NNF 2017: Circus, Dance and World-Renowned Musicians

Race Horse Company present Super Sunday
Photo: Petter Hellman

Two of the world’s most exciting contemporary musicians, a jazz diva, a moving story of dreams and desires, and some stunning European circus are all heading to Norwich Theatre Royal as part of this year’s Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme, running May 15-20.

The madcap all-energy Finnish circus troupe Race Horse Company will launch the week on May 15-16 with their brand new show Super Sunday. The all-male troupe has a strong international reputation for their mix of jaw-dropping stunts and madcap fun.

The stage will be set up to look like a derelict funfair and the cast of six performers will be propelling themselves around on trampolines, teeterboards, and with the help of catapults.

Will the audience dare to look away from this stunning and irreverent spectacle? There is only one way to find out.

There is then a change of pace on Thursday 18 May when the poignant tale of a boy’s childhood memories is brought into sharp focus with Chotto Desh, or small homeland. Presented by the Akram Khan Company and created by Khan himself, it tells the story of a young man who dreams of being a dancer.

Chotto Desh

Starting with a call-centre conversation answered by a 12-year-old, voiceovers follow his journey from Britain to the chaotic streets of Bangladesh as he revisits his childhood memories.

Props, sound and animation are all used to bring the characters to life in this enchanting mix of dance and theatre telling a heart-warming tale of the importance of family bonds.

Two of the biggest names of avant-garde music – Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson – join forces for a rare on-stage collaboration outside their native US on Friday 19 May. As Norwich and the Barbican will be their only UK dates, there has already been strong ticket demand for this performance presented by the Theatre Royal in partnership with Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson

Philip Glass is recognised as one of the globe’s most prominent composers and his style is expected to both complement and collide with Laurie Anderson’s mix of vocals, text and experimental music.

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Photo: Mark Higashino

The finale of the theatre’s festival week comes on Saturday 20 May with leading jazz vocal star Dee Dee Bridgewater live on stage. Critics and her fans love the way she has re-imagined and taken another look at many jazz favourites during her 40-year-plus career.

She has worked with some of the jazz world’s biggest names including Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie and Dexter Gordon.

Her work has gained her Grammy and Tony Awards and she also has an intriguing parallel career as an Ambassador for the United Nations.

Stephen Crocker, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “We are thrilled to be working with the Festival once again to bring such a varied programme of world class-artists to our stage.

“We have been delighted by the incredible response to our Festival programme this year and the high demand to see Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson as they return to us, choosing Norwich as the only date on their UK tour outside London, as well as the legendary Dee Dee Bridgewater’s visit, which is also going to be a real treat for jazz devotees.

“We are also really excited to host two other very different world-class international productions, both of which will be a treat for families. Whether it is the high-octane thrills of Super Sunday or Akram Khan’s beautifully-told story Chotto Desh, we are thrilled with the quality and diversity of our Festival programme.”

Festival performances will be taking place here at the Theatre from May 15-20, and tickets are available from the website.