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Jessica Walker & Luke Styles

The People's Cabaret

This is a past event which has now ended.

The culmination of a three year project with Norfolk communities, singer Jessica Walker and composer Luke Styles are joined by the Chroma Ensemble for a night of contemporary responses to the protest songs.

In 2023 we find ourselves living through times of unprecedented social, cultural and economic upheaval. Well…almost unprecedented. Track back 90 years, and there are striking parallels to be drawn with Europe and America in the 1930s, when Populism was on the rise, and much of the world found itself in the midst of a Great Depression. Back then, composers and writers responded to their times in biting, satirical tone. The songs of Weill, Eisler, Spoliansky, Hollaender and Brecht ranted against racism, capitalism and oppression, until their authors were forced to flee the country, in fear for their lives.

The songs written by these seminal artists are still regularly performed today, as illustrations of a past that must never be repeated, but where are the contemporary responses? Singer/writer Jessica Walker and composer Luke Styles hold a mirror up to the time of unrest we are living through, and create a cutting-edge work for our age, with a brand new cycle of songs about discrimination, social inequality, freedom of expression, and the rise of fake news.

‘A bewitching performer…’ The New York Times on Jessica Walker

‘original, thought-provoking, and funny with a refreshing new slant on gender identity…genuinely moving’ Musical Theatre Review 5* on Jessica Walker

‘Walker….sings with a spontaneity that perfectly dovetails with Atkins’ composition…the lyrics are fiendishly clever and deftly worked’ The Reviews Hub 4* on Jessica Walker

‘The performance is perfection’ West End Best Friend 4* on Jessica Walker

‘an anarchic tone in which the influences of Alban Berg and Kurt Weill fuse merrily.’ The Independent on Luke Styles

‘aggressively trendy.’

‘… with visceral growls from its four excellent instrumentalists.’ The Financial Times – Hannah Nepil on Luke Styles 

Jessica Walker – Voice
Hannah Azuonye – Actor
Chroma ensemble

Important information

Age guidance: 12+

Content warning: some strong language

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Seating: This is a seated event


The Other Side (O Festival Rotterdam)

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Under 18: £7.50

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23 May

07:30 pm

£7.50 - £16.00

Produced by Music and Theatre

Co-commissioned by Brighton and Norfolk & Norwich Festival

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.

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