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Welcome Weekend

Saturday 13 May 1-10pm & Sunday 14 May 12-5pm

This is a past event which has now ended.

We’re popping-up across the city centre with a programme of free performance. From theatre and dance to circus and comedy, we bring a little playful fun to the city’s streets as we celebrate the opening of this year’s Festival. Grab your eats and treats in the city’s cafes and restaurants to make


View our handy guide to what’s happening where here

Important information

The Shows

Akademi - Pravaas

Sunday 14 May, 12.30pm & 4pm

Norwich Cathedral (assembly point entrance to Norwich School playground)

Pravaas is a performance inspired by the climate migration of people from the Sundarbans across India and Bangladesh and explored through the beauty and poignancy of South Asian dance forms and classical Carnatic vocals. It invites the audience to follow an evocative experience of migration. Through this promenade performance, you will witness the lyricism, fluidity and symmetry of ancient South Asian dance forms, rooted in rhythm and gestures (mudras) and uplifting song.

Shows on Sunday 14 May will be Audio Described

Visit Akademi’s website

Avanti Display - Crow & A Bit of Crow

A Bit of Crow

Sunday 14 May, 12pm, 1.45pm & 3.30pm
The Garth (behind St Andrew’s Hall)

Live music is at the heart of this comically beautiful performance where you are invited into a dreamlike world of illusion, that owes more to Tommy Cooper than David Blane. Three musicians arrive at a gig that seems to be not entirely safe. Corners have been cut, rules are being bent, and reality seems slightly warped.

Crow will be captioned using The Difference Engine

Visit Avanti Display’s website here

Dulce Duca - Um Belo Dia

Sunday 14 May, 12.45pm & 2.30pm
The Garth (behind St Andrew’s Hall)

Surrealistic comedy juggling.

An oniric, metaphoric and surrealistic piece, using physical Theatre, circus, dance, juggling/ balancing of clubs. With live music.

Visit Dulce Duca’s website here

Jones & Barnard - What Price Dignity?

Sunday 14 May, 12pm, 2pm & 3.30pm

Street theatre inspired by the cost of living crisis.

Visit Jones and Barnard’s website here

Candoco Dance Company - I think we should start over

Sunday 14 May, 12.15pm, 2.15pm, & 4.30pm
The Forum

Candoco Dance Company and international award-winning choreographer, Jamaal Burkmar, present this striking and playful duet. Created especially for unusual and outdoor spaces, the piece strives to connect with its public audience, whether they choose to watch the whole performance or are simply passing by.

Visit Candoco Dance’s website here

Glass House Dance - Time Machine Disco on the move

Sunday 14 May, 12pm
Starts top of London Street

Sunday 14 May, 2.30pm
Starts St Gregory’s GreenSunday 14 May, 4pm
Starts Gentlemen’s Walk

The Sisters of Stylus need your help to get them time-travelling once again. Calling all foot-tappers, dad dancers, disco divas, jumping jivers, old school ravers & shake- your-money- makers help our renegades get moving with the power of dance!

Visit Glasshouse Dance’s website here

Just More Productions - Fussy Foodies: The Game Show Part 2

Sunday 14 May, 1.15pm & 3.15pm
The Forum

Play some games and learn how food can tell histories.

Visit Just More Productions’ website here

Trigger - TEABREAK

Sunday 14 May, 12pm, 2.10pm, & 4.20pm
Tombland (Outside Zizzis)

Catch your breath and enjoy a free, freshly made brew in this heart-warming new show by Trigger. Have a well-deserved teabreak and as you stir your cup, gently glide through an audio journey of tea and how it’s found itself into our tea pots.

Blind and partially sighted viewers will still be able to experience the beautiful audio work and drink a cup of tea, and for D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences there is a captioned video available.

Visit Trigger’s website here

Working Boys Club - Serving Sounds

Sunday 14 May, 12-2.30pm & 3.15-5pm
St Gregorys Green

Serving Sounds is a multi-sensory sound installation that creates connection through music – a bar that serves bass rather than beer. The installation is an interactive work, playful and joyful with spaces for up to four people of all ages to interact with the bar at any one time, each experience lasting up to the length of a song.

Visit Working Boys Club’s website here

Action Hero - Oh Europa!

Sunday 14 May, 12.30pm–4.30pm
Chantry Place

Since 2018, Action Hero have been travelling through Europe in their motorhome, recording strangers singing love songs. They invite you to come along and sing a love song to add to their archive and to be featured on BBC Radio Norfolk. Listen in on BBC Radio Norfolk on 22-26 May.

Visit Action Hero’s website here

Lost & Found Films of Norfolk

Sunday 14 May 12–5pm
The Forum

Enjoy a selection of films on Norfolk’s imagined history from children from the following schools: Norwich Primary Academy, Mile Cross Primary School, North Walsham Junior School, Ormiston Victory Academy, The Locksley School, St Nicholas Priory Primary School, Hewett Academy & Taverham High School.

Learn more about the Lost & Found Films of Norfolk here

Cat and Mouse Theatre - Blockbuster Factory

Saturday 13 May, 1pm
Starts on Gentleman’s Walk

Saturday 13 May, 2.45pm
Starts on London Street

Blockbuster Factory is the new show from Cat and Mouse immersive theatre company.

At great expense, they have flown the great American Movie Director Martin Beilsperg to the UK, and teamed him up with legendary playwright Charles Bexley Heath. Together they are, as Martin says “Makin Movies Here!”. Out on the street they recruit stars and crew for their latest Blockbuster, with a little help from Phil the boom guy. Phil, unfortunately, has forgotten all the props, but did manage to bring a whole box of bananas; all kinds of movies from horror to comedy to war to thrillers are played out with every prop replaced by a Banana!

Visit Cat and Mouse Theatre’s website here

Una Palliser - MUSIC CHAMBER

Sunday 14 May, every 20 minutes from 12–2pm and 3–5pm
The Guildhall 

The Irish-born singer-violinist takes you on a unique ten-minute musical journey of improvisation, song and sampled sounds of the natural world.

Visit Una Palliser’s Facebook page here

Soul Stew DJs

Saturday 13 May, 6pm-9pm
Festival Gardens

Festival favourites Soul Stew bringing everything soulful.

Perhaps Contraption

Sunday 14 May, 12.45pm
Starts London Street 

Sunday 14 May, 2.45pm
Starts Gentleman’s Walk

Multi-award winning, progressive brass band from London.

Visit Perhaps Contraption’s website

Gorilla Circus - Unity

Saturday 13 May, 9pm
Festival Gardens, Chapelfield

Unity is a large-scale production that merges immersive theatre, circus, and community stories in a powerful but intimate way. This aerial-spectacular features aerial acrobatics and dance, wire walking and hair hanging artists.

Poet Cai Draper will is creating a new poem that will accompany the piece.

Performance will be captioned using The Difference Engine

Visit Gorilla Circus’ website here

Visit Cai Draper’s website here

Freshly Greated - Joyland Snails

Sunday 14 May, 12-5pm
Across the city

The iconic snails from Great Yarmouth’s Joyland have taken a spring break to the sunny climes of Norwich. Can you find all six?



Tickets: This is a non-ticketed event


Welcome Weekend Sponsored by


Gorillia Circus Unity Sponsored by


Norfolk & Norwich Festival is a partner in Without Walls, a consortium of festivals and arts organisations bringing fantastic outdoor arts to people in towns and cities across England. Find out more on

Shows at the Welcome Weekend are co-commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival and a number of other partners.

Pravaas is supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Brighton Festival.

The R&D for Pravaas was supported by Blueprint: Without Walls R&D Investment Fund.

Avanti Display
Crow is supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Stockton International Riverside Festival.

The R&D for Crow was supported by Blueprint: Without Walls R&D Investment Fund.

Candoco Dance Company
New Work by Jamaal Burkmar is supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Brighton Festival.

Gorilla Circus
UNITY is supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Certain Blacks.

Just More Productions
Fussy Foodies: The Game Show part 2 is supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Certain Blacks, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Just So Festival.

The R&D for Fussy Foodies: The Game Show part 2 was supported by Blueprint: Without Walls R&D Investment Fund.

TEABREAK is supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Timber Festival.

Working Boys Club
Serving Sounds is supported by Without Walls.

Image credit: Unity, Out There Festival 2021 – David Street.

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

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