Friday, 25 March 2011

Chamber Orchestra Anglia and UEA Drama Present Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale

Chamber Orchestra Anglia is joining forces with University of East Anglia’s (UEA) drama department to present a dramatisation comprising music, acting and dance of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale at UEA Drama Studio on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 April at 7.30pm. Tickets costing £10 (concessions £5) are available from UEA box office tel. 01603 508050 or at

The Soldier’s Tale was written and first performed in 1918. This Faustian story focuses on a young soldier who gives his fiddle to the Devil in return for riches and luxury and then battles to regain control of his life. The piece was written to be performed by seven musicians with a narrator, along with actors playing the roles of the soldier and the Devil and a dancer as the princess. Chamber Orchestra Anglia’s collaboration with UEA features a cast of 11 actors and dancers who will present a full dramatic and dance interpretation of the soldier’s struggles with the Devil.

Chamber Orchestra Anglia’s key aims are to forge new links and relationships with other art forms and scientific disciplines and present inspiring and accessible classical concerts. The orchestra’s artistic director and principal conductor, Sharon Andrea Choa, is Director of Music at UEA and conductor of the UEA Symphony Orchestra. The leader of the orchestra is Simon Smith, an outstanding violinist who has performed extensively as a soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

Sharon Andrea Choa explained: “I am very excited about our collaboration with UEA drama department. It is very unusual for The Soldier’s Tale to be performed with such a large cast. It will be a memorable event for the musicians, actors and audience. Chamber Orchestra Anglia is very keen for our audiences to relax and feel part of the concert – there is no need to sit in a formal ‘strait jacket’.”

Holly Maples, UEA drama lecturer and director of The Soldier’s Tale said: “The students are all in their second or third year and are really pleased to have this opportunity to be working with a professional orchestra. It is a challenging piece of physical theatre for them as they interpret the emotion of Stravinsky’s music and the conflict between good and evil.”

For more information about Chamber Orchestra Anglia see

Norfolk’s World Snail Racing Championships in Final Ten Where else but England? Award

Norfolk’s World Snail Racing Championships, staged annually in Congham, has made it to the final 10 of VisitEngland’s Where else but England? award 2011. The snail racing is up against nine of England’s most quirky events and needs everyone in Norfolk to vote in the online poll to give it the chance of taking the Where else but England? crown.

Vote now for the World Snail Racing Championships at or at the Where else but England? page on Facebook. The winner will be revealed in The Sun newspaper on April 9.

The 2011 World Snail Racing Championships will be staged on the cricket field at Congham on Saturday, July 16. For more information see

Lydia Smith, Director Norfolk Tourism said: “Thank you to everyone who voted to get the World Snail Racing Championships into the final 10 of the Where else but England? award. I urge everyone to vote again in the final poll and give our Snail Racing the chance to take the Where else but England? crown.”

Norfolk Tourism is the county's established public and private industry partnership. Funded by its 55 partner organisations, the partnership is designed to act as a forum for all Norfolk's tourism businesses and local authorities,, tel. 01603 222846. See our free to use image library at

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Norwich 20 Group’s First Exhibition in Koblenz, April 3-17

Norwich 20 Group is exhibiting for the first time in Koblenz, Norwich’s twin German city from April 3 to 17. The group has been invited by AKM (Arbeitsgemeinshaft bildender Kunstler am Mittelrhein), an art group from Kobelnz.

The 20 Group show will occupy all three floors of the historic Haus Metternich (built 1674), the main exhibition venue in the centre of the city, which overlooks the principal square in Koblenz.

AKM artists will be travelling to Norwich in May to exhibit at Norwich 20 Group’s spring exhibition, Twin Visions, in The Forum’s atrium from Monday, May 23 to Sunday, May 29.

Rory McShane Chairman, Norwich 20 Group said: “We are very excited at the prospect of the exhibition in Koblenz. Eighteen of the group’s artists will be taking part with a mixture of painting, sculpture, installation pieces and mixed media work, reflecting the vitality and variety of contemporary artwork being made in Norwich. There will be work with a ‘typical’ British flavour such as the humour and gentle subversion of Chedgey, as well as more ‘painterly’ contributions by Martin Battye, Mary Spicer and Martin Laurance. We will also take pieces by artists such as Keith Pomeroy and Geoffrey Lefever with a harder edged, more conceptual quality.”

Norwich 20 Group
N20G was formed in 1944 comprising professional artists from the Norwich School of Art and Design. The group is no longer limited to 20 and now has more than 70 members, several of whom exhibit regularly in the West End and abroad. All aspects of the practice of contemporary fine art are represented e.g. sculpture, print, photography and painting.

Over the years the membership has included nationally known artists, for example, Bernard Reynolds and Jeffrey Camp. Colin Self has taken an active role as have numerous art historians and architects. Mary Newcomb, one of Britain’s best loved artists, famous for her visionary ruralist paintings, who died in 2008, was a member of N20G for many years. Her work often sold at exhibitions for around £20. It now changes hands for five figure sums. Current N20G members include Andy Campbell, David Holgate, Ros Newman, Vanessa Pooley and Laurie Rudling.

Image: Containment 2: David Woods

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Mother’s Day Guided Walk at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden

Head Gardener Ian Guest is leading a Mother’s Day guided walk at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, at 11am on Sunday, April 3. All mums will receive a complimentary Fairhaven primrose plant. Enjoy daffodils, primroses, ancient oak and beech trees and the views across Fairhaven’s private broad. Normal admission charges apply for the walk: adult £5.50, senior citizen £5 and child £3, under fives free.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction. The garden, tearoom and shop are open daily all year, 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day), tel. 01603 270449,

There is wheelchair access to most of the garden, including the Sensory Garden. Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance. Mobility scooters available. Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.

Mother's Days Out - ideas from Norfolk Tourism

Treat your Mum to a special Norfolk day out on Mother’s Day, Sunday, April 3. Enjoy Merrivale Model Village’s 50th birthday celebrations and BeWILDerMum’s Day at BeWILDerwood. Explore gardens open in aid of the National Gardens Scheme, or just got for a short stroll on the North Norfolk Coast or Thetford Forest. Don’t forget to book lunch in one of the county’s wonderful selection of pubs and restaurants.

Here is selection of Mother’s Day ideas:

Head to Great Yarmouth for Merrivale Model Village’s 50th birthday celebrations. Admission on Mother’s Day is 50p for all visitors, 1p for every year of Merrivale, New attractions include St Merrivale’s Church, Uncle Stein’s Big Top Circus, Bogit & Sons Executive Housing and The Royal Yacht Club, as well as 200 additional Merrivalians!

Make your way to the Broads for BeWILDerMum’s Day at BeWILDerwood One Mum is free with every group. Challenge Mum to a Wobbly Wire race or brave the new Tricky Tunnels pink wall together. Make your Mum a lovely card and display if for all to see.

Or join the Mother’s Day Walk at 11am with Ian Guest, Head Gardener at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, – all Mum’s receive a free primrose plant.

Go to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich and see Basketry: Making Human Nature, featuring basketry ancient and modern from around the world (exhibition runs to May 22),

Visit four gardens open in aid of the National Gardens Scheme Hindringham Hall (NR21 0QA) is a moated Tudor Manor House with superb displays of narcissi, hellebores and primulas. The Conifers (NR16 1AT) has massed plantings of daffodils. Desert World Gardens (IP27 0TU) specialises in tropical and arid plants. Mannington Hall (NR11 7BB) is a moated manor house with a 20-acre garden with 19th century follies and a Saxon church.

Explore Maz Jackson’s solo exhibition of new work featuring her surreal egg tempera gilded paintings and sculptures and woodcut prints at Wymondham Arts Centre, Becket’s Chapel

Book the Bure Valley Railway’s special train excursion and lunch package. Starting from Wroxham, experience the magic of steam through nine miles of Norfolk countryside. On arrival at Aylsham enjoy a complimentary drink, then sit down to a two-course set lunch at The Whistlestop. A personal gift for every Mum is included. Return by train to Wroxham after lunch. Advanced booking essential, adults £21, children £11,

Enjoy The National Trust’s houses and gardens in Norfolk. Blickling Hall, Felbrigg Hall and Oxburgh Hall will all be open.

Go for a walk or a short stroll on the North Norfolk Coast or Thetford Forest. For inspiration and other ideas see

Looking for somewhere to take your mum for lunch or afternoon tea? Check out the Eastern Daily Press restaurant reviews or VisitNorwich’s Eating Out Guide .

Norfolk Tourism is the county's established public and private industry partnership. Funded by its 55 partner organisations, the partnership is designed to act as a forum for all Norfolk's tourism businesses and local authorities,, tel. 01603 222846. See our free to use image library at

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Wroxham Barns Spring Fashion Week 22-26 March

The Gallery at Wroxham Barns launches its spring and summer collection with the annual fashion week from Tuesday, March 22 to Saturday, March 26, daily from 10am to 5pm. Browse through the collection of clothes, accessories and jewellery, and enjoy a glass of wine and ‘small eats’ produced by Chef Chris Hyde. Then pick up a ‘2 for 1’ special offer voucher for lunch in the restaurant-café.

Wendy Berg Wroxham Barns resident Buyer sets the scene: “Our aim is provide good quality stylish clothes at reasonable prices. Our collection offers clothes suitable for city breaks, lazy summer days along with practical everyday wear. Separates are always in demand due to their mix and match appeal, but I am also pleased to see dresses making a comeback – we have a very pretty, colourful selection in cotton, linen and soft fabrics. Navy is a strong colour this year, but there also lots of splashes of colour alongside soft tones. Floral and block prints make interesting fabric choices with polka dots adding style and fun.”

So what will you find on The Gallery rails? Favourite labels include Alice Collins, Adini, Seasalt, Ness, Steilmann and Tulchan. Seasalt, which was introduced at Wroxham Barns in 2009 has won the UK’s Top Ethical Fashion Company accolade with its range of fashionable and vibrant ‘seasidey’ clothing using fabrics like organic cotton, organic canvas, recycled fleece, bamboo and hemp. Nomads, another ethical brand, was introduced in 2010 and new this year are younger styles from Mudd & Water and Kaffe.

Wroxham Barns has a good selection of accessories – handbags, jewellery and scarves. “Scarves continue to be very popular,” added Wendy. “It is a perfect accessory to have in your wardrobe adding colour and style to any outfit. Our jewellery this season comes from Girls & Pearls and introducing Carrie Elspeth, which is very pretty and delicate.”

The Gallery successfully started selling a small selection of men’s clothing in the autumn. Moving into spring, there are polo tops, shirts and knitwear from Seasalt and Kartel.

Young children are well catered for at Sugar and Spice in the Lower Courtyard at Wroxham Barns. Pop in there and see this season’s offering from Seasalt, Hooligans, Lilly & Sid and Alice Collins ‘Little Alice & Little Josh’.

Wroxham Barns, two miles from Hoveton on the Tunstead Road, is open daily 10am to 5pm. Contacts – The Gallery tel. 01603 777105, Sugar and Spice tel. 01603 781250, Restaurant-Café tel. 01603 777106, general enquiries tel. 01603 783762,
Photograph: Nomads turquoise tie dye dress (£49)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Explore Norfolk’s Historic Churches in 2011

Explore Norfolk’s historic churches with The Diocese of Norwich’s Open Churches 2011 guidebook.

The free guidebook features 174 churches across the county that are open throughout the year in market towns like Dereham, Swaffham, and Wymondham, on the North Norfolk Coast and in The Broads, the Norfolk countryside and Norwich.

The numbers of churches are swelled to more than 250 during Open Churches Week from Saturday, August 6 to Sunday, August 13, supported by a busy programme of special events and activities across the county. The week starts with the annual Ecclesiastical Classic Car Rally on August 6, which this year heads from Norwich Cathedral to the Loddon area in the southern Broads, and the annual service at St Benet’s Abbey on August 7.

Art Alive in Churches returns for the fourth year, in May and June, in partnership with St Botolph’s Grimston (May 24 to 30), St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral, Norwich (June 7 to 12) and The Welborne Arts Festival (June 18 and 19).

Information about Open Churches Week and Art Alive in Churches will be available at and the Norfolk Open Churches page on Facebook. The Open Churches guidebook is available from churches throughout Norfolk and all Tourist Information Centres.

Jennie Hawks, Historic Places of Worship Support Officer said: “Norfolk is full of the most beautiful, mainly medieval churches, every one with a treasure to discover and a fascinating story to tell. Wherever you are in Norfolk there is a church tower, from tiny Saxon parish churches to the great cathedrals of Norwich and the Shrines of Walsingham. Whether you travel by train, car, bike, boat or on foot you will find a historic church. Our Open Churches booklet is the perfect guide to days out exploring churches in the county.”

Photograph: Jennie Hawks (centre) with Gloria Davies (left) and Jo Tym at Reepham Church

Friday, 4 March 2011

De Vere Dunston Hall Variety Club Charity Golf Day and May Ball

De Vere Dunston Hall hotel near Norwich is staging a Charity Golf Day on Wednesday, May 25 and May Ball on Friday, May 27 in aid of the Variety Club’s Children’s Charity.

Golfers are invited to enter teams of four for the golf day (£140 per team) on May 25. The day begins with breakfast rolls at 11am, followed by a 18 holes of golf (Texas Scramble), with prizes for the top five teams, plus additional prizes for nearest to the pin on all par threes and beat the pro on the 14th hole. Buffet meal and prize giving at the end of the afternoon.

The Variety Club May Ball on May 27 kicks off with a champagne reception at 7.15pm, followed by a four-course dinner in the Sunningdale Suite, with dancing to Dynamite and an auction and raffle. Tickets for the ball cost £45 per person or £400 for a table of 10.

Golf professional, Richard Tidy, who is co-ordinating the events said: “Last year we raised £10,000 from our first golf day and May Ball in aid of the Variety Club. It funded one third of the cost of a new Sunshine Coach. This year we are hoping to raise £11,000 for the Variety Club. We have already had a lot of interest from our golf club members who have signed up for both the golf and May Ball, but still have tickets and places for both events.”

To book golf teams or purchase ball tickets contact Richard Tidy tel. 01508 473846, email

The Variety Club Children’s Charity, was founded in 1949 to help sick, disabled and disadvantaged children and young people. The charity has raised over £200 million in the last six decades, supporting more than one million children and young people. The Variety Club provides Sunshine Coaches, electric wheelchairs, days out, equipment for children’s hospitals and more.

For more information about De Vere Dunston Hall tel. 01508 470444 or visit

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Vote for Norfolk’s World Snail Racing Championships – Where else but England? Award

Norfolk’s World Snail Racing Championships, staged annually in Congham, is a regional finalist in VisitEngland’s Where else but England? award 2011. The snail racing is up against 23 of England’s most quirky events and needs the help of Norfolk’s residents, friends and supporters to reach the national finals and have a chance of taking the Where else but England? crown.

Vote now for the World Snail Racing Championships at or at the Where else but England? page on Facebook. Ten events will go forward to the final poll and the winner will be revealed on April 9.

The 2011 World Snail Racing Championships will be staged on the cricket field at Congham on Saturday, July 16. For more information see

Lydia Smith, Director Norfolk Tourism said: “I urge all friends of Norfolk to back the World Snail Racing Championships. It is well-established fun event that deserves the national recognition of the Where else but England? title.”

Cromer Pier – Party on the Pier – Saturday March 12 – British Tourism Week

Cromer Pier, in North Norfolk, is supporting British Tourism Week’s Party on the Pier on Saturday, March 12, with an attempt at a world record Conga on the Pier at 11am. The management and staff will be hoping to beat the number of people taking part in the Conga on Bournemouth Pier, which is also run by Openwide Coastal.

Ian Hall, General Manager Cromer Pier said: “We are very keen to beat our friends in Bournemouth and show them some real Norfolk Spirit, we are of course a much smaller resort than Bournemouth so we are asking everyone to come and join in the fun.”

Mr Hall continued “Local dance school Marlene’s School of Dancing will be leading the dance and we are hoping that local schools and youth groups will also come along to help swell the numbers and of course Cromer residents and as many people from Norfolk as possible. It would be really nice to think we could get at least 2,000 people on the pier all doing the conga. The record attempt will take place at 11am so we would hope to see as many people on the pier no later than 10.45 so that we can organise the conga lines and most importantly count the number of people taking part".

Staff on the pier will contact Bournemouth to compare numbers and reporting back to the dancers on the pier.

Cromer Pier is inviting local charities to have a stall on the pier and take part in the fun. Any one wishing to bring a stall should contact Ian Hall at Cromer Pier no later than Wednesday, March 9. Telephone 01263 512281 or by email at

Nationally, Party on the Pier will launch British Tourism Week 2011, which runs until Sunday, March 20, and will spearhead more than 200 special tourism events over the following seven days. The idea is that the event will be a celebration of Britain’s piers and heritage, encouraging residents and tourists to visit and highlighting the importance of maintaining our piers, restoring those that are in need of help; each individual participating venue will gain valuable local, regional and national exposure,

History of Cromer Pier
There has been a pier or jetty in Cromer since 1391. The current pier was officially opened in 1901. The bandstand was covered in 1905 to create an enclosed pavilion and the following year saw the start of concert parties during the summer season. In 1953, devastating gales demolished the pavilion and wrecked the pier. The government of the day granted compensation for the rebuilding of the pavilion and the new Pavilion Theatre was ready in time for the 1955 season.

In 1978, the seating capacity was reduced to 440 and a new café, bar and foyer were built. At the same time, a partnership with Richard Condon was formed. From this partnership, the 'Seaside Special' was created and the show has gone from strength to strength winning the 'Pier of the Year' award in 2000.

In 2001, a new partnership was formed between North Norfolk District Council and Openwide International. In 2004, further redevelopment increased the seating capacity of the theatre to 510, and added a restaurant called 'Tides', boasting the best views in town, a shop, and a superb new theatre bar.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Rwandan Genocide - a survivor's guide

The Rwandan Genocide - a survivor's guide, Friday 18 March at 7pm at Forget-me-Not Café, St Michael-at-Plea Church, Redwell Street Norwich. Illuminée Nganemariya tells her story introduced by Anthony Grey, followed by two course meal and tea/coffee. Ticket £16 tel 01603 766978, email