Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Press Launches, High Winds and Planking - The Start of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival

I am still feeling a bit sheepish this morning.

Yesterday was the press launch for the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, a chance to get some additional publicity, and another chance for our illustrious Artistic Director, William Galinsky, to be photographed getting into the festival spirit. Last year's launch event, held at Norwich Railway Station via principal travel partner Abellio Greater Anglia, had Mr Galinsky blowing into a trumpet as part of a taster show by performance artist Holly Bodmer.

This year, commuters arriving at Norwich Station were met by the sight of Esther Steinkogler, a member of the Willi Dorner Company, hanging upside down by the main entrance, supported only by a plank of wood. This was a pre-taste of what to expect this Friday, Saturday and Sunday around the city centre as the company perform 'Fitting', an outdoor performance that views urban landscapes through fresh eyes.
'Fitting' outside Norwich Railway Station (photo - www.edp24)

Like I said, I am feeling a little sheepish, having been a bit of a plank myself. I was supposed to be one of four NNF volunteers helping out with the press launch but, due to a mix up over the way in which BT Yahoo are sorting my e-mails at the moment, I didn't read the message. The shift was offered on a strictly first-come first served basis before the Bank Holiday weekend, and I assumed I had been too late to register my interest. I had even intended to go along to the railway station anyway, just to see what was going on and take a few pictures. I therefore owe Lizzie, our Volunteer Co-ordinator, the other three volunteers, and anyone else who would have liked to have been there in my place, a huge apology. And after everything I said about volunteers needing to be reliable and keeping the organisers informed.

The pictures of Esther duly appeared in the evening's newpapers and on local television channels, although there was no sign of Mr Galinsky hanging upside down on the opposite side of the doorway. Shame on you, sir! However, he and Abellio's Jonathan Denby were there to be interviewed, and herald the start of this year's festival.

Another problem was caused yesterday by the high winds throughout the region. Last night's performance of 'Wolf's Child' had to be cancelled as the safety of cast and audience could not be guaranteed in the strong blustery conditions. This amazing adult fairytale drama is being staged in the woods of Felbrigg Hall, and is produced by WildWorks with a cast that includes a chorus of maids and flock of crows drawn from the local community. Unfortunately, it would have been simply too dangerous to have gone ahead with last night's preview performance. Hopefully the winds will have subsided sufficiently by this evening for tonight's show to go ahead. I certainly hope so, as I am due to be on the coach travelling out there to act as a steward, and it may be my only chance to see any of this amazing show.

And I promise faithfully that I will be there on time for the start of my shift.

Buy tickets for Wolf's Child, or any other events for this year's Norfolk & Norwich Festival at

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