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Festival Launch

Transe Express

Transe Express have delighted audiences around the world. During NNF18, an audience of over 8,000 people enjoyed our Festival Launch event, which saw a procession of carnivalesque drummers take over the streets and larger than life singing dolls transform Norwich city centre into a fantastical open air opera house.

‘Such a fun start to this years Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Transe Express thoroughly entertained thousands through the streets of Norwich this evening, with a jaw dropping aerial finale’ Audience member


And Now:

World Premiere

Artists And Now: created and animated a piece of artwork on Wells Beach using found materials. They continue their work with a series of artworks in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty that will encourage people to think about movement and migration; how we arrive at, understand, inhabit, protect and leave a space.

Produced by Activate Performing Arts. Co-commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Fesitval, Corn Exchange Newbury, 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space and Oerol Festival. Supported by the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Holkham Estate. With thanks to Norfolk & Norwich Fesitval Director’s Circle Supporters Michelle and David Lamont.


Barely Methodical Troupe

World Premiere

Ground-breaking circus company Barely Methodical Troupe put themselves and each other to the test in a dazzling display of breath-taking acrobatics and performance.

‘Barely Methodical Troupe prove truly inventive as they transform each other into human marionettes’ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival; co-produced by Norfolk & Norwich Festival and DREAM. With thanks to Norfolk & Norwich Festival Director’s Circle Supporters Simon De-Lacy Adams & Robin Norman.

The Paper Man


World Premiere

Acclaimed theatre company Improbable premiered a highly praised show at Norwich Puppet Theatre. The Paper Man explored themes around fascism, feminism and football using a diverse cast of co-creators.

‘Innovative, challenging, funny, moving. The best of what theatre should be’ Audience member

A Norfolk & Norwich Festival, La Strada, Graz and Soho Theatre co-commission; co-produced by Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Improbable.

All 2018 companies & artists

Classical Music

  • Aleksey Semenenko
  • Ashley Riches
  • Andrei Ionita
  • Britten Sinfonia
  • Hyeyoon Park, Timothy Ridout, Kian Soltani, Leon Bosch and Benjamin Grosvenor
  • London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Mark Padmore, Christopher Purves, Julius Drake and Simon Russel-Beale
  • The Sixteen
  • The Cathedral Choirs of Norwich, Ely and Peterborough


  • Britten Sinfonia
  • Kid Carpet and the Noisy Animals


Presented in association with Writers’ Centre Norwich

  • Aarathi Pasad
  • Aliya Gulamani
  • Ben Okri
  • Byron Vincent
  • Caspar Henderson
  • Caitlin Davies
  • Charles Fernyhough
  • Fred Pearce
  • Gavin Francis
  • Hannah Silva
  • Hilary Spurling
  • Hugh Lupton
  • Jack Dean
  • Jack Hartnell
  • Jackie Hagan
  • James Evans
  • James McGrath
  • Jefferey Deaver
  • Joanne Limburg
  • Johann Hari
  • Joyce Dunbar
  • Judy Murray
  • Laura James
  • Owen Lowery
  • Preti Taneja
  • Proteus
  • Rachel Clark
  • Rachel Hewitt
  • Raymond Antrobus
  • Rosy Carrick
  • Sarah Perry
  • Suzanne O’Sullivan
  • Tim Clare & Mark Grist
  • Tom Shakespeare
  • UEA Creative Writing MA students
  • Viv Albertine

Contemporary Music

  • Amanda Palmer
  • Ben Folds
  • David McAlmont
  • Deva Mahal
  • Jyotsna Srikanth & Bollywood Brass Band
  • Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Maya Youssef Trio
  • Opera North
  • Talvin Singh

Free Outdoor

  • A Bird in the Hand Theatre
  • And Now:
  • Flex Dance Company
  • Hikapee
  • Lucy Enskat
  • Marco Barotti
  • Max Calaf Seve
  • Mind The Gap
  • Ockham’s Razor
  • Stopgap Dance Company
  • Transe Express
  • Travelling Light Circus
  • Voice Project


  • Barely Methodical Troupe
  • Forced Entertainment
  • Frozen Light
  • Gandini Juggling
  • Hofesh Shechter
  • Improbable

The Adnams Spiegeltent

  • Ashley Henry
  • Barb Jungr
  • Binker & Moses
  • House of Waters
  • Le Gateau Chocolat
  • Les Amazones D’Afrique
  • Maisha
  • The Ragroof Players

Visual Arts

  • Damien Hirst
  • Lynn Chadwick
  • Nathan Coley

Image credits: Masthead image: NNF18 Festival Launch © JMA Photography

Arts make life better

Norfolk & Norwich Festival brings tens of thousands of people together in celebration – it has been doing this for 250 years. Through our May Festival and our year-round arts education work, focusing on children and young people, we lead and support celebration, creativity and curiosity in communities across Norfolk and the region.

This year we begin an exciting new initiative, Festival Connect & Create that will bring creative opportunities to those schools and communities with least provision. Creativity transforms people’s lives. It builds cohesive communities, develops vital skills and supports health and wellbeing. We want more people to have access to creative opportunities.

Please consider donating to support and develop this work. With your help we can increase access to the life changing power of the arts.

Registered Charity No. 116442

Amount to Donate £ 0