Arts & Culture

What’s on – Festive Shows 2021

With the festive season nearly upon us here is our round up of some of the best festive shows in the area…

Norwich Theatre Royal

Dick Whittington & His Cat

8 December-21 January

The rags to riches tale of a young man leaving home with only a spotted handkerchief and his cat on an exciting quest for fame and fortune! Featuring all the traditional pantomime ingredients including sensational songs, a live band, magic, dazzling dance routines, magnificent slapstick comedy and bags of audience participation. A show guaranteed to be full of wonder to delight audiences of all ages. A purr-fect treat for all the family!

Inspired by The Story of the King, Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) and VisitNorwich are working in partnership with Norfolk Museum Service to bring a Christmas Crown Trail from the castle to the Tunnel of Light. Following a printed map, look out for crowns of all shapes and sizes in many forms in the windows of participating shops, restaurants and businesses. But you’ll need a keen eye. The trail will take you across Norwich including the 900-year-old market. I wonder if Henry ever visited our award-winning market?

Whilst at Norwich Market look out for a special VisitNorwich pop-up stall located at the top of the market. It has to be Norwich’s smallest Christmas installation. Here visitors will find quirky pictures and photography depicting Christmastime in Norwich over the centuries (17 Nov–17 Dec, during Norwich Market trading hours).

Items on display will include festive family photos, past Christmas events in Norwich, images of decorated shop windows – anything that shows what Christmas represented or was like in Norwich over the years. There will also be Christmas trees and fairy lights and maybe a hidden crown or two. Just around the corner treat yourself to a delicious, mulled wine from Sir Toby’s Beers before you take a look around. On a particularly crisp day why not top it up with a slug of rum or whisky?  I love this charming small bar so much it’s now become a tradition of mine each Christmas to visit with friends.   

It seems most of us love a good old Christmas market, so save the date for the Festive Fair at the Forum to truly get in the mood. In Norwich between 25–28 November with free entry you’ll find wonderful entertainment and music including Norfolk’s own Pavilion Brass Quartet and a traditional fairground organ. Dine on winter food and drink from waffles and gourmet doughnuts to freshly roasted almond pralines. There will be stalls galore inside The Forum for all your Christmas shopping. Get your list ready to buy local: jewellery; pottery; plants; textiles; woodcraft; glassware; art; clothes; tins; preserves; decorations; lifestyle and so much more. The Forum looks particularly lovely when the sun goes down, filled with sparkly lights and decoration.

If like me, you love to make your own Christmas wreath then book the Festive wreath making with Hannah from Fern Flowers experience at The Maids Head Hotel (28 November). For £38 you learn how to craft a stunning wreath to take home plus the price includes a glass of Prosecco and a mince pie, as well as all your materials. To book your place call 01603 272008.

Finally, Houghton Hall last month opened its inaugural Autumn/Winter exhibition – Chris Levine at Houghton Hall 528Hz Love Frequency. I’m really excited by this as it is a major solo exhibition featuring a series of new holographic artworks, print works and large immersive laser and LED installations. All created specifically for the unique environs of the house and grounds. Each distinctive work is characteristic of Levine’s unique and cutting-edge work with the meditative and immersive properties of light and sound.

You may know Levine for his light portraits of famous cultural figures. In 2012 his depiction of the Queen- Lightness of Being was described by the National Portrait Gallery as the most evocative image of a royal by any artist. Along with this royal portrait, iconic meditative portraits of Banksy, and Grace Jones, amongst others, will be shown in the South Wing gallery.

It’s important to say this is not a Christmas event, so those who like to get away from all the festivities will be especially delighted! It runs until 23 December from 4.30pm–9pm, Thursday–Saturday. Tickets cost £18 including parking, under 18s are free.

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