With a full programme for 2024 set to be announced in the New Year, Norfolk & Norwich Festival have today announced the first shows to go on sale for next year’s programme. The Festival will run for 17 days from 10 May – 26 May 2024 with artists from around the world and across the region presenting a huge variety of work and events in Norwich and across the county.
All the way from South America and created especially for the Festival’s Adnams Spiegeltent, Circolombia will present the World Premiere of Corazón (‘heart’ in Spanish). Founded in 2006, Circolombia showcase the talents of young Columbians, and is known for producing high-energy modern circus shows with a distinctive Latin feel. Having toured across the world, performing at festivals from Adelaide to Edinburgh, they arrive to headline the Spiegeltent in Festival Gardens between 15 – 26 May. Corazón will be in keeping with their acclaimed style – a circus concert full of breathless acrobatic feats and infectious music.
On the opening weekend Aurora Orchestra will return to the Festival for the first time in seven years with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3. Performed entirely from memory, audiences will be treated to a delightfully intimate concert on 11 May at Norwich Cathedral.
The Festival welcomes back leading champion of the harpsichord Mahan Esfahani. Performing with Britten Sinfonia on 25 May, they’ll complete their season-long Bach collaboration at St Peter Mancroft in Norwich. Alongside the complete cycle of Bach’s uplifting and era-defining keyboard concertos, they will perform a programme of Bach’s second orchestral suite, which doubles as a flute concerto, and the baroque concerto the fifth Brandenburg. They are joined by violinist Jacqueline Shave.
Also on the opening weekend, Ashley Grote will present a unique, meditative performance on the newly rebuilt Norwich Cathedral organ, on 12 May. Norwich Cathedral has one of the largest pipe organs in the country, featuring an incredible 5,767 pipes that range from ten metres to just an inch long. In a programme of Olivier Messiaen, the Cathedral Master of Music will play three towering works of the organ repertoire, displaying the full range of the instrument.
Kenny Anderson (aka King Creosote) will bring his emotive brand of folk-pop to the Festival for one night on 18 May at Norwich Cathedral. King Creosote has released over 100 records since his debut in the 1990s, and his songs have been covered and performed by artists including Simple Minds and Patti Smith. His latest album, I DES explores a kaleidoscopic musical terrain with vibraphones, accordions, e-bows and samplers.
Norwich born, international musician Laura Cannell will present the live version of her seventh solo album Antiphony of the Trees – a concert focused solely on the recorder and taking inspiration from the sound of the birdsong which cuts through the crisp air of the fen valley where she lives. Armed with bass, tenor, alto and double recorders, she will transcribe birdsong into a minimalist solo chamber music.
Fellow East Anglian and Festival favourite Luke Wright returns with his latest critically acclaimed show Silver Jubilee. For twenty-five years, Luke has built a reputation for being one of Britain’s most popular live poets. With sold out shows across the world, he regularly tours with John Cooper Clarke and The Libertines. Silver Jubilee provides a warm, funny and honest hour of poems and stand-up with the directness and pathos for which he has come to be known. The show includes some wild experiments in the form of a nervous kitten called Sir John Betjeman and a healthy smattering of drum ‘n’ bass.
Daniel Brine, Festival Director said: “It always feels like we’re up and running each year with the announcement of the first shows. While it’s only a tiny taste of what’s to come, there’s a nice representative blend of the local and the international – something that’s particularly important to our Festival. We’re also really excited to present a brand new show from the fantastic Circolombia – a show packed full of their trademark music and energetic circus skills, but one unusually created specifically for a Spiegeltent.”