ‘Rembrandt paints more movingly than possibly any other painter who has ever lived.’ (Maggi Hambling, BBC Radio 4,

ing a Brook to Egypt - Cross Left: The Flight in s Service) s Service) (Norfolk Museum (Norfolk Museum an om W e ak nc Right: The Pa

The Artist’s Mother Seated at a Table (Norfolk Museums Service)

2014) The exhibition - accompanied by a richlyillustrated publication, Rembrandt: Lightening the Darkness, written by Dr Vanke and Dr Bottinelli, the first to be devoted to the Norwich Castle Rembrandt etching collection (Norfolk Museums Service, £12.99) - also includes a print-room to guide visitors through the printmaking process while original copperetching plates from the Norwich School of Artists drawn from the Norwich Castle collections will also illuminate this fascinating process.

of specially-selected drawings and paintings by Rembrandt which have been loaned from national museums and galleries. However, the exhibition will focus specifically on one of the less well-known aspects of Rembrandt’s output, namely his fascination with printmaking, in particular his use of this medium to explore innovative tonal gradations to produce evocative images of the Dutch landscape and biblical scenes as well as sensitive portraits including many introspective self-portraits. During his lifetime, Rembrandt - or to give him his full name Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - was as famed for his etchings as for his paintings. In Britain, for example, he was far better known as a printmaker. However, Rembrandt’s preoccupation with light and shade can be seen throughout his work as exemplified by specially-selected additional works which complement the prints such as a fascinating trio of oil paintings: ‘A Woman in Bed’ (National Galleries of Scotland), ‘Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb’ (The Royal Collection) and ‘Anna and the Blind Tobit’ (National Gallery). The British Museum, too, has also loaned a chalk-and-wash drawing ‘The Angel preventing Abraham from sacrificing his son Isaac’ together with four prints. It is highly unlikely that these works have ever been exhibited together before.

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‘Rembrandt is a miraculous draftsman of life in motion and one of the first painters who really moved me. He never stopped being important to me.’ (Frank Auerbach, 2013) Dr Bottinelli explains: ‘By comparing prints with a chosen group of paintings and drawings we are showing how physical and metaphorical light and darkness meet and combine in Rembrandt’s work in all media, creating narratives that communicate to the viewer across time.’ The process of etching, used in printmaking since The Middle Ages, is achieved by the artist drawing a picture with a needle on to a metal plate which has been covered with a waxy ground. The plate is then dipped in acid which bites into the lines created by the artist. Rembrandt was highly skilled in etching as well as other related techniques of engraving and dry-point, a printmaking technique of the intaglio family in which an image is incised into a plate with a hard-pointed needle of sharp metal or diamond point. Rembrandt is widely credited as being one of the world’s most renowned and innovative printmakers. Forming the largest part of the exhibition are 83 stunning etchings from Norwich Castle’s

Rembrandt collection. The subjects of the prints cover the whole range of his creative life including self-portraits, portraits of friends and family. These include a particularly lovely study of Rembrandt’s mother as well as landscapes, biblical scenes and nude studies. Each of the prints vividly reveals Rembrandt’s outstanding ability to capture the many nuances of light and shade. Enigmatic figures emerge from evocative darkened backgrounds, night is subtly differentiated from shadow, while narrative and emotion are heightened by contrasts and perfectly-added highlights. Unlike many artists Rembrandt printed the plates himself and often reworked them as can be seen from comparing different states of the same subject. Additionally, he was perpetually experimenting, often employing different acids and using hatching lines of varying thickness, bitten to depths of various degrees, in his attempts to achieve greater tonal effects. Different papers, European and Oriental as well as oatmeal and vellum, were also a means to create further gradations in texture and contrast. Rembrandt treated print-making - which was to him a constantly-evolving art - as an artistic medium in its own right rather than merely a means of the mass reproduction of existing works.

Margaret Dewsbury, Chair of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee, said: ‘Visitors from the area and further afield will relish this beautiful exhibition by one of the most important and best-loved artists in European history and enjoy observing the minute and intense detail of Rembrandt’s prints. The exhibition presents a rare opportunity to view at close range this outstanding but until now little-known collection. This is another example of the cultural riches Norwich has to offer.’ Jonathan Agar, chief executive officer of Birketts, commented: ‘As passionate supporters of the Norfolk community and having a strong AngloDutch legal practice, Birketts is immensely proud and absolutely delighted to support the Rembrandt exhibition which explores the extraordinary collection of one of the world’s greatest printmakers.’ The exhibition has also been supported by the John Jarrold Trust and the East Anglia Art Fund. Established in 1965, the John Jarrold Trust has the object of promoting, supporting and advancing charitable purposes of all kinds with a focus on the arts, education and community projects while the East Anglia Art Fund is dedicated to enriching cultural life in East Anglia by supporting the best in exhibitions and art education. / www. Visitors to the Rembrandt exhibition will also have the opportunity to view another new show, We Came Here to Conquer, bringing together eleven locally-based contemporary artists working in the field of print and printmaking comprising Charlie Barkus, Matthew Benington, Adam Bridgland, Alec Game, Aaron Scott Griffin, Reece Jones, Jade Jamean Lees, Flora Parrott, Sophie Purchase, Carl Rowe and Gabrielle Walker. Their speciallycommissioned work has been produced in response to the modern and contemporary

print collection at Norwich Castle and will be shown alongside the prints that have influenced or shaped the direction of the commissions. Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Castle Hill, Norwich NR1 3JU Tel: 01603 495897 Opening times: Monday-Saturday 10.00am4.30pm; Sunday 1.00pm-4.30pm Admissions: Castle Ticket (including Special Exhibitions): adult £9.15; concs £8.70; child (418) £7.30 Family: 2 adults plus all children £31.10; family: 1 adult plus all children £23.30 Special Exhibitions Ticket only Rembrandt: Lightening the Darkness: adult £6.00; concs £5.70; child (4-18 years) £4.80

Group of Musicians Listening to a Flute Player (Norfolk Museums Service)


Tony Cooper


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A christmas circus carol The Oak Circus Centre in central Norwich will be presenting three performances of their Dickens themed cabaret for all ages, A Christmas Circus Carol, on Friday 15, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December


nspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the show will give both children and adults from The Oaks’ popular circus courses the unique opportunity to perform alongside seasoned professionals from Norwich’s very own multinational Lost in Translation Circus company. It will also give a taster of the sort of skills people of all ages can learn at The Oak throughout the year. Lost in Translation are rapidly becoming established as one of the country’s leading and best-loved contemporary circus companies for their trademark warm humour combined with heart-stoppingly virtuosic skilful aerial and floor acrobatics. They recently wowed a crowd of thousands in Chapelfield Gardens for Norwich’s city centre ‘Spooky City’ Halloween evening and are prime movers in next year’s national Circus250 events which see celebrations all over the UK and Ireland to mark the 250th year since the world’s very first circus performance. The professional performers in A Christmas Circus Carol will include Lost in Translation CoDirector Massimiliano Rossetti and core artist Roisin Morris who have held the Guinness World Record for most somersaults on a Korean Cradle in one minute since 2015. The Oak Circus Centre is Lost in Translation’s own base, the only centre of its kind in the East of England run by experienced circus professionals. It runs courses for all ages from complete beginners to those looking to make a career in the contemporary circus as well as providing rehearsal and creation facilities for visiting professional companies. The facilities have recently been used by companies such as The Russian State Circus and Australia’s Casus Circus.

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rt Fair East is a relatively new annual contemporary art fair, held at Norwich’s historic St Andrew’s Hall in December (this year Fri 1- Sun 3) – perfect timing for Christmas shopping! Now in its third year, it has quickly established itself as the foremost place to see, and buy, top quality contemporary art in the east of England. Bringing together artists, galleries and dealers from this region and further afield, Art Fair East is already being recognised as one of the leading UK contemporary art fairs outside London. Founded and curated by experienced arts professionals Will Teather and Brian Korteling, the fair is an opportunity for artists, galleries and dealers to present their work to a wide public. As successful artists themselves, both are passionate about getting more people interested in original contemporary art and helping artists to make a living from their work. As Will Teather says, ‘All artwork is either oneoff or limited edition. Having a large-scale art fair in the city is making venues and artists outside the area take note of Norwich as a hub for the arts. It also helps

expose venues outside the area to local artists that participate in the event.’.

established names like Banksy as well as newer up and coming artists.

As well as providing a showcase for artists and galleries in Norfolk and Suffolk, the fair also features exhibitors from London, around the UK and overseas (work comes from as far afield as Africa). It is this international outlook that gives Art Fair East the unique quality that is attracting prestigious dealers to add it to their annual diary. Gallery specialists will be available to advise on collecting contemporary art, from affordable prints by recognised artists and new talent through to serious investments, including original paintings, prints, sculpture, photography and artworks made to commission. Visitors will also be able to meet art experts and many of the artists whose work is on display.

Le Dame is a London-based Italian-run gallery with an international reputation for scouting and representing up-and-coming artists from around the world. For their first visit to Art Fair East the gallery will be showing a selection of nature-inspired artworks by four very different artists from Italy, Poland and Wales. These include photographs printed onto metal then covered in resin, Swarovski crystals and diamond dust by Gabriela Herma, and Mauro Molle’s paintings of fantastic animals. Alice Padovana assembles jewel-like scarab beetles and tiny objects to create exquisite and precious pieces, whilst Martin Robert Reed’s gestural, expressionist paintings draw and immerse the viewer directly into his work.

Once again there will be artists and dealers in fine art, modern art, urban and street art, photography and sculpture. London’s prestigious Underdog Gallery represents a handpicked selection of artists and will be returning after a successful first year in 2016 with work from

Closer to home there are several locally-based artists taking part. Norfolk’s David Chedgey, best known simply as Chedgey, will be exhibiting and offering his skills as a portrait painter for commission. A former lecturer who has been painting and sculpting

Art Fair East A London style international contemporary art fair right here in Norwich 1-3 December 2017, St Andrews Hall Norwich

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The Red Card Comedy Club

for over sixty years he has work in public and private collections worldwide. Amongst his past commissions have been portraits of two of his ex-students - Norman Lamb MP and the Hollywood actor Mark Strong.

Since opening our doors over 15 years ago, we have had some of the biggest and best-loved names in comedy grace the stage at Carrow Road. Michael McIntyre, Reginald D. Hunter, Sarah Millican, Micky Flanagan and Terry Alderton are just a few of the big hitters that are friends of Red Card Comedy Club.

Suffolk based Val Bright-Jones is a first-time exhibitor. Val paints mostly moving figures in landscapes or water and is ‘thrilled to have been selected for Art Fair East 2017. This will be a wonderful opportunity to reach new audiences with my work and I am excited to be showing at a fair that has already exhibited international names like Banksy and Nando Kallweit. At the fair I plan on displaying paintings in oil and acrylic.’


o what makes Red Card Comedy Club the best loved place for stand-up comedy in Norfolk? Well we were the first, we have continually put shows on whether at Carrow Road or at the hugely successful Laugh In The Park in Chapelfield Gardens, but more importantly it’s the atmosphere created at one of our shows.

Computer drawn images are the specialism of Howard Temperley, former Professor of American Studies at University of East Anglia, although mainly of local scenes his colourful, graphic drawings have appeal beyond the county.

We aim to bring a good mixture of established and up and coming acts all set in a cabaret style environment, and of course we have a lovely band of loyal comedy supporters who make the evenings what they are. So if it is the regular monthly show, Laugh in the Park or one of the Red Card on the Road shows, you know that you will be guaranteed a good laugh. Never been to a show? Here’s the lowdown

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GET THERE EARLY That way you get the pick of the best seats and you’ll be able to sit next to your mates. DRINKS AND FOOD If you fancy a bite to eat before the show there is plenty available at the bar in the Norfolk Lounge. Tasty burgers, plaice goujons and chips, will be available from 7.30pm, so you can line your stomach before the beer starts flowing, the jokes start rolling and your sides start splitting. You can also enjoy 20% off your food bill in Yellows American Bar and Grill at Carrow Road when you show your red card comedy tickets! The bar is open throughout the evening with great drink offers such as 2 Coronas for £5 and

bottles of wine for £12, The Carling Lounge is also open during performances and after the acts have finished. Please try not to get completely trolleyed, we don’t want to ask you to leave because you’re 20 times over the limit! LINE-UPS CAN CHANGE If you want to see a specific comedian always double check the listings. TIMES Our doors are open from 7.00pm and the show kicks off at 8.30pm. We usually have things all finished by 11.15pm. BEFORE THE SHOW We let you know the show is starting in 5 minutes, so you can nip to the loo, the bar or just to settle in for the night.

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BRINGING A FRESH FINE ART EXPERIENCE TO NORWICH When you next walk into Norwich, you’ll see a new addition to the High Street. Located on Orford Place (just off Haymarket, and behind Debenhams) is a stunning new destination from which to secure art, Gallery Rouge.


ou may not have heard of them before, but with over 10 years’ experience, Gallery Rouge are no newcomers to the fine art scene. The original gallery was opened in St Albans, Hertfordshire in 2007, with a second gallery created in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. So, the natural question Owner and Director Kuldip Chohan is frequently asked – why Norwich? “I visited Norfolk on holiday and was immediately captivated by the surroundings. I felt the residents of Norfolk and Suffolk would welcome a contemporary art gallery with a varied choice, so I thought why not!” What can you expect? Firstly, with representation of over 60 artists, Gallery Rouge certainly has an enviable collection to choose from. With a large selection of overseas artists, you’ll find works which they exclusively represent not just in the UK but in Europe. A large proportion of their works are affordably priced originals, alongside a discerning selection of collectible Limited Edition Kathryn Callaghan – Accomplish - Original Ink & Gel on Paper - £995

works. For those looking for investible artwork, the gallery can certainly assist you too with internationally renowned artists part of their ensemble.

Allan Morgan – Rouge Fields – Original Oil on Board - £850

Next is the gallery itself. Spread over two floors the gallery boasts 1,500 square feet of pristine display space. Crisp lighting perfectly highlights the nuances of each piece. Knowledgeable consultants are on hand to assist you in identifying and selecting artwork which creates just the right feel for your home. The gallery will be hosting regular events and exhibitions, providing you with an opportunity to meet the artists and get up close and personal, whilst enjoying the launch of exclusive new collections.

Katy Jade Dobson – Koi – Signed limited Edition on Paper - £395

JJ Adams – Who Wants to Live Forever – Signed Limited Edition on Paper - £540

Gallery Rouge are one of the UK’s most progressive art dealers. With physical galleries in Hertfordshire and Norfolk, we pride ourselves on identifying talented artists from around the world, and displaying them in superb surroundings.

So if you’re looking for artwork for your home or office, why not visit Gallery Rouge when you’re next in Norwich!

Our unrelenting devotion to client service has garnered us an enviable reputation.

3-5 Orford Place, Norwich NR1 3RU. 01603 762211. Monday - Saturday: 10am - 5.30pm Sunday: 11am - 5pm

01603 762211 •

Nigel Cooke – Westminster Sunrise – Original Acrylic on Board - £995

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Would you like to travel in light?

The Voice Project Choir’s new piece explores three very different locations in the same medieval Norwich Street.

Voice Project co-director Jon said explained ‘Each of these buildings has its own sound and atmospheric qualities, brilliant for a choral piece as these buildings were literally made for singing in.’


n one of the darkest parts of the year, when the post-festive blues can really set in, The Voice Project Choir offer to take you on an uplifting multi venue journey that will inspire with the promise of spring to come.

‘St George’s is a living church. Parts of the building date from the 13th century and it has clear but gentle acoustic properties. On the other hand, St Peter Hungate, also dating back to at least the 13th century is empty, closed as a working church in the 1930’s, giving it a much livelier sound with a much longer reverberation time.

The 150 voices of the choir, plus soloists and guest musicians will perform their new piece, Travels in Light, the final part of a trilogy of pieces about sleep, dreaming and waking and the bits in between on 20 January. There will be three separate performances at 5pm; 7pm and 9pm.

The United Reformed Church is a totally different type of building built in the early 19th century. It is bright, open and airy with a gallery and much bigger windows than the other two.

The show is a multi-venue secular performance piece that will be staged in the three very different churches on Norwich’s medieval Prince’s Street - St George’s Tombland, St Peter Hungate and the United Reformed Church with the choir leading the audience between them. Each of these buildings has a significantly different atmosphere and acoustic properties which will help highlight Travels in Light’s reflections on the time of the year: the sleep of winter, the dark nights and the short days yet an ultimate awakening with the promise of spring to come.

My co-director Sian Croose and I explored this area extensively when we were planning and researching our outdoor promenade show Singing the City for the 2012 Norfolk & Norwich Festival. The history of the area is fascinating and we’re hoping that Travels in Light will reflect this. As you can probably tell we’re really enjoying making the show for this wonderful street!’

All the music for the concerts has been specially written for the Voice Project Choir.

Inspiration for the show came from a quote from painter Paul Nash ‘The divisions we may

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hold between the waking world and that of the dream are not there; they are porous; in a word, they are not there’. The Voice Project was set up in 2008 as an educational education and performance organisation by music professionals Sian Croose and Jonathan Baker. Since then it has become one of the best known community choirs in East Anglia and beyond having performed at international festivals in mainland Europe, appeared on prime time TV and had a concert broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Their show The Arms of Sleep has

been commissioned for the 2018 Brighton International Festival. Tickets priced £12 (£10 concessions) are available from which also has information on all Voice Project activities.

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The Band

Feb 6th - 17th 2018

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FineArts It is the musical set to celebrate the music of take that and highlight the bonds enjoyed by their fans.


he Band is set to be one of the mustsee musicals of 2018 and is being directed by a man who is no stranger to adoration himself, the former EastEnder Jack Ryder. He gives an insight into the show and the advice he would give the stars of the show about the fame game. From the Beatles through the Bay City Rollers and the Osmonds to Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet right up to Bros and Westlife, the boy-band has always been a part of pop culture. The adoration and angst associated with seeing your idols perform is a key part of coming-ofage. And this, set to a soundtrack of the iconic music of Take That, is at the heart of The Band which comes to Norwich Theatre Royal on February 6-17. It begins as a group of 16-yearolds follow The Band of the title on tour. The show then flashes forward to pick up on

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the women’s lives in their forties to see how they have changed as people and whether the relationship between them will be the same. It features a host of Take That hits from their early days right up to the present day in parallel with the events of the show.

directing a number of productions for him, and when he got the first draft of the play he knew it was something special. A strong creative team also helps. Hugelyrespected author Tim Firth has penned the script and is well known for his work on stage and screen including Calendar Girls and Sign Of The Times, and Take That themselves have also been co-producing, playing a key part in the whole creative process.

And it also features Five To Five, the boy-band who won through the BBC’s Let It Shine TV show which launched a prime-time search for a quartet of boys to perform many of the hits of Take That and also take on a number of roles in the show. The person with the job of directing the production and bring the story to the stage is Jack Ryder. Although he is best known for the role of Jamie Mitchell in EastEnders, his creative energies are now much more focused backstage having directed a number of successful theatre productions including Calendar Girls and The Full Monty. Although the show will not premiere until this autumn, specially selected VIP audiences have had the chance to see a workshop version of the production and speaking after this, he said he was pleased with how those initial performances had gone. He said: “I am happy with it. It has been so fantastic to go to work and be able to create this production. You

But does having the likes of Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen being such a key part of the project make it tricky? Jack laughed: “It is a bit of pressure isn’t it? Take That are also hugely loved. When you are working though, they just want to make sure the show is right. It is all about the show first and making sure the audience enjoy it.” just never know what is going to happen. The performance happened just a few hours after we started the tech rehearsal. The fact it has gone so well is testament to the creative team and the cast as well as a strong belief in this production and the enthusiasm of everyone involved.” So how did The Band story begin for Jack? He has had a long professional relationship with producer David Pugh,

And it is not just Take That. Five To Five won the BBC TV Saturday night show and after a night of celebration, started working straight away on the production. How did they adapt to the demands of creating such a high-profile stage show? Very well, according to Jack. He said: “It has been a joy. The boys are so focused and they want to get it just right. Every teabreak and lunch-break in rehearsals, they were

working on the songs or thinking about the props or their entrances or exits. You don’t normally get that. They are sharp, take on board every suggestion we give them to enhance their performance and are just fantastic to work with.” With all the excitement and hype surrounding the show, has it given him the motivation to be front and centre of a production rather than behind the scenes? “I would not mind going back on stage but at the moment, the work is stacking up for me. I know this business and I always say it is like snakes and ladders. You work your way up. It is always like that. You are up for a while and then you don’t work for a year. At the moment, things are going well for me,” he said. And that adoration that heart-throbs face whether Take That or Five To Five is not something he enjoyed despite being part of a prime-time soap. He recalled: ”I never liked it. It is an odd thing. Girls are screaming in your face, crying and fainting. People think it is wonderful but when you are in that situation, it is not a nice thing to happen. I enjoyed the work but I did not enjoy the fame and attention. I thought all the showbiz parties were nonsense and did not really engage with them. When I used to

travel on a train, I would keep a baseball cap over my face.” One of the advantages for Five To Five will be that they are together and can support each other through the ups and downs. “These boys are always together. They are like Take That in that they can deal with things and go on this journey together. The boys have a fantastic future whatever happens with this show and beyond.” And Jack is particularly looking forward to bringing the show to Norwich. His mum loves the city and is hoping to move there. “I am hoping she will be there by the time The Band gets to you. It is such a lovely place to be and London is not that far away.” So it looks like all systems go for a hit musical that is set to be a huge Norwich hit for Jack in more ways than one. Look out for a flying visit when The Band are in the city. Listing: The Band, Tuesday 6-Saturday 17 Feb, 2018. Mon-Thurs at 7.30pm, Fri at 5pm and 8.30pm, and Thurs 8th Feb at 2.30pm. Please note there are no Sunday performances. Tickets £8-£49.50. Discounts for Friends and Groups. To book, log onto www.theatreroyalnorwich. or call the box office on 01603 630000

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FineCity Magazine - Winter 2017  

The 2017 Winter edition of FineCity Magazine for the fine city of Norwich.