Don’t try this at home! Lost In Translation reach for the top the big tent – photo Julian Swainson
2020 has been a challenging year for all of us and we are a long way off returning to normal life, but some sectors have had a particularly hard time during Covid lockdown. Theatre performers and staff have faced traumatic uncertainty and difficulties, not helped by a government that seems to have no regards for the performing arts and the thousands employed in theatres and concert halls and other venues.
Early this year Norwich Theatre Royal appeared to be continuing to go from strength to strength, building on many years of success at the theatre and Norwich Playhouse. I was lucky enough to catch the magnificent touring version of Les Miserables before the coronavirus axe fell, silencing the Norwich stage.
Theatre Royal managers have had to face some impossible dilemmas since then as income sources disappeared overnight and staff have been made redundant. However they have managed to bring back live theatre to Norwich, not indoors but in the airy and spacious setting of the Lost in Translation big top tent in Chapelfield Gardens. The programme of events is aptly named Interlude, and it is bringing a delightful variety of events to Norwich audiences desperate to be entertained by something rather more human than a computer screen.
I have caught a few shows on the Interlude programme and am looking forward to many more. From the children’s ‘My First Show’ to the raunchy ‘Circus Lates’ there has been something on for everybody as the theatre make the best use of this resource. Volunteers and staff help you safely to your well-distanced seats, so theatregoers can be comfortable about respecting the ongoing need for social distancing.
Karl Minns has given several well received shows in the tent focusing on his popular character She Go, the lush from the Larkman who seems to have a lively private life. You will never be able to look that BBC Stewart White in the eye again! Karl brings a diversity of strong and well defined characters to the stage, all united by their dogged devotion to Norfolk and corresponding distaste for Londoners buying second homes in North Norfolk. While I may have recognised a joke or two from She Go’s last outing Karl’s performance is always lively and fresh. A tip though, if you see his shows, and hail from London (or even Yarmouth) best keep quiet about it.
The next delight for me was the always impressive Circus Lates show from Lost in Translation and friends. This company get better every year, with adventurous new circus skills and a growing theatricality in their shows. Lates mixes circus skills with an almost burlesque approach to audience pleasing. Host Abigail Collins whips the audience into a receptive frenzy as one act after another show off their skills, and bodies. The Lost in Translation crew has expanded from last season, with talented new young performers who joined favourite guests including Vendetta Vain and Ian Marchant in a thrilling show.
A young lad called Sam (all the way from Bournemouth) showed us that it is indeed possible to get dressed while on a unicycle while nibbling a few biscuits too. Company Director Massimiliano Rossetti as ever presents an unmissable show for adults, together with equally impressive daytime shows for family audiences.
The Interlude programme is full of surprises and it is worth checking out the Theatre Norwich website to keep up with the latest offers and opportunities filling the big tent for a few weeks to come. One performance that we will be looking forward to is the show from power-poet Luke Wright on September 12th.
If you are missing live performance the Interlude shows are the perfect antidote to your malaise, and in supporting these performances you will be helping Norwich Theatre to get back on its feet for future shows.
Check out what’s on here: https://norwichtheatre.org/whats-on/?venue-location=norwich-theatre-interlude
© Julian Swainson 2020